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Creating Web Calendars With The PEAR Calendar Class
Need a quick-and-dirty Web calendar? Look no further!

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One of the nicest things about PHP is the huge support the language enjoys in the developer community. A prime example of this is PEAR, the PHP Extension and Application Repository, which offers a robust, feature-rich and well-supported collection of PHP widgets that can save developers a fair amount of time and effort. One such widget is PEAR's Calendar class, a little-known module that allows you to create and customize calendar data structures. These raw structures can then be used in date-heavy user interfaces, like an appointment calendar or event tracker.

I don't blame you if you're not turning cartwheels just yet - it sounded pretty boring to me the first time I heard about it too. But then I tried using Calendar in a project, and it turned me into a believer...

Why, you ask? You see, if you attempt to roll your own calendar in PHP, there are a hundred tiny temporal adjustments you have to code for - leap years,  30/31-day months, year rollovers and so on. The Calendar class handles all these adjustments internally, allowing you to focus on the big picture instead of worrying about the little details. If you're a lazy programmer (and you know you are!), using a ready-made Calendar significantly reduces the amount of code you have to write and test...and that's always a Good Thing!

Over the next few pages, I'm going to give you a quick run-down on the PEAR Calendar class, together with a few examples of how you can use it to rapidly develop Web-based calendar applications while still getting ten hours of sleep every night. Keep reading!

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