Welcome to PHP 5 Unleashed! The pages you now hold represent more than two years of research and writing, during which time every attempt was made to ensure the most technically accurate and complete PHP 5 book on the market today. It is my sincere hope that this book will find itself dog-eared from use in your home or office in the months to come.
I began my work with PHP back in mid 1997 when a friend introduced me to the language as "something kind of cool." Being interested in Web development and the Internet in general, I was immediately hooked on the ease with which I could develop applications. I still remember the first time I wrote a script to query a MySQL database, producing a simple HTML table of its contents as vividly as my first "Hello World" application written in GW-Basic years before. It was the start of a passion which has kept me involved in both the use and development of the language to this day.
A lot has changed since those days of PHP (which was then PHP 3.0). Although a lot of the principles remain, what was once a "kind of cool" language has evolved into an incredibly robust and powerful language used by enterprises big and small around the globe. Today, PHP 5 brings to the table a wealth of functionality, balancing power with flexibilityand this book hopes to capture both within its pages. From the technologies of 1997 to the cutting edge of today, this book will show you how to make this powerful, yet deceptively simple, language work for you and your organization.
I truly hope you find this book insightful, educational, and most of all, useful in your future PHP development. For additional information, please visit http://unleashed.coggeshall.org/.