G.2 Middle-Tier Resources

This section lists resources that contain more information on the Apache web server, web performance tuning, networking, PHP programming, and third-party PHP add-ons including Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), script optimization tools, and commercially supported installation packages.

G.2.1 Web Server and Web Technology Resources

More information on the Apache web server can be found in the following resources:

  • The Apache documentation. You can find this online at http://httpd.apache.org/docs-project/.

  • Apache: The Definitive Guide, B. Laurie and P. Laurie (O'Reilly). Oriented around the directives that can be used in the httpd.conf file.

  • Apache Cookbook, K. Coar and R. Bowen (O'Reilly). A collection of problems, solutions, and examples for webmasters.

More information on web performance tuning, and web performance modeling and traffic characteristics can be found in the following resources:

  • Web Performance Tuning, P. Killelea (O'Reilly).

  • Capacity Planning for Web Performance: Metrics, Models, and Methods, D. A. Menasce and V. A. F. Almeida (Prentice-Hall).

G.2.2 Networking and Web Resources

  • The W3C web site: http://www.w3.org/History.html. This URL provides a good starting point that includes pages containing many links, time lines, growth statistics, and other useful resources.

  • Internet Core Protocols, E. Hall and V. Cerf (O'Reilly). This book offers a good introduction to the protocols of the Web.

  • HTTP: The Definitive Guide, D. Gourley and B. Totty (O'Reilly). Covers all of the technical details of HTTP.

  • The HTTP/1.1 specification is contained in RFC-2616 and is found on the IETF web site at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2616.txt.

  • The Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax specification is contained in RFC-2396 and is found on the IETF web site at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt.

  • RFC-1180: TCP/IP Tutorial, T. Socolofsky and C. Kale. This RFC provides a tutorial on how data is passed through a TCP/IP network and can be found at: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1180.txt.

G.2.3 PHP resources

The best place to start is to check the list of links at the official PHP site, http://www.php.net/links.php.

Here are some resources we frequently use:


The annotated online PHP manual at the official PHP site. Includes many comments for each library and function and tips on use and common problems encountered.


The PEAR package home page. Includes a package searcher and browser.


Site of the commercial company held by long-term developers of PHP. Includes articles, resources, free code, and tutorials.


Articles, documentation, and code fragments.


Tutorial-style articles on a range of PHP topics.


A simple, low-bandwidth site that contains PHP code fragments and some complete applications.

Zend Optimizer

A freely available code optimizer that improves the performance of the intermediate code generated by the Zend scripting engine. The Zend web site is http://www.zend.com.

DBG: PHP Debugger

A free interactive debugger for PHP that includes a code profiler that finds code bottlenecks. Available for Microsoft Windows and many Unix platforms (including Linux and Mac OS X), and licensed under the same license as PHP. Available from: http://dd.cron.ru/dbg/.

Zend Cache

A tool that integrates with the Zend engine to better cache scripts, prevent some scripts being cached, and reduce latency. If high-throughput of a web database application is required, Zend Cache is a useful tool. This is a commercial product.


A list of development environments for PHP, most of which include syntax highlighting and debugging tools.