Chapter 9. Case Studies
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.In practice there is."Yogi Berra (and Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut)
Out where the rubber meets the road, it doesn't matter how many programming books you have stacked on your coffee table, or how many buzzwords you know. What matters is your ability to understand a problem, analyze the requirements of the solution, and deploy different technologies to achieve the best (most efficient and cost-effective) result.Needless to say, this is harder than it sounds.Developing the skillstechnical and otherwiseto do this can take years of hard work, exposure to a wide variety of technologies, and a great deal of patience. Making a decision on which technology or combination of technologies to deploy in a particular situation requires a thorough understanding of what each one can (and cannot) do . . . and practical knowledge is key to gaining that understanding.That's precisely why almost every chapter in this book includes practical examples of what you can do with PHP and XML, and why this chapter comes as a fitting endnote. It examines two real-world applications built on the XML/PHP combination in an attempt to demonstrate the practical usage of all the theory you've imbibed over the preceding pages.In this chapter, you'll read about Metabase, a database-independent API that uses XML to store and manage database schema definitions; and patTemplate, a template-driven rendering engine that allows for the easy transformation of XML data into HTML documents. Both are open-source software projects that address real problems; both are available free of charge on the web; and both highlight the potential of the XML/PHP combination to build scalable, robust, and real-world software solutions.