Apache Week
Issue 226, 15thDecember2000:

Copyright 2020 Red Hat, Inc

In this issue

Book Review: Beginning PHP4

"Beginning PHP4" published by Wrox Press serves to fill the void of books written by professionals for open-source product. PHP 4.0.0 was released in May 2000 and since then PHP, a server-side, cross-platform, HTML embedded scripting language has been growing on the popularity of the previous version, PHP 3.0

This book is written by a team of authors, namely Wankyu Choi, Allan Kent, Chris Lea, Ganesh Prasad, Chris Ullman with two contributing authors: Jon Blank and Sean Cazzell. This is not a case of "too many cooks spoil the broth" as the pool of experience tends to broaden its coverage.

It is targeted at practically anyone with HTML knowledge who is interested in developing dynamic web applications using PHP 4. It is not a prerequisite to have any computer programming knowledge at all but access to any web server and a relational database management system is a must, to fully utilise this book.

Unsurprisingly, this thick 800 page book comprises of 17 chapters and 2 appendices. Each chapter is structured nicely, starting with an introduction and ending with a summary. Examples are given under "Try It Out" sections that include a "How It Works" subsection to explain in detail what goes on behind each line of code. Users are not expected to regurgitate the code in the example but to understand them well so that they could customise it and write their own code to suit their requirements. A good way to learn a new programming language is to use this approach of learning by example.

Since it is absolutely inundated with examples, one should not read it on its own but to have hands-on sessions to implement the given code. It also frequently uses analogies and activities from day-to-day life to illustrate a concept so that they are easier to grasp. One such example explains branching statements with the decision-making required for shopping.


In a nutshell, this book is great for those who are interested in developing their very first dynamic web applications using PHP as it has a broad coverage and many practical examples. Programmers who are converting to PHP from another language will find this useful too but maybe a little pedantic.

[Read our full review]

Apache Week Holiday giveaway

It's nearly the Holiday Season and our colleagues at Wrox have given us four copies of their book "Beginning PHP4" to give away to help us celebrate. For a chance to get your hands on a copy of this book, answer this simple question:

Where is the next ApacheCon conference being held:
A) San Francisco, B) Santa Clara, or C) Newbury

Send your answer (A, B, or C) to office@apacheweek.com to reach us no later than 31st December 2000. Your e-mail address will not be used for anything other than to let you know if you won. Four winners will be drawn at random from all correct entries submitted, one entry per person, no cash alternative, editors' decision is final, so there.

Apache status

Apache Site: www.apache.org/httpd
Release: 1.3.14 (Released 13th October 2000) (local download sites)
Beta: None
Alpha: 2.0a9 (Released 12th December 2000) (local download sites)

Apache 1.3.14 is the current stable release. Users of Apache 1.3.12 and earlier on Unix and Windows systems should upgrade to this version. Read the Guide to 1.3.14, the Guide to 1.3.12, the Guide to 1.3.11 for information about changes between 1.3.9 and 1.3.11 and the Guide to 1.3.9 for information about changes between 1.3.6 and 1.3.9.

Apache 2.0 alpha 9

A series of alpha releases of Apache 2.0 are being made available from the Apache site. The latest alpha was released on the 12th December and has a number of additions and fixes since the last alpha released in November. The Apache alpha series have shown themselves to be quite stable, but should still not be considered even beta-quality code. Even though the alpha still has a number of known problems, it is hoped that this will be the last alpha release and a beta version of Apache 2.0 is expected within the next month.