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PHP Cookbook, 2nd Edition by David Sklar, Adam Trachtenberg

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Chapter 8. Web Basics

Introduction

Web programming is probably why you’re reading this book. It’s why the first version of PHP was written and what continues to make it so popular today. With PHP, it’s easy to write dynamic web programs that do almost anything. Other chapters cover various PHP capabilities, like graphics, regular expressions, database access, and file I/O. These capabilities are all part of web programming, but this chapter focuses on some web-specific concepts and organizational topics that will make your web programming stronger.

Recipes 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 show how to set, read, and delete cookies. A cookie is a small text string that the server instructs the browser to send along with requests the browser makes. Normally, HTTP requests aren’t “stateful”; each request can’t be connected to a previous one. A cookie, however, can link different requests by the same user. This makes it easier to build features such as shopping carts or to keep track of a user’s search history.

Recipe 8.4 shows how to redirect users to a different web page than the one they requested. Discovering the features of a user’s browser is shown in Recipe 8.5. Recipe 8.6 shows the details of constructing a URL that includes a get query string, including proper encoding of special characters and handling of HTML entities. Similarly, Recipe 8.7 provides information on reading the data submitted in the body of a post request. Recipe 8.8 discusses a common web formatting need: displaying rows of ...

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