Chapter 1. XML and PHP Basics
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz
XML and PHP are both powerful technologies and open up tremendous possibilities for the creative developer. Each has its own advantages and unique capabilities; but together they form an integrated whole which is far greater than just the sum of its parts.Before getting into the nitty-gritty of program code or tackling the intricacies of PHP's XML functions, it's important to step back a little and look at things in context. This chapter is designed to accomplish just thatit contains a quick overview of both XML and PHP; discusses the design goals, capabilities, and features of each; and puts the material that follows within a larger context.If you're new to PHP or XML (or both), you should make it a point to browse the material in this chapter; it will explain some fundamental concepts and principles and prepare you for the journey ahead. If you're an experienced PHP or XML user, you might want to skip the introductory comments (found in the "XML" and "PHP" sections) and jump straight to the concluding material (in the section, "PHP and XML"), which explains just how PHP and XML fit together and offers a preview of the possibilities that arise from their union.