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Socket Programming With PHP
Learn about the new socket programming API in PHP 4.1

| Doing A Deal |

If you've been working with PHP for a while, you're probably used to thinking about it only in the context of a Web page or a Web server. While this is not unusual - PHP is, after all, a scripting language that's most commonly used to dynamically generate Web pages - it can stifle your creativity; as you'll see in this article, there's a lot more you can do with PHP than just connect to a database, retrieve records and insert them into an HTML template.

One of PHP's better-guarded secrets - and one that I discovered quite by accident - is a very comprehensive set of network programming functions. Steadily evolving over the last few releases, this socket programming API now supports almost everything you would need for socket-based client-server communication over TCP/IP, and can be rapidly deployed to build simple client-server applications in PHP.

Over the course of this article, I'll be taking a close look at the more important functions in this API, using code listings and explanations to put them in context. Along the way, I'll also build some simple client-server applications, thereby illustrating PHP's effectiveness as a rapid development and deployment tool for network-based applications through practical, real-life examples (well, some of them, at any rate).

It should be noted at the outset itself that this is an introductory article, primarily meant for Web developers interested in expanding their PHP knowledge into the somewhat-arcane area of network programming. I won't be getting into anything too complicated - for truly sophisticated client-server programming, you're probably better off with C++ or Java anyway - preferring instead to focus on the practical applications of PHP's socket functions. As is traditional with these articles, I'll also keep the technical jargon to a minimum, avoiding mention of tongue-twisting acronyms and hard-to-pronounce buzzwords.

In return for all this largesse, I expect you to laugh at the appropriate places, and say nice things about me to your friends. Do we have a deal?

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Read more, or grab your copy now!

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