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1. PHP and MySQL Web Development
2. Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript:
3. PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic
4. Head First PHP & MySQL
5. Beginning PHP and MySQL: From
6. PHP & MySQL For Dummies, 4th
7. Wicked Cool PHP: Real-World Scripts
8. PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design
9. PHP Object-Oriented Solutions
10. PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice,
11. Beginning PHP 5.3 (Wrox Programmer
12. Programming PHP
13. PHP for the World Wide Web, Third
14. PHP Cookbook: Solutions and Examples
15. Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL
16. Learning PHP 5
17. PHP in Action: Objects, Design,
18. Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 with PHP:
19. PHP for Absolute Beginners
20. Advanced PHP Programming

1. PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition)
by Luke Welling, Laura Thomson
Paperback: 1008 Pages (2008-10-11)
list price: US$54.99 -- used & new: US$29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0672329166
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
PHP and MySQL are popular open-source technologies that are ideal for quickly developing database-driven Web applications. PHP is a powerful scripting language designed to enable developers to create highly featured Web applications quickly, and MySQL is a fast, reliable database that integrates well with PHP and is suited for dynamic Internet-based applications.


PHP and MySQL Web Development shows how to use these tools together to produce effective, interactive Web applications. It clearly describes the basics of the PHP language, explains how to set up and work with a MySQL database, and then shows how to use PHP to interact with the database and the server.


This practical, hands-on book includes numerous examples that demonstrate common tasks such as authenticating users, constructing a shopping cart, generating PDF documents and images dynamically, sending and managing email, facilitating user discussions, connecting to Web services using XML, and developing Web 2.0 applications with Ajax-based interactivity.


The fourth edition of PHP and MySQL Web Development has been thoroughly updated, revised, and expanded to cover developments in PHP 5 through version 5.3, such as namespaces and closures, as well as features introduced in MySQL 5.1.



Amazon.com Review
The PHP server-side scripting language and the MySQL database management system (DBMS) make a potent pair. Both are open-source products--free of charge for most purposes--remarkably strong, and capable of handling all but the most enormous transaction loads. Both are supported by large, skilled, and enthusiastic communities of architects, programmers, and designers. PHP and MySQL Web Development introduces readers (who are assumed to have little or no experience with the title subjects) to PHP and MySQL for the purpose of creating dynamic Internet sites. It teaches the same skills as introductory Active Server Pages (ASP) and ColdFusion books--technologies that address the same niche.

Authors Luke Welling and Laura Thomson's technique aims to get readers going on their own projects as soon as possible. They present easily digestible sections on specific technical processes--"Accessing array contents" and "Using encryption with PHP" are two examples. Each section centers on a sample program that strips the task at hand down to its essentials, enabling the reader to fit the process into his or her own solutions as required. Tables that list options and other nuggets of reference material appear as well, but the many examples and the authors' commentary on them take center stage.

For reference material on MySQL, have a look at Paul DuBois's MySQL. On the PHP side, Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 is excellent. --David Wall

Topics covered:

  • The MySQL database server (for both Unix and Windows)
  • Accessing MySQL databases through PHP scripting (the letters don't really stand for anything)
  • Database creation and modification
  • PHP tricks in order of increasing complexity--everything from basic SQL queries to secure transactions for commerce
  • Authentication
  • Network connectivity
  • Session management
  • Content customization
... Read more

Customer Reviews (229)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I suggest getting a beginners PHP book before this because all it is in the beginning is a crash course, but everything after the first couple of chapters is right on the money! Very good book worth buying.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great reference book
This is a great reference book for PHP.The book arrived in great condition, looks like it was wasn't used.I can tell a college student owned it. :)

4-0 out of 5 stars From the Beginning
I come from a programming background and am not a professional web designer.However, some years ago I brought up a website written in Javascript and JSP running against an Oracle DB for an organization I belong to.I then dropped the programming end of things and just made minor changes to the website until recently when I was forced to redo the website in PHP and MySql, both of which I knew nothing about.So I bought this book together with the PHP Cookbook published by O'reilly. My foremost question was: "how can I learn this stuff with minimal brain damage without going through 1000 pages?".This book did the trick to introduce me to PHP & MySql in a couple of days.The chapters on designing major applications such as building a shopping cart quickly showed me how to put the various code pieces together into a coherent whole.However, when the rubber hit the road I ran into several problems.The major obstacle was in divining the pros and cons of using the Procedural vs Object Oriented paradigms.In many of the book's examples, both paradigms are used which was very confusing and caused me headaches getting my code to work.Once I told myself to settle on just the OO approach and ignore the Procedural approach things got much better, since I stopped confusing the two sets of syntax.I downgraded my rating 1 star because of this most irritating and time consuming confusion.The sections on security I found most helpful.As a book to orient a person to PHP and MySql I give it 5 stars.As a future reference, I also give it 5 stars.As a book to learn the nits and grits, I give it 3 stars......hence my overall rating of 4 stars.If I knew then what I know now, I'd still buy the book. I'm also writing a review of the PHP Cookbook.

5-0 out of 5 stars highly useful guide for PHP & MySQL
Bought it about a month ago. Havn't finish reading it all yet but i'm already able to write practical web sites. The book is well organized, written profesionaly and easy to follow (altough here and there minor editing are still required).

I had some background in programming (Java) and HTML which i belive made it alot easier to fully understand the first part: "using PHP". Had absolutely no background on MySQL and thanks to this book i have a good understanding of it.

Bottom line, couldn't ask for something else.
If you have basic background in programming, meaning, you already wrote some code lines, this book is the one for you!

5-0 out of 5 stars PHP and MySQL
The book is great to start programming in php.
Very recommended!
PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) ... Read more

2. Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites (Animal Guide)
by Robin Nixon
Paperback: 528 Pages (2009-07-14)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$25.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596157134
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
If you know HTML, this guide will have you building interactive websites quickly. You'll learn how to create responsive, data-driven websites with PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript, regardless of whether you already know how to program. Discover how the powerful combination of PHP and MySQL provides an easy way to build modern websites complete with dynamic data and user interaction. You'll also learn how to add JavaScript to create rich Internet applications and websites.

Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript explains each technology separately, shows you how to combine them, and introduces valuable web programming concepts, including objects, XHTML, cookies, and session management. You'll practice what you've learned with review questions in each chapter, and find a sample social networking platform built with the elements introduced in this book.

This book will help you:

  • Understand PHP essentials and the basics of object-oriented programming
  • Master MySQL, from database structure to complex queries
  • Create web pages with PHP and MySQL by integrating forms and other HTML features
  • Learn about JavaScript, from functions and event handling to accessing the Document Object Model
  • Use libraries and packages, including the Smarty web template system, PEAR program repository, and the Yahoo! User Interface Library
  • Make Ajax calls and turn your website into a highly dynamic environment
  • Upload and manipulate files and images, validate user input, and secure your applications
... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

4-0 out of 5 stars Why not Jquery, instead of YUI?
Seems like the perfect book for my college web programming course....
except Jquery is now used by 78% of the world (I saw this number on a
very recent review of web technologies.)So I wish the authors would
have use Jquery instead of YUI.Now my students will have to buy a
separate Jquery book.

1-0 out of 5 stars If you're a beginner, stay away from this book
As a beginner, I was looking for a book to introduce me to PHP, MYSQL, and Javascript. The idea behind the book is great, but the execution is abysmal. Especially when the programs written in the book are filled with errors. Page 233 specifically. The errata page on the website has the author saying that the code on page 233 in the book won't work, but not exactly why. But of course, the code he supplies on the errata page doesn't work either. As a novice, how in the world am I supposed to debug the author's programs! He evidently didn't do it himself, either.

This is just disgraceful. Were the people who gave this book great reviews, already well-versed in PHP, to be able to catch the errors.
Did the people who gave this book great reviews actually do the examples? Were they paid by the O'Reilly to give the book good reviews.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book --- Jam-Packed With Valuable Info
This is one of the best books I have ever read as far as how much information it contains and readability.Absolutely the best book for getting started in PHP, MySQL and JavaScript. I will be keeping this book and using it for reference for quite a while.Very highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay, but...
I bought this based on the reviews, and it was okay, but not great. The first few chapters were very helpful, but I had problems getting the examples to work, even when I pulled them from the publisher site. This book has great potential, and I did learn a lot from it, but was disappointed the further I got into it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Even the PHP Guru Recommends it
I've been teaching many people how to write PHP code at [...], and I have to say that this is one PHP book that is a great reference for learning PHP.

Although I didn't buy it through Amazon, a friend of mine showed me his, and I am actually quite impressed.

O'Reilly did a nice job with this one! ... Read more

3. PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide
by Larry Ullman
Paperback: 648 Pages (2007-12-29)
list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$25.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 032152599X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
It hasn't taken Web developers long to discover that when it comes to creating dynamic, database-driven Web sites, MySQL and PHP provide a winning open source combination. Add this book to the mix, and there's no limit to the powerful, interactive Web sites that developers can create. With step-by-step instructions, complete scripts, and expert tips to guide readers, veteran author and database designer Larry Ullman gets right down to business: After grounding readers with separate discussions of first the scripting language (PHP) and then the database program (MySQL), he goes on to cover security, sessions and cookies, and using additional Web tools, with several sections devoted to creating sample applications. This guide is indispensable for intermediate- to advanced level Web designers who want to replace their static sites with something dynamic. In this edition, the bulk of the new material covers the latest versions of both technologies: PHP 6 (due out in 2008) and MySQL 5 (available now). The book's publication date is likely to beat the official release of PHP 6, making it one of the first books available on the subject. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (158)

2-0 out of 5 stars PHP 6???
When did PHP 6 get released? It is 2010 and the latest stable release of PHP is 5.3.x. Stick with Apress or O'Reilly publications.

1-0 out of 5 stars PHP 6 doesn't exist.
This book is for PHP 6 which... does't exist.The description says "PHP 6 (due out in 2008)."It didn't come out in 2008.It hasn't come out in 2010.No one knows when it will come out.This is a technical book about a non-existent technology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners..so far..
So I'm actually in the process of going through this book. I thought I'd wait until I actually finish the book, but figure it'll be useful to give feedback while the process is still fresh.I'm barely on chapter 2 but honestly this book has been really easy to follow. I actually bought this book because of other ppls review on amazon, saying it's a great beginners book..and just as they said, this is a great beginners book.I have learned html, css and javascript..but besides that I've never had any programming skills or any experience with databases. This is a really simple to the point book, and Larry Ullman takes a very simple and casual approach. Making it a lot easier to follow than a cut and dry book.

From my experience so far, if you're completely new to this php and mysql stuff, this would be a good start. It is for me so far =)

2-0 out of 5 stars Messy Examples, Book Falls Apart
I used this book in college. The book isn't that bad but the examples can be hard to understand because the entire book has a "Two-Column" design. Basically, every page is split into two columns. Its hard to read code examples when they are split into different columns and then spread over different pages.

My book also split right in half in the center of the book. The binding came unglued and fell aprt. I contacted my college book store and they were going to replace it for me. Upon looking at the rest of the books on the shelf, the bookstore manager noticed that those books were also falling apart in the center.

It appears there are too many pages for a paperback book, and the book was not glued very well.

If you buy it, don't plan on it lasting very long.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
I was simply looking for a book to teach me the basics of PHP and MYSQL. This book is amazing! It's just what I needed and I am already mastering php on page 50 of 600. Every day I work through this book and what would usually be a chore is really fun. The guided code tutorials and the way in which this book is teaching me is excellent, it's like having a personal tutor. This book is teaching me in a way in which I can understand and most importantly enjoy :D.

I must also mention that I tried using php and mysql for dummies but, it just doesn't compare in the way it teaches! I am a student, recommended to anyone wanting a future career as a web professional. It has screenshots, code comments and guided tutorials. ... Read more

4. Head First PHP & MySQL
by Lynn Beighley, Michael Morrison
Paperback: 816 Pages (2008-12-22)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596006306
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

If you're ready to create web pages more complex than those you can build with HTML and CSS, Head First PHP & MySQL is the ultimate learning guide to building dynamic, database-driven websites using PHP and MySQL. Packed with real-world examples, this book teaches you all the essentials of server-side programming, from the fundamentals of PHP and MySQL coding to advanced topics such as form validation, session IDs, cookies, database queries and joins, file I/O operations, content management, and more.

Head First PHP & MySQL offers the same visually rich format that's turned every title in the Head First series into a bestseller, with plenty of exercises, quizzes, puzzles, and other interactive features to help you retain what you've learned.

  • Use PHP to transform static HTML pages into dynamic web sites
  • Create and populate your own MySQL database tables, and work with data stored in files
  • Perform sophisticated MySQL queries with joins, and refine your results with LIMIT and ORDER BY
  • Use cookies and sessions to track visitors' login information and personalize the site for users
  • Protect your data from SQL injection attacks
  • Use regular expressions to validate information on forms
  • Dynamically display text based on session info and create images on the fly
  • Pull syndicated data from other sites using PHP and XML
Throughout the book, you'll build sophisticated examples -- including a mailing list, a job board, and an online dating site -- to help you learn how to harness the power of PHP and MySQL in a variety of contexts. If you're ready to build a truly dynamic website, Head First PHP & MySQL is the ideal way to get going.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

3-0 out of 5 stars PHP & MySQL for Amateurs
Unfortunately, I read "Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML" before I read this one.Perhaps I would not have been so disappointed if I'd read this one first.This presentation is more 'Artsy' than 'Technical'.If you're into buying the 'Artsy' type of books then you'll love this one.For me, well, you should throw away the first 200 pages.On page 200 is a nice tidbit I needed to learn, but the book really begins on page 210, where the first 'rules' are presented, and starts to develop in a 'better' fashion from that point.
When I buy a book on PHP & MySQL, I expect, want, NEED to learn how to use PHP to grab data from a web page and use MySQL to put it into a database and vice-versa.I don't care about how to send email using PHP, plus I don't care for the way the authors handle email.There are better ways, existing classes that handle it for you, and they're free.I also don't like books that show you a wrong way to do things - anything, and then have you correct it.It tends to implant 'bad' knowledge into my mind that I don't need.You should start with good, solid building blocks, as they did on page 210 and create a foundation.Then you build up from there.
I assume, after reading the authors' biographies, that they were probably more interested in completing a cute, artsy, publication that skirts through the subjects rather than a more technically proficient work like the authors of "Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML" did.I gave that one 10 stars out of 5!(Yes, I mean that it was twice as good as I could rate it!)It was the first book I've read cover to cover since high school - Class of '65 - other than a couple of Tom Clancy's novels.I should, in fairness, point out that I am a school trained structured ISAM COBOL programmer, now retired, and trying to learn HTML, CSS, PHP & MySQL on my own.I may be a little more critical of the technical material than most, because I expect computer books to present a logical, organized presentation of the necessary material.This one does not.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great For Beginners!
I have been using this book as a work book for learning PHP and MySQL... It is a great book!the format is a little different, but it really works! I would recommend this book to anyone who has a good handle on HTML and CSS and wants to expand their skillset to include server side scripting and database applications.This book is not really geared toward programmers, so I wouldn't recommend it to someone who already knows how to program.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Students
I'm a Web Design student, and I got this book for a database class I had to take a little while back. Unfortunately my instructors style of teaching didn't fit my style of learning (in other words I don't learn PHP from a 60 page powerpoint slideshow...). So a friend recommended me this book so that I can just teach it to myself. I gotta say I am very happy with it. For beginners I can't stress this enough how easy this book is and how well it explains everything. I mean the "humor" that the book tries to push is really corny, but once you get past that you can learn some pretty solid principles and easy exorcises that you can apply to a lot of web applications. It mixes PHP and SQL together teaching you the basics of what you need.

Now this book is not a standard textbook that covers every single component of PHP and SQL but more of learning through some basic exorcises. I personally don't like the soulless and dry text book style books that just present everything in the most boring way. This book tries to mix it up and be a little less serious which in my opinion makes it easier to take in. If you are looking to learn basic PHP/SQL applications then I would highly recommend this book. The more advanced programmer may not find it as helpful however.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad, really bad
While "Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML" is absolutely superb, this one is really, really bad.It attempts to mirror the HTML book's style and format but fails miserably.It's disorganized, liberally sprinkled with typos and errors, follows a haphazard presentation sequence, and its colorless pages have all the panache of a two-week old newspaper left out in the rain. Why would someone print on cheap off-white paper and use light gray type to boot? This book, with its pointless distractions placed randomly on every page, is actually hard on the eyes and even harder on the brain.

My advise is to look for something better. It shouldn't be all that difficult to find.

2-0 out of 5 stars Omits crucial details, poorly written
I bought this book for my wife, a print graphic designer trying to move into web design. She's found it confusing. When she asks me for clarification, it's clear that the authors never really tried out the book on a non-engineer.

1. The first example throws a mailto: link in a web page. My wife wasted an hour configuring her desktop email client (she normally uses gmail) before turning to the next page to see "haha, that's not actually related to anything we want to do".
2. The next example is sending email from a server. This would have been a great example ten years ago, when you could actually get mail out from a random machine without it being discarded as spam.
3. SQL statements are displayed without semi-colons. It's mentioned once, but this book is supposed to be for beginners.
4. The first example of SQL is vulnerable to SQL injection. Fine, it's the first example, but at least say it isn't suitable for production code.
5. Later on, they talk about SQL injection, but the solution they give is to remove unsafe characters, rather than the preferred method of parameterized queries.

These are a handful of specific problems I've seen. I'm sure there are more. In general, it's mostly written to the level of a beginner (which I wanted), but it has too many errors in the details for a beginner to actually follow along.

Also, the examples have the longest names I've ever seen. I don't see what the reader is going to gain by being forced to type "date_this_happened_on" repeatedly. ... Read more

5. Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional, Fourth Edition
by W. Jason Gilmore
Paperback: 824 Pages (2010-09-24)
list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$31.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1430231149
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional, Fourth Edition is a major update of W. Jason Gilmore’s authoritative book on PHP and MySQL. The fourth edition includes complete coverage of PHP 5.3 features, including namespacing, an update of AMP stack installation and configuration, updates to Zend Framework, coverage of MySQL Workbench, and much more.

You’ll not only receive extensive introductions to the core features of PHP, MySQL, and related tools, but you’ll also learn how to effectively integrate them in order to build robust data-driven applications. Gilmore has seven years of experience working with these technologies, and he has packed this book with practical examples and insight into the real-world challenges faced by developers. Accordingly, you will repeatedly return to this book as both a valuable instructional tool and reference guide.

What you’ll learn

  • How to install and configure Apache, PHP 5.3, and MySQL
  • PHP and object-oriented programming basics
  • New PHP 5.3 features and how to use them
  • How to move beyond basic PHP, including using the Zend Framework
  • How to use MySQL to securely store your website's data
  • How to use MySQL Workbench to manage your database

Who this book is for

Developers who want to harness PHP and MySQL to create powerful web applications

Table of Contents

  1. Introducing PHP
  2. Configuring Your Environment
  3. PHP Basics
  4. Functions
  5. Arrays
  6. Object-Oriented PHP
  7. Advanced OOP Features
  8. Error and Exception Handling
  9. Strings and Regular Expressions
  10. Working with the File and Operating System
  11. PEAR
  12. Date and Time
  13. Forms
  14. Authenticating Your Users
  15. Handling File Uploads
  16. Networking
  17. PHP and LDAP
  18. Session Handlers
  19. Templating with Smarty
  20. Web Services
  21. Secure PHP Programming
  22. SQLite
  23. Building Web Sites for the World
  24. MVC and the Zend Framework
  25. Introducing MySQL
  26. Installing and Configuring MySQL
  27. The Many MySQL Clients
  28. MySQL Storage Engines and Datatypes
  29. Securing MySQL
  30. Using PHP with MySQL
  31. Introducing PDO
  32. Stored Routines
  33. MySQL Triggers
  34. MySQL Views
  35. Practical Database Queries
  36. Indexes and Searching
  37. Transactions
  38. Importing and Exporting Data
... Read more

Customer Reviews (110)

4-0 out of 5 stars A useful reference and study text for progrmmers new to PHP
This book is almost overwhelmingly thorough, which made it, in my experience, an extremely useful resource in preparing for the Zend PHP certification exam, as well as for learning and daily use. While it's incomplete where the test is concerned-you won't find a listing for "Reflection" in the index, for example-it's a useful reference for most of the material on the exam.All of the built-in string and array functions are described clearly and concisely, with examples of use. PHP installation and configuration settings are laid out in the kind of painful detail expected by the exam. There's an introduction to object-oriented programming,overview of regular expressions and a whole series of chapters detailing some of the most useful features of PHP and reviewing some of the most common problems (web services, user authentication, and secure programming, to name a few). And that's before we reach the second half of the book, providing the same kind of detail for MySQL, including PHPs several interfaces to it.

One limitation, from the perspective of an absolute beginner, is the lack of large-scale examples. Gilmore doesn't walk you through the development of a web application; the book is more of a reference text, using smaller examples to illustrate small, specific topics, with the expectation that the reader can assemble those ideas into usable examples. This was probably necessary to enable the chapters to function as individual units, which is one of the book's major strengths.

Books of this size can be daunting to a reader. Gilmore's friendly, readable prose goes a long way toward making this one approachable, as does the modularity, allowing a reader to digest only the chapters needed at any given moment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is an excellent book for learning how PHP works and how you can use it.I used it for assistance with creating my first PHP script.All of the information was very clear and straight-forward, as well as being easy to follow.I highly recommend that anyone that is interested in using PHP and building PHP driven web sites purchase and read this book, because it will be very useful.This is a very well written book and is an excellent resource.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where to go when you want to know
I needed to learn PHP and MySQL quickly. It is hard to know which book and which author. So why did I pick this book? And why do I recommend it?

The structure outlined in the book's table of contents, a quick look at Jason's website (chock full of useful information) and the fact that this is an Apress book quickly cemented my confidence. I received the book earlier than expected.

I literally devoured the 1st 18 chapters in an afternoon following the installation of a MAMP environment. I believe that this is a testimony to the clarity of the writing, the structure, and the examples. I typed most of my own and only downloaded the source code from Jason's site later. I highly recommend registering on the [...] site.

I had registered for a PHP and MySQL course prior to purchasing the book but didn't start it until after chapter 20. This book helped me accelerate my website development and made the class super easy. I probably could have saved the course cost and just used the book.

I strongly recommend this book. Thus far I have found a consistent level of quality authors at Apress.

PS - I had no HTML or web development skills before picking up this book. I did have classical 'C' and PERL experience

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
This was one of the first PHP/MySQL books I purchased.Since then I have purchased 4 or 5 others and I have to say this is one of the best.I used this book along with the PHP Architect Zend study guide to pass the Zend PHP5 Engineer test.I've noticed a lot of technology books suffer from too little editing but I don't recall seeing any errors in this one...

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners
I was looking for book to learn PHP and I came to amazon for this.This wasn't the first book that came up but it was the one that looked like it would be easiest to learn from.This book worked great for teaching myself PHP and I would highly recommend buying it. ... Read more

6. PHP & MySQL For Dummies, 4th Edition
by Janet Valade
Paperback: 456 Pages (2009-12-09)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$9.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470527587
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Here's what Web designers need to know to create dynamic, database-driven Web sites

To be on the cutting edge, Web sites need to serve up HTML, CSS, and products specific to the needs of different customers using different browsers. An effective e-commerce site gathers information about users and provides information they need to get the desired result.

PHP scripting language with a MySQL back-end database offers an effective way to design sites that meet these requirements. This full updated 4th Edition of PHP & MySQL For Dummies gets you quickly up to speed, even if your experience is limited.

  • Explains the easy way to install and set up PHP and MySQL using XAMPP, so it works the same on Linux, Mac, and Windows
  • Shows you how to secure files on a Web host and how to write secure code
  • Packed with useful and understandable code examples for Web site creators who are not professional programmers
  • Fully updated to ensure your code will be compliant based on PHP 5.3 and MySQL 5.1.31
  • Provides clear, accurate code examples

PHP & MySQL For Dummies, 4th Edition provides what you need to know to create sites that get results.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

4-0 out of 5 stars Picky Don's review
I am very pleased with the condition of this book, it was better that I expected.When I first ordered it I was expecting a delivery date of 5 to 6 working days out, but was given much longer delivery time of about 3 weeks.If you needed a book sooner, this would not be the way to go.However; that being said, it arrived about a week earlier.Overall I am a happy with my choice to get a used book through this vendor.The condition was like off the book shelf at a store.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent tutorial, but not a good reference
This book is an excellent tutorial for someone who already knows how to program and wants to learn PHP and MySQL.It describes many of the callable functions available in the language, but it tells you to go to the PHO web site for a complete list of all the functions and features.The reason I bought a book is so that I can have the book open in front of me and not have to jump back and forth to the web site to look stuff up.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not really for Dummies
I was a dummy -at least about PHP and MySQL. I know HTML fairly well. I'm not a hacker but I am usually a power user on the apps I use. I just didn't know much about PHP and MySQL so I needed a good feel for the overall scheme of how these two fit together and what that meant for site design.

While this book has a good scope, it was just a step or two above the dummy level and that proved an obstacle for me. I found the OReilly Head First book on the same topic a much better introduction. The OReilly books do a lot of basic hand holding so I expected it would take longer but I found that in the same amount of reading and doing time I learned much more about the important skills and concepts and also have a very good understanding of the big picture regarding design.

I now use the Dummies book as a reference, so it is indeed useful, but I thought the Title "...For Dummies" a little misleading if this is your first foray into PHP and MySQL.

5-0 out of 5 stars Damn fine piece of work
If you skim the verbiage, scout the chapter titles, read the section headings and review the code, you will very quickly understand php and the interaction with mysql.

This book will not teach you html.Go read that book.

This book will not teach you sql.Go read that book.

This book gives you a sequential and an object method of programming against a database within HTML.

Each example builds to the following example, until you have the final piece of programming demonstrating the concept.

The index works.

The only addition the author could make is strip the book down into a php and mysql 10 minutes per chapter type of book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Terrible
I would recommend for beginners not to use this book. Even for me (a somewhat intermediate programmer), I had difficulty understanding what was being done and what it did. The example syntax is messy making it hard for readers to understand. There are better approaches for teaching PHP & Mysql. ... Read more

7. Wicked Cool PHP: Real-World Scripts That Solve Difficult Problems
by William Steinmetz, Brian Ward
Paperback: 224 Pages (2008-02-09)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$14.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593271735
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

PHP is an easy-to-use scripting language perfect for quickly creating the Web features you need. Once you know the basics of how the language works, wouldn't it be great to have a collection of useful scripts that solve those tricky problems and add interesting functionality to your site? We thought so, too.

Instead of starting at "Hello World," Wicked Cool PHP assumes that you're familiar with the language and jumps right into the good stuff. After you learn the FAQs of life-the most commonly wished for PHP scripts-you'll work your way through smart configuration options and the art of forms, all the way through to complex database-backed scripts.

Wicked Cool PHP contains a wide variety of scripts to process credit cards, check the validity of email addresses, template HTML, and serve dynamic images and text. The 76 easily implemented scripts will also teach you how to:

Send and receive email notifications Track your visitors' behavior with cookies and sessions Override PHP's default settings Manipulate dates, images, and text on the fly Harness SOAP and other web services Create an online poll, ecard delivery system, and blog

But it's not all fun and games: Security is a big concern when programming any web application. So you'll learn how to encrypt your confidential data, safeguard your passwords, and prevent common cross-site-scripting attacks. And you'll learn how to customize all of the scripts to fit your own needs.

Dynamic Web content doesn't have to be difficult. Learn the secrets of the craft from two experienced PHP developers with Wicked Cool PHP.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

1-0 out of 5 stars None of the scripts worked for me
I like the idea of this book but none of the scripts worked for me without modification. I had to adjust every one, which was a challenge since I was trying to use this book to learn in the first place.

4-0 out of 5 stars This Goes With Me Everywhere
Great tips and easily-forgotten tricks.Easy to read and *very* easy-to-understand samples.

That said, I do have 6+ years PHP under my belt, as a beginner I may have gotten hung up on some of the summarized bits.As a pocket "oh my, how did I forget how to do that" reference, this is one stellar little book.It doesn't cover *everything* you'd ever need, but sure does help with some common problems.I might even need to buy another copy for my coworker (who keeps stealing it from me, thank you!!)

Overall, I'm happy to have it in my reference collection.

1-0 out of 5 stars Save your money
This is probably the first time reviews on amazon completely failed me. if you have any coding experience at all, php or otherwise, move on. if you want proper syntax/style, move on. if you have access to [...] or even google, do so as well. there is nothing in this book that you will not get for free on any random coding related site, except it being free, updated and better. now, if you dont mind paying for crappy content you may get something out of it if you havent moved passed the "hello world" tutorial.

3-0 out of 5 stars good start..
This book is a good start to learning some cool php scripts, but I found myself spending lots of time on google and other sites to actually get any of it to work. A few apis are used that are outdated, like yahoo and google maps. Additionally, the book has quite a few spelling errors and at times can be hard to follow (ie. what function goes in what file, when did the author break code into multiple files, etc. If you don't mind looking around online, this book gives you some neat ideas for cool php scripts.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good reference book
This is an excellent reference book with lots of good chunks of PHP code to incorporate quickly and easily into new or existing code.I'd recommend it as a good reference book with coe you can immediately deploy.Haven't had a chance to look through entire book but realize that it is going to be something I reference repeatedly. ... Read more

8. PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy
by David Powers
Paperback: 488 Pages (2006-11-20)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$21.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590597311
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this book you'll learn how to:

  • Create dynamic websites with design and usability in mind, as well as functionality
  • Understand how PHP scripts work, giving you confidence to adapt them to your own needs
  • Bring online forms to life, check required fields, and ensure user input is safe to process
  • Upload files and automatically create thumbnails from larger images
  • Manage website content with a searchable database
You want to make your websites more dynamic by adding a feedback form, creating a private area where members can upload images that are automatically resized, or perhaps storing all your content in a database. The problem is, you're not a programmer and the thought of writing code sends a chill up your spine. Or maybe you've dabbled a bit in PHP and MySQL, but you can't get past baby steps. If this describes you, then you've just found the right book. PHP and the MySQL database are deservedly the most popular combination for creating dynamic websites. They're free, easy to use, and provided by many web hosting companies in their standard packages. Unfortunately, most PHP books either expect you to be an expert already or force you to go through endless exercises of little practical value. In contrast, this book gives you real value right away through a series of practical examples that you can incorporate directly into your sites, optimizing performance and adding functionality such as file uploading, email feedback forms, image galleries, content management systems, and much more. Each solution is created with not only functionality in mind, but also visual design.But this book doesn't just provide a collection of ready-made scripts: each PHP Solution builds on what's gone before, teaching you the basics of PHP and database design quickly and painlessly. By the end of the book, you'll have the confidence to start writing your own scripts or—if you prefer to leave that task to othersto adapt existing scripts to your own requirements.Right from the start, you're shown how easy it is to protect your sites by adopting secure coding practices. The book has been written with an eye on forward and backward compatibilityrecommending the latest PHP 5 techniques, but providing alternative solutions for servers still running PHP 4.3. All database examples demonstrate how to use the original MySQL extension, MySQL Improved, or the PHP Data Objects (PDO) introduced in PHP 5.1, letting you choose the most suitable option for your setup. Summary of Contents:
  • Chapter 1: What Is PHPAnd Why Should I Care?
  • Chapter 2: Getting Ready to Work with PHP
  • Chapter 3: How to Write PHP Scripts
  • Chapter 4: Lightening Your Workload with Includes
  • Chapter 5: Bringing Forms to Life
  • Chapter 6: Uploading Files
  • Chapter 7: Using PHP to Manage Files
  • Chapter 8: Generating Thumbnail Images
  • Chapter 9: Pages That Remember: Simple Login and Multipage Forms
  • Chapter 10: Setting Up MySQL and phpMyAdmin
  • Chapter 11: Getting Started with a Database
  • Chapter 12: Creating a Dynamic Online Gallery
  • Chapter 13: Managing Content
  • Chapter 14: Solutions to Common PHP/MySQL Problems
  • Chapter 15: Keeping Intruders at Bay
... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

1-0 out of 5 stars A little old, others are better with better techniques
I have read two books from different publishers and authors on this subject. The other is called Build Your own Database Driven Web Site Using PHP & MySQL from Sitepoint, i recommend that book. I believe sitepoint is one of the better publishers for beginners and their newer books are very well written. Compared to PHPSolutions I believe that this book shows much better methods of organization and gives the reader a better understanding of the subjects. His writing is very elegant and would be very good for a beginner but yet after reading another book on php and mysql i am still learning valuable techniques and strategies from this book.

This book focuses a little more on styling a functioning website, the author brings up points that will work for the site he is creating, but will probably not work in sites you create and you will need to change a lot of the code. The Sitepoint version of this book offers greater understanding of the topic and less focus on making a site then creating a working database and site that retrieves it. One thing i do like about Phpsolutions is how it included PDO instead of just the mysqli connection method. Although allot of the book was devoted to describe each connection method.

I hope this review will make you consider looking at the sitepoint website, and another great thing about sitepoint is they offer large previews of their books so you can see what you are getting into.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre book at best...
Don't purchase this book expecting to actually learn php. The book is written mostly as a "follow my example to get this done" rather then actually teaching php syntax and the php namespace, which is alright but not very pedagogical at all. I guess you can use it as one would use an O'reilly cook book, as reference guide with examples on how to do a web form, gallery, etc. It would have been much better if the author didn't go all out with the progressive enhancement on steroids routine so early on, it's just not conducive to teaching someone how php or any coding language works and gets in the way initially. He could have saved it for a later chapter where he introduces the principals of progressive enhancement and then applies it to the past tutorials. This book is good if you are a lazy designer who just wants someone to show them how to write a simple gallery or a php webform but you won't be writing your own php scripts just from reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars this book is Amazing!!
I have read David Powers book on DreamWeaver CS4 and was blown away by how great it was so I ordered PHP solutions. I find it hard to put this book down it is chock full of knowledge and I love knowledge. Some people may say "why don't you just read the php documentation?" The truth is that the PHP documentation is boring as all get out and could get you into some very bad programming habits. Davids book makes programming exciting and helps you avoid bad programming habits. I find this book very exciting, but then again I love programming. I took the book to my flash programming college class and one of my classmates plans to buy it because they were so impressed by the few pages they read and how much I loved it. I could rave on how great this book is for ten more paragraphs but I'm going to stop.


5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Book!!!!
I've purchased many books on PHP and MySQL, but this one is my absolute favorite!I like the style in which the author writes.It's like a person is teaching you rather than following steps or a very technical 1-2-3 pattern as many of the other books do.This one is fun to read and I'm actually learning the language, setting up a database (real examples that are fun and not boring) and it's one of those books that I reach for over all the rest because I'm not intimidated or bored with it.I have soooooo many books on languages including PHP, but I'm so happy to have found one here that really keeps me eager in the reading.I actually feel like the author is walking me through much like a one on one approach in a classroom with a good teacher.....a fun and personable teacher that makes the learning exciting.I think that's how I'll sum up this review - the author is very personable and down to earth in his writing.It doesn't feel like he's going over your head in any part of the book.He's got a comical and yet very informative approach that I credit for getting me through the learning process of PHP and MySQL whereas the other books have been left collecting dust....this one is helping me push forward in my skills.I highly recommend it!!!!I hope he writes more books.To find an author like this to write and teach a subject like this - I'm impressed, and I hope he puts more books out there in other areas too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally good!
This book is exactly what I needed. If you're new to php or web-programming then this book is definitely worth a look. It has everything you need to know to begin programming in php without the programming jargon and unnecessary details. ... Read more

9. PHP Object-Oriented Solutions
by David Powers
Paperback: 392 Pages (2008-08-21)
list price: US$36.99 -- used & new: US$21.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1430210117
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With the surge of popularity of PHP 5, and with PHP 6 just around the corner, Object-Oriented Programming is now an important consideration for PHP developers. This version-neutral book is a gentle introduction to Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) that wont overburden you with complex theory. It teaches you the essential basics of OOP that youll need to know before moving onto a more advanced level, and includes a series of pre-packaged scripts that you can incorporate into your existing sites with the minimum of effort. It shows how OOP can be used to create reusable and portable code by walking you through a series of simple projects. The projects feature the sorts of things developers run up against every day, and include a validator for filtering user input, a simple Date class that avoids the need to remember all the esoteric format codes in PHP, and an XML generator.

  • Teaches the fundamentals of OOP
  • Simple projects show how OOP concepts work in the real world
  • Pre-packaged scripts can easily be added to your own projects

What youll learn

  • PHP features, such as the Standard PHP Library (SPL), that are poorly documented or ignored by existing books
  • How to develop classes of their own
  • OOP in easy-to-understand language without getting bogged down in dense theory
  • Solid foundations for developers wishing to delve more deeply into OOP
  • How to leverage the strengths of OOP as a means for creating reusable code that can be used successfully within a procedural context
  • How to code for both PHP 5 and 6

Who is this book for?

This book is aimed at intermediate-level PHP developers who want to take their skills to the next level by exploring object-oriented programming as a way of creating reusable code for a everyday website tasks. A typical reader would be someone who has read one of the authors previous title, such as PHP Solutions, or one of the PHP books for Dreamweaverand feels ready to tackle something a little more challenging. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars So far so good
I got my feet wet with David Powers' PHP Solutions and wanted to kick it up a notch. I'm taking it really slow with this one - and so far so good. I'm in the first couple of chapters - real in depth explanation of where and why things are this done this way. You need solid understanding of programming basic structure as well as creating simple functions.

As promised - David Powers explains everything very well, organized the lessons just as good.

4-0 out of 5 stars Super! It got me where I wanted really fast...
This is a great book that explains the Objected Oriented PHP very well. I have encountered PHP OO on many occasions but never fully understood why things were done the way they were until I got this book. I worked through most examples and it got me really excited about Objected Oriented PHP. I am yet to complete the book (2 chapters away from completing it) but so far i am impressed with what it offers.

Despite it's greatness I encountered a few errors with the code, but that wasn't a big deal because the author had explained his stuff so well and demonstrated the expected end results.

Anyone new to PHP OO must start with this book! I give it 4/5.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well written, strange technology combinations used
I like this book. It is written well and at a good beginner/intermediate PHP OOP level. It introduces the topic of OOP to PHP programmers well, but then it introduces particular (not mainstream) templating and hybrid frameworks that a beginner might find strange and unsettling. I would recommend the first half of the book to anybody.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not recommended for the procedural expert, OOP neophyte
Contrary to what the author states in the introduction and 1st chapter, this book is not for someone who wants to understand the object oriented programming paradigm.While overall, the book does belong in any PHP OOP collection, I hesitate to recommend it as an introduction to OOP book.As the title states, it focuses more on OOP solutions than concept.For the basics and hand holding, another book may be best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book to learn PHP OOP and practice OOP
Alright, since amazon kept on complaining about review (slow reader).

I've read 7 out of 9 chapters. Chapter 8 and 9 are in the back burner for now, not because it's boring, but I think it's more optional or things to learn later. My background is C/C++/VHDL/MIPS/ and whatever else I forgot to mention.

Codes in the book works!
Almost all of it. There's a small typo on page 159, the code assign a value to an array without specifying the index, so I believe that rewrite the array. Checking it with the source code, which you can download from the website, the author actually have something different. Anyway, took 3 hours to debug 300 lines or so, learned to debug better yay. There are so much codes in the book, that it gives you chances to practice the OOP that the author is trying to teach you, and it's very applicable to real world coding.

Tone and pace:
The tone and the pace the author goes throughout the book is straight forward. Whenever he skipped something he would state that you should have learned it or go research it (the regular expression functions), which is understandable because this isn't a "let's teach you php as if you know nothing about it."

You learned to extend/inherit the php's offical date class. Learn how to extend the exception library, neat. You basically learn how to extend and customize php built in libraries or create a class to wrap php functions, facade pattern, and make it tailor to you, so that you can reuse it in your next project, and make your life easy. OOP, ahh such a beautiful concept.

The last three or so chapters are more advance, XML, SPL (standard php library), RSS, and such. What really sweet is the later chapter reuses the classes that you've code in previous chapters. So it shows the strength of OOP (reusability) and such.

On page 195, it's out dated the function does return a message so the if else statement isn't needed but meh.

On page 239 regarding XML namespace, since php 5.3 came out is there another way to do it? Shrug, it doesn't matter that much the way the author does it in the book currently isn't that bad. I wish the author spent his time talking more about the concept of namespace. I ended up googling that.

Oh, the clone subject is mention but isn't use in real world coding. That's a complaint I guess. I wish there was a least a 300 lines code project with the clone keyword in it. I believe it was only mention once about dvd and whatnot code. Oh well. Maybe it's in the last 2 chapters?

Oh debugging is always fun. On the date class when I had to reuse my date class for the XML chapter, the date output had the day and the month together without a space in between it. Ugh... had to debug that 400+ lines -_-. Learned to start debugging all output functions first haha.

Coding Standard and Documentation:
What's also nice is there's a coding standard, the Zend Framework coding standard, so if you don't have a coding style yet, at least you got one now. The phpDocument is pretty sweet, teaches you to document your code so other people can read it. Anyway, the installation of phpDocument isn't exactly there, so google it.

This is THE book where I've learned OOP for PHP. It's a great book and I enjoyed it a lot. No book is perfect but this book set out to teach you something, and it does that well enough to get almost ALL of the points across to ya. I recommend this book to any one that knows PHP but knows nothing about OOP. If you want to make your life easy, have maintainable codes, and reusable codes, this book will teach you it.

Update July 19, 2010:
Chapter 8
Basically teaches you how to emulate multiple inheritance with interfaces.
You end up extending a class and at the same time implementing two interfaces (countable & iterator).

-The closing xml tag code explanation could have been better if the author refer to it being similar to a "stack". The most current XML element tag you created is the first thing that you close.

-The last test code to test out your class work or not will always output, "A problem occurred." Because the flush() function returns nothing! It's not in the errata page. A little tweak and you can have it return a bool flag if you wanted to. This isn't reported in the errata page and you can see it's an error because the official source code will do the same thing.

-Even though the author had you implementing the countable interface you don't use it at all. You can however test it out yourself. Just apply the class instance to the function .count(). So it's not that big of a deal.

Anyway, I actually found the errata page. I have to say then most of the code works if it didn't then it's either syntax or the elusive logic error. ... Read more

10. PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice, Third Edition (Expert's Voice in Open Source)
by Matt Zandstra
Paperback: 450 Pages (2010-06-07)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 143022925X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

This book takes you beyond the PHP basics to the enterprise development practices used by professional programmers. Updated for PHP 5.3 with new sections on closures, namespaces, and continuous integration, this edition will teach you about object features such as abstract classes, reflection, interfaces, and error handling. You’ll also discover object tools to help you learn more about your classes, objects, and methods.

Then you’ll move into design patterns and the principles that make patterns powerful. You’ll learn both classic design patterns and enterprise and database patterns with easy-to-follow examples.

Finally, you’ll discover how to put it all into practice to help turn great code into successful projects. You’ll learn how to manage multiple developers with Subversion, and how to build and install using Phing and PEAR. You’ll also learn strategies for automated testing and building, including continuous integration.

Taken together, these three elements—object fundamentals, design principles, and best practices—will help you develop elegant and rock-solid systems.

What you’ll learn

  • Learn to work with object fundamentals: writing classes and methods, instantiating objects, and creating powerful class hierarchies using inheritance.
  • Master advanced object-oriented features, including static methods and properties.
  • Learn how to manage error conditions with exceptions, and create abstract classes and interfaces.
  • Understand and use design principles to deploy objects and classes effectively in your projects.
  • Learn about design patterns, their purpose and structure, and the underlying principles that govern them.
  • Discover a set of powerful patterns that you can deploy in your own projects.
  • Learn about the tools and practices that can guarantee a successful project including unit testing; version control; build, installation, and package management; and continuous integration.

Who this book is for

This book is suitable for anyone with at least a basic knowledge of PHP who wants to use its object-oriented features in their projects.

Those who already know their interfaces from their abstracts may well still find it hard to use these features in their projects. These users will benefit from the book’s emphasis on design. They will learn how to choose and combine the participants of a system, how to read design patterns, and how to use them in their code.

Finally, this book is for PHP coders who want to learn about the practices and tools (version control, testing, continuous integration, etc.) that can make projects safe, elegant, and stable.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Too little attention was payed to the presentation of the book
While Matt Zandstra does a fairly good job of introducing, explaining, and showcasing a good number of useful design patterns for use with PHP 5, PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice just doesn't read very well. My main gripe isn't with the content, but rather with the visual presentation of it. Typographically, the book is not very well designed; the body text is typeset in paragraphs with way too many characters on a single line, and not nearly enough space between the lines. This makes the book tiresome to read for more than a few pages at a time.

I bought this book partly because of I was already familiar with another book in this Apress series, namely The Definitive Guide to SQLite, which is not only very well written, but also pleasant to read. I was surprised to learn that two books from the same series could differ so much in terms of visual quality.

A revised edition would benefit from having a professional editor or typographer redoing the layout.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dense, intelligent, bad examples
This book is well written and the concepts are well explained. The examples are not well introduced and explained, however, so that it is difficult to follow as well as generalize the example to a broader concept. This is a problem that I've found with pattern books before however. This is not a beginner book by any means and extensive OOP PHP experience is required. ... Read more

11. Beginning PHP 5.3 (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)
by Matt Doyle
Paperback: 840 Pages (2009-10-26)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$22.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470413964
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Serving as a complete introduction to PHP 5.3, this book walks you through all the major concepts of PHP in a way that’s easy to follow, with plenty of code snippets illustrating each concept to aid learning. You’ll discover how to install and configure PHP 5.3, how to get started with simple programs, and the basic building blocks of PHP such as variables, operators, expressions, arrays, and objects. Coverage working with files, XML, and MySQL; building Web applications with PHP; exploring the PEAR library; handling e-mail; and creating Web graphics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow - Great Book!
If you want to learn PHP, this is the book to get. It's easy to read, and also a great reference. This is one of the best programming books I've ever purchased.

5-0 out of 5 stars How I wish I had this book back when I began learning PHP!
How I wish there was a Matt Doyle's textbook back when I began learning PHP.Well, I guess, better late than never!

Having worked in technical education for many years, and more recently as a front-end web developer, I know how crucial it is for educators and web designers to have a good grasp of the workings of PHP.PHP is the most widely used programing language, developed from the ground up, to address the needs of the web browsing consumer.

Back in November 2009 while looking at new arrivals in the technology section at a local bookstore, I came across what I consider now, the ideal book on the subject of PHP. Beginning PHP 5.3 by Matt Doyle "speaks" directly to my urgent need to understand what PHP is all about. This textbook "magically" (to borrow a term used recently by Steve Jobs) has clarified my understanding of many concepts in PHP that for years I felt pretty fussy about!

In 800 pages, it does the best job I know on the PHP language basics, including an extensive treatment of PHP's advances in object-oriented programing.Even better, I now also have a chance with this book to be very much up to date on the newest features of PHP programming brought on by version 5.3.Advances like object overloading, abstract classes, interfaces, namespaces and XML parsers are treated by Matt Doyle in his characteristic down-to-earth style.What's more, he never forgets to illustrate further the various subjects treated in the book, with the most appropriate and simplest code examples available.

For schools with courses on programming, Beginning PHP 5.3 is, without a doubt, an excellent textbook. It even includes exercises at the end of every chapter, with the solutions at the end of the book.

As for me, I'm planning to donate my whole PHP book collection and just keep my copy of Beginning PHP 5.3 (together with its eBook version) for my own learning pleasure and ready reference. ... Read more

12. Programming PHP
by Rasmus Lerdorf, Kevin Tatroe, Peter MacIntyre
Paperback: 544 Pages (2006-04-28)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$21.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596006810
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Programming PHP, 2nd Edition, is the authoritative guide to PHP 5 and is filled with the unique knowledge of the creator of PHP (Rasmus Lerdorf) and other PHP experts. When it comes to creating websites, the PHP scripting language is truly a red-hot property. In fact, PHP is currently used on more than 19 million websites, surpassing Microsoft's ASP .NET technology in popularity. Programmers love its flexibility and speed; designers love its accessibility and convenience.

As the industry standard book on PHP, all of the essentials are covered in a clear and concise manner. Language syntax and programming techniques are coupled with numerous examples that illustrate both correct usage and common idioms. With style tips and practical programming advice, this book will help you become not just a PHP programmer, but a good PHP programmer. Programming PHP, Second Edition covers everything you need to know to create effective web applications with PHP. Contents include:

  • Detailed information on the basics of the PHP language, including data types, variables, operators, and flow control statements
  • Chapters outlining the basics of functions, strings, arrays, and objects
  • Coverage of common PHP web application techniques, such as form processing and validation, session tracking, and cookies
  • Material on interacting with relational databases, such as MySQL and Oracle, using the database-independent PEAR DB library and the new PDO Library
  • Chapters that show you how to generate dynamic images, create PDF files, and parse XML files with PHP
  • Advanced topics, such as creating secure scripts, error handling, performance tuning, and writing your own C language extensions to PHP
  • A handy quick reference to all the core functions in PHP and all the standard extensions that ship with PHP

Praise for the first edition:

"If you are just getting into the dynamic Web development world or you are considering migrating from another dynamic web product to PHP, Programming PHP is the book of choice to get you up, running, and productive in a short time."

--Peter MacIntrye, eWeek

"I think this is a great book for programmers who want to start developing dynamic websites with PHP. It gives a detailed overview of PHP, lots of valuable tips, and a good sense of PHP's strengths."

--David Dooling, Slashdot.org

Amazon.com Review
PHP is far more than a cult language or open-source icon. It's a remarkably capable language that's well integrated with lots of technologies--notably mSQL and MySQL database servers--and quite easy to learn. Programming PHP helps you up the PHP learning curve, very nearly guaranteeing that you'll find in its pages an example that illustrates every fundamental aspect of the language and its most important extension modules. Plus, there's some cool advanced stuff, like recipes for manipulating images, working with Extensible Markup Language (XML) content, and generating Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files. Rasmus Lerdorf invented PHP and quarterbacks its ongoing evolution, so there's little question of the content's authority.

The authors use a Talmudic style to explore PHP's capabilities and explain them to their readers, meaning that they like to present code and commentary in close formation, with each enhancing the other. Typically, they'll present a capability generically and show the relevant code. Then they'll dig into variations on the theme, calling attention to required code alterations as they go. This is a book about PHP itself, so practically no attention is paid to PHP Builder or other development tools. Regardless, this book will help you solve programming challenges with PHP, and enable you to write efficient, attractive code. --David Wall

Topics covered: The PHP programming language, for people who are coming to PHP with a bit of programming experience in other languages or who want to expand their existing PHP knowledge beyond the basics. Sections deal with the core language, as well as HTTP session management, database connectivity (to MySQL and Oracle, as well as with PHP Extension and Application Repository--PEAR), graphics file manipulation, XML parsing, and PDF creation. There are instructions for building a PHP extension library in C, as well as a function reference and guide to existing extensions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (62)

2-0 out of 5 stars Short lived Expectations
If you are like me you will be influenced to purchase this book mainly on the reputation of the publisher - O'Reilly.The rest of the decision making could be the customers' reviews and maybe based on the amazon's "Look Inside" feature.

So before purchasing the book I did a quick scanning of the index and TOC I left with the impression that this book will be kind of the books of "in a nutshell " category. But after receiving the book I tried to use it as I planned to - as a blog style feature exposer, if you wish authors' rants on the matter. In other words I expected all major features to be concisely described and put to practice by authors' grasp of the subject. I guess that was also authors' intention, but the delivery of it by my opinion didn't hold it.

They did some useful categorization of the core functions, but a lot of space is wasted by merely repeating facts, which can be found on the Internet, and which is also suggested by the authors. That disclaimer by the authors alone made the life of the book to be shortened dramatically. The rest of the book, before the reference guide (Appendix A) could be found in better explanations from other books, which even don't have this ambitious subject matter and still can deliver better job (cf. book by David Powers, Luke Welling, etc.).

In the final analysis this book was a disappointment for me, even though published by O'Reilly. And because of it short life the fate of the book will be early retirement to the recycling factory.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Book
This book does exactly what I believe it is intended to do; Teach a new PHP programmer the basic syntax of the language and give insight into PHP's more language specific features. Having used PHP before there were a two main things I was looking for in this book.

The first of these was Readability. There are two very different ways to read this book. The first is to just go through it as if it were a novel. For someone who is completely new to the language, this would be the ideal method as it steps through the different parts of the language, gradually increasing in difficulty and complexity as you go. However, my main problem with this is found in the later chapters, where the topics turn from the language itself to very specific tasks and libraries. Of course it's nice to know that PHP has the capability to write PDF files, but I don't think that should be a part of this book. It isn't standard by any means and for someone like myself, if I wasn't already experienced in PHP I would still feel like it could be space better used in this otherwise great book.

The other way to go through the book is to simply search what you are looking for. I read this book mainly to refresh myself on some of the concepts and syntax of the language, and was able to do just that in a timely fashion. If there is something you're specifically looking for, it can be found relatively quickly. Sometimes the progression of topics within a chapter can seem a little out of order, but the chapters are short and concise enough to where this isn't really a problem.

The second important factor was the actual content of the book. As far as reading the descriptions of what the code does and how it all works, I thought it was well written and would be sufficient who has had experience in another language. Based on a few of the other reviews I looked at of this book, I will have to agree that some of the code does not perhaps use the best standards. However, that's not the purpose of this book. Sometimes the most complex and efficient solution is not the best for teaching and explaining. I'd much rather see some basic code structure repeated five times in a block than have to decipher some complex for loop to achieve a menial task.

Aside from the style of the code though, my only real concern is with the code relating to the specific extensions, which I really don't feel belong. Other than this though, each section of code is clearly explained by the text preceding and is written in a manner clear enough for a novice in the field and language to understand.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too Much PHP4 to be useful these days
The "Object Oriented" portion of the book is a terrible reference for PHP5 programming, as it uses examples based on PHP4, which won't work in PHP5. "Learning PHP5" might be a better book for people seeking an up-to-date reference for occasional PHP programmers or learners.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written Book
I really liked the way this book was written. This book is written with so many examples that it really got my fundamentals clear. I would recommend this book to a person who is looking for a book to start learning PHP.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for reference
As someone with a fair amount of programming experience already, I did not find this book too hard to read. It does, however, require some knowledge about programming in general. Those of you with experience in C languages will find that it doesn't waste any time explaining what a function is, but people who are new to programming might want to start with something a bit simpler. The most useful part of the book for me is the list of all the built-in functions. ... Read more

13. PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition
by Larry Ullman
Paperback: 480 Pages (2008-12-22)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321442490
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide, readers can start from the beginning to get a tour of the programming language, or look up specific tasks to learn just what they need to know. This task-based visual reference guide uses step-by-step instructions and plenty of screenshots to teach beginning and intermediate users this popular open-source scripting language. Leading technology author Larry Ullman guides readers through the new features in PHP 6, focusing primarily on improved support for handling any language in a Web site. Other addressed changes include removal of outdated and insecure features, plus new functions and more efficient ways to tackle common needs. Both beginning users, who want a thorough introduction to the technology, and more intermediate users, who are looking for a convenient reference, will find what they need here--in straightforward language and thorough readily accessible examples. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
Still working through it but it has given me a great understanding of PHP. Great starter book ;)

5-0 out of 5 stars great book to begin php
Coming from a OOP language perspective, I was trying to get up to speed with PHP programming while learning Drupal module development and theming. I wanted something to familiarize myself with PHP and this book was it. Excellent explanation, very detail-oriented, and the examples are clear and concise.

The only complaint I have is on the cookies chapter where the code pieces are a bit broken up and you're not really sure how much more code you need to complete those examples. But other that, I'm very happy with it and would recommend it to anyone looking to dwell into PHP.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for "regular folks" who want to learn programming
I reviewed this book as a text possibility for my Basic Web Programming course at The Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. My students are people off the street - not CS students - who have day jobs in areas like heating and cooling, local government, sole proprietor businesses, graphic art, etc (all across the board.) If I were to teach this course like a CS course, these folks would never come back.

So, I needed a textbook that explains absolutely EVERYTHING, repeatedly. And I needed a textbook that would refer new skills back to previous material. My students aren't going to "get" the full meaning of any principle in one explanation. This book explains the little pieces and nuances that were a total mystery to me, when I was a CS student. Of course, as a CS student you are supposed to be very smart and just naturally understand everything without explanation or review, but that won't work in Adult Education.

Some Features that Make the Book User-friendly
- I like the fact that the code is shown in entirety and then also in pieces. This is a design feature that makes the book usable in my classroom situation.
- The explanation of principles is placed in Tips and boxes. In the design principle of "proximity," that means that the tips are right there, next to the relevant material. However, by pulling them out, they are easy to find, if the reader isn't going through the exercise. Neither does the extra instruction stop the flow of following the material.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not the best... Could be better...
Being a little new to programming, I thought this book was for me. However, I was dissapointed. I have a good working knowledge of HTML... I had to refer to various other sources to learn...
Definitely not for beginners... Also the layout of text is just too complicated.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very useful book!
I borrowed this one from the library, and ended up purchasing a copy. This volume is even more useful and readable to me than the PHP for Dummies book! ... Read more

14. PHP Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for PHP Programmers
by Adam Trachtenberg, David Sklar
Paperback: 816 Pages (2006-08-01)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$25.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596101015
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

When it comes to creating dynamic web sites, the open source PHP language is red-hot property: used on more than 20 million web sites today, PHP is now more popular than Microsoft's ASP.NET technology. With our Cookbook's unique format, you can learn how to build dynamic web applications that work on any web browser. This revised new edition makes it easy to find specific solutions for programming challenges.

PHP Cookbook has a wealth of solutions for problems that you'll face regularly. With topics that range from beginner questions to advanced web programming techniques, this guide contains practical examples -- or "recipes" -- for anyone who uses this scripting language to generate dynamic web content. Updated for PHP 5, this book provides solutions that explain how to use the new language features in detail, including the vastly improved object-oriented capabilities and the new PDO data access extension. New sections on classes and objects are included, along with new material on processing XML, building web services with PHP, and working with SOAP/REST architectures. With each recipe, the authors include a discussion that explains the logic and concepts underlying the solution.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Reference
I'm not a web guru; but got stuck with converting a Javascript, Java Server Pages, Oracle website I designed years ago to PHP, et al.So I armed myself with the PHP Cookbook, PHP and MySQL Web Development and Mastering phpMyAdmin3.1 and gingerly stepped into battle.When I received the books in the mail and began reading, the PHP Cookbook damaged by brain, so it was placed on the self to collect dust and I dug into PHP and MySQL Web Development to begin experimenting.It didn't take too long to decide to use the Object Oriented PHP paradigm for implementation.Once that decision was made and I had programmed a few pieces of the puzzle, I dusted off the PHP Cookbook and took another look at it.I found the Cookbook to be a truly amazing piece of work.These authors know what the reader is looking for, know how to organize the material, and leave few bases uncovered.Take, for example the 'Receipe' 9.7 "Validating Form Input: Checkboxes".In the section on "Discussion" the authors state "For PHP to handle multiple checkbox values properly, the checkboxes' name attribute must end with [ ],.....Those multiple values are formatted in $_POST as an array.Since the checkbox name in ......is food[ ], $_POST[ 'food' ] holds the array of values from the checked boxes."End of story.This is exactly what the programmer needs to know to process the checkbox form input.I am finding this book to be an excellent reference.The reader, of course, needs some experience before tearing into this book; but it could be bought at any point during the implementation process and set aside as a valued reference.Web development gurus (you know who you are) may find this book lacking; but being on the short side of being a guru, I give the book 4 1/2 stars.I downgrade it 1/2 star since it didn't come with a companion CD, which I always like to have to facilitate quick searches of the material.

5-0 out of 5 stars A helpful book
This review is for the second edition.

In all, this is a good book. The book is organized by "problems". For example, one problem is "You want to return more than one value from a function." The book provides a solution, followed by a lengthier discussion of why this is a good solution, and in what circumstances it might not be.

The problems run from relatively simple to somewhat complex and cover a wide variety of things. I think it would be rare to have a problem that couldn't be found in here, so it's definitely a helpful reference.

One flaw with the book is that a number of the problems are probably best solved by making use of a PHP framework (e.g. Zend Framework). For example, it's probably better to use a framework that provides various form validation functions, rather than rewriting and coding all the different validations you need from this book. But, maybe in some cases it will help you get by if the particular thing you want to do isn't covered by your current framework.

The book isn't perfect, but ultimately deserves a place on your bookshelf if, like most of us, you often find yourself wondering "What's the best way to do this?"

3-0 out of 5 stars Hit AND Miss

I've owned this book for about 2 years, my PhP coding experience being intermediate both before AND after reading it.It is by no means a lesson book, as implied by another person's review, but instead follows the term "cookbook" very well.A quick explanation of my review's title: "Hit AND Miss".It's mostly "hit" but there are a few aspects that left me feeling as though I was lacking in level of knowledge, something also expressed in another person's review, concerning the book's contents.

For one, for up to intermediate small issues it definitely hits the mark.The code snippets are (mostly) well-commented or explained in the surrounding paragraphs, as well as (from what I can tell) easy on server load.Some are (of course) more processor-intense than others, but that's the nature of any programming/scripting language: some stuff's simple and quick and other stuff is just downright tedious to type-out and (possibly) can become a thorn in the Server's side (forgive my pun).

The book's Problem-into-Solution format is very easy to follow, almost identical to a Q&A format.The table of contents in the book alone is far more extensive than I would ever expect from a book of this size, and it is definitely a wealth of knowledge, technique and guidelines up to a certain point.

If I had to pick one thing to complain about it would have to be some of the solutions themselves.My other complaints are nothing compared to this one.The following is based on my own personal preference and server settings/extensions, so if you have PEAR and like using it (most people do, it seems), then disregard the following.

A bunch of solutions are explained using PEAR.It's been so long since I've read up on PEAR that I've no clue of what it stands for or even if you have to install it a certain way.Be that as it may, I choose not to use frameworks of any kind most of the time.PEAR is at the top of my "do not use" list.I've seen what it can do, and I think it's great, but I want to get my hands dirty, and PEAR can really take that away.Back to it: the PEAR-based solutions more often than not come with no alternative solution.There is one I remember concerning pagination where it gives the pure-PEAR way and an alternative.However the alternative involves other PEAR extensions.The alternative is an alternative to only PEAR's "DB_Pager" class, and not a full alternative.One would need to know what the PEAR was doing (have PEAR) and alter the code to keep it PEAR-free if one were in my shoes.I've since been able to adapt it, it wasn't hard.But there are beginners out there who have poor skills at transposing (correct word?) code from classes or frameworks into something completely customized.When I started out it was the OREILLY PHP Cookbook and the OREILLY Learning PHP & MySQL books I started with, along with some guitar books for learning Christmas songs (I know, unrelated, same box though :P).

All-in-all the book is worth the price.The pros outweigh the cons almost 3 to 1.I still use this book to refresh my memory of techniques long since forgotten or fuzzy, even 2 years after I've purchased more advanced books that cover most of the same things in greater detail and moulded for greater scale.PHP as many know is very unforgiving when it comes to screw-ups, and the little things that you forget can make or break a script.I'll be keeping this book for years and years to come to dust off and refresh my memory.My website is still lacking, but heck, it's a personal website, and wouldn't be nearly as good (??? :P) as it is now without the "cookbook".

4-0 out of 5 stars Boils down what you want your scripts to do
A book to teach simplification in coding. For everyone who has read three or four PHP books, this book solves so many puzzles you may have created for yourself. Each recipe gives you a good basis for using a PHP function. As the recipe progresses, the book sometimes demonstrates how to simplify your code further. By the end of each recipe - usually no longer than a page or two - it introduces discussion as to the usefulness of the script or resources to read more about expanding upon the function.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally a book that covers more than just the basics
I've looked through a lot of PHP books and it is very difficult to find good ones (that is for more than the basics). This book fills in a lot of the gaps in understanding how PHP works, with explanations of more advanced techniques, like regular expressions and cURL.

Recommended. ... Read more

15. Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache All in One (4th Edition)
by Julie C. Meloni
Paperback: 648 Pages (2008-06-28)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$22.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067232976X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL® and Apache All in One


Fourth Edition


Julie C. Meloni


Starter Kit

CD-ROM includes a complete starter kit for Windows®, Linux®, and Mac® OS X


In just a short time, you can learn how to use PHP, MySQL, and Apache together to create dynamic, interactive websites and applications using the three leading open-source web development technologies.


Using a straightforward, step-by-step approach, each lesson in this book builds on the previous ones, enabling you to learn the essentials of PHP scripting, MySQL databases, and the Apache web server from the ground up.


Regardless of whether you run Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X, the enclosed CD includes a complete starter kit that lets you install all the software you need to set up a stable environment for learning, testing, and production.


Learn how to…

  • Install, configure, and set up the PHP scripting language, the MySQL database system, and the Apache Web server
  • Get these technologies to work together to create a dynamic, database-backed website
  • Interact with MySQL using PHP
  • Work with forms and files
  • Create a web-based discussion forum or mailing list
  • Add a storefront and shopping cart to your site
  • Optimize your MySQL databases
  • Fine-tune the Apache server’s performance
  • Restrict access to your applications
  • Set up a secure web server


Julie C. Meloni is the technical director for i2i Interactive, a multimedia company located in Los Altos, California. She has been developing web-based applications since the early days of the web, and is the author of several books and articles on web-based programming languages and database topics, including Sams Teach Yourself MySQL in 24 Hours.


CD-ROM Includes

  • A complete PHP, MySQL, and Apache starter kit for Windows®, Linux®, or Mac® OS X.


Category: Web Development

Covers: PHP 5.2, MySQL 5, Apache 2.2

User Level: Beginning


... Read more

Customer Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice book! :)
I've been reading Sams Teach Yourself books for a long time now I've just haven't read this one yet although it does look like a very nice book. I haven't had the chance to read it yet due to starting college soon so there no actual way I will be able to review it until later date.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache All in One (4th Edition)
Exactly as described, Good Quality, complete with CD, Good condition,Delivery time to the UK was a bit of a downer though it did arrive sooner than expected.

5-0 out of 5 stars A useful introduction to the *AMP stack.
This is a results-driven review.Three years ago, looking for work and interested in web dev, I wondered what this whole LAMP thing was all about.I inhaled the 2nd edition of Meloni's book, and created a small utility website.I landed some contract web dev work on the merits of that website.Two months later I was hired by a startup, and I've been there now for nearly three years.

Two thumbs up.

1-0 out of 5 stars Double-Shipped-SAMS Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache
SAMS publishes excellent tech subject books.This is no exception.

Shipment was prompt but I received TWO packages, one day apart of this order.No telling how this happened.Cannot tell if I was also DOUBLE-billed.Please check your records, I will check mine.Fine book, but I only wanted ONE.

First time a problem with any Amazon shipment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Book to Get You Started.
What a wonderful and well-documented book. If you are just starting out with PHP, MySql and Apache then you have found a great starting point. The DVD covers many facets and shows you clear examples of the concepts explained.
I recommend that you start your PHP journey here.

Experienced developers can also benefit, as they will take away at least one good idea or perhaps view a project differently.

The book covers in depth many aspects of PHP, including a few that I have not used in many years. Each chapter builds on the previous and the workshops and full code examples will give you a hands on view on how the code is built.
I particularly like the paper used in the book, because it is bright. Some companies have switched to a duller paper for their own reasons.

The book starts with installation of everything software that you need to start. The book covers database design, generating images with PHP and even fine tuning Apache. The DVD lessons are short enough to remain interesting, but long enough to cover the point.

... Read more

16. Learning PHP 5
by David Sklar
Paperback: 368 Pages (2004-07)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$12.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596005601
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
PHP has gained a following among non-technical webdesigners who need to add interactive aspects to their sites. Offeringa gentle learning curve, PHP is an accessible yet powerful languagefor creating dynamic web pages. As its popularity has grown, PHP'sbasic feature set has become increasingly more sophisticated. Now PHP5 boasts advanced features--such as new object-oriented capabilitiesand support for XML and Web Services--that will please even the mostexperienced web professionals while still remaining user-friendlyenough for those with a lower tolerance for technical jargon.

If you've wanted to try your hand at PHP but haven't known where tostart, then Learning PHP 5 is the book you need.With attention toboth PHP 4 and the new PHP version 5, it provides everything from aexplanation of how PHP works with your web server and web browser tothe ins and outs of working with databases and HTML forms. Written bythe co-author of the popular PHP Cookbook, this book is forintelligent (but not necessarily highly-technical) readers.LearningPHP 5 guides you through every aspect of the language you'll need tomaster for professional web programming results. This book provides ahands-on learning experience complete with exercises to make sure thelessons stick.

Learning PHP 5 covers the following topics, and more:
How PHP works with your web browser and web server
PHP language basics, including data, variables, logic and looping
Working with arrays and functions
Making web forms
Working with databases like MySQL
Remembering users with sessions
Parsing and generating XML

Written by David Sklar, coauthor of the PHP Cookbook and an instructorin PHP, this book offers the ideal classroom learning experiencewhether you're in a classroom or on your own. From learning how toinstall PHP to designing database-backed web applications, LearningPHP 5 will guide you through every aspect of the language you'll needto master to achieve professional web programming results. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good book to learn from
While the book is set up so that the reader should be able to learn "through example," in practice it doesn't really work like that. The author provides examples of what piece of code/function does what and then will provide another example of another function, but won't explain why the two are different other than showing the different outputs they have. He also has a bad habit of only giving a cursory introduction to a concept and then including it in his examples as though the reader is supposed to understand the specifics of how it works. I bought this book because other reviewers said that it may be good for people who aren't familiar with programming concepts, while not providing a good resource for those with a programming background who want to learn PHP (specifically what's new in PHP 5). I got this book because I enjoyed O'Reilly's Learning MySQL. That was a great book that made it easy for a beginner to really dive into the subject matter. That isn't the case with learning PHP 5.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Horrible - Not Great (for beginners or advanced)
I have nothing altogether bad to say about this book, I use it for reference once in a while, and it really is excellent at going over arrays for beginners. However, for total beginners (especially if you haven't worked with other scripting languages) there are much better books. I myself would recommend Julie C. Meloni's "PHP, MySQL and Apache" Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache All in One (4th Edition) instead, for beginners: its a much easier read. For reference, it exceeds this book's usefulness. I only have the second edition of Meloni's, but I would hope the 4th to be as good if not better.

O'Reilly has really been going down hill over the past 10 years. Kind of depressing to see.

Granted this book has no extraneous subject matter (like MySQL or Apache), and like I said.. I DO USE it for reference once in a while. However, I usually just end up grabbing a different one instead.

I personally prefer Python for toolscripts, but PHP is still king if you are doing web-based applications, IMHO.

3-0 out of 5 stars Light, very light, very introductory
I believe the book's title 'PHP 5' is misleading - This is a very basic book about PHP and some things some people do with it. IMHO it is for the absolute novice, the beginning programmer. The book doesn't even touch on PHP's object oriented design or the new features introduced in v. 5. I was disappointed after reading 'Beginning PHP4' by Wrox which was lightyears better. This book lacks any kind of depth. I used it for light bedtime reading but it virtually answered non of the questions I had.

That being said, it is well written, easily digestible, nicely structured and aesthetically appealing. It just wasn't a book about learning PHP 5 - it was a book about the general use of PHP.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not helpful
I got this book with my PHP class and found it so unhelpful, I had to purchase Head First (PHP & MySQL) instead.

Some of the code is broken
Doesn't explain very well how things work
Boring and hard to retain information
Screen captures are non existent
More helpful if you come from a programming background (I don't)
Written by someone in a hurry to get the book out and cram your head with nothing but the facts.

Avoid if you are a true beginner to programming

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Learning PHP 5
This books is amazing for the people who want know the new features in PHP 5 ... Read more

17. PHP in Action: Objects, Design, Agility
by Dagfinn Reiersol, Marcus Baker, Chris Shiflett
Paperback: 552 Pages (2007-07-03)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$25.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932394753
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

To keep programming productive and enjoyable, state-of-the-art practices and principles are essential. Object-oriented programming and design help manage complexity by keeping components cleanly separated. Unit testing helps prevent endless, exhausting debugging sessions. Refactoring keeps code supple and readable. PHP offers all this-and more.

This book shows you how to apply PHP techniques and principles to all the most common challenges of web programming, including:

Web presentation and templates User interaction including the Model-View-Contoller architecture Input validation and form handling Database connection and querying and abstraction Object persistence
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Software Design Practices
An excellent book for the intermediate programmer working in PHP. Good balance of theoretical practice and technical implementations. This will be an inspiring book for those who want to move beyond being another code hacker. The authors are always careful to discuss multiple approaches to particular problems.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book
Simply put, this is one of the best books on OOP & PHP I have laid my eyes on. I got it based on a friend's recommendation. I was going through his library in his office of probably 20+ php books (including others on OOP [he's an OOP guy])- and he's a php book contributor himself) and he pointed out this one and said this was the best treatment of OOP he'd ever seen. This coming from someone who it seems thinks in PHP at times, I quickly got it and have not been disappointed.

So if you're reading reviews and wondering if you should get this or the other book...no question, get this.

5-0 out of 5 stars the HOW and why behind effectively using OOP in PHP projects
This book is amazing! It goes far beyond so many of the other PHP books that show you the OOP features in PHP5 along with a few non-real-world examples. This book clearly EXPLAINS the importance of object oriented DESIGN techniques and walks you through real-world examples of how to actually implement them effectively. If you find yourself understanding PHP OOP concepts but struggling to apply to your own projects this is the book to get!

5-0 out of 5 stars Super
Very good book for intermediate or advanced php developer, I'm very happy with the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars PHP In Action
This book is geared toward the intermediate PHP developer who wants to bring in aspects of OOP, Testing and Refactoring to help improve the quality of the code they write. It is split into four parts; Basic Tools and Concepts, Testing and Refactoring, Building the Web Interface, and Databases and Infrastructure.

In addition to PHP, I have decent amount of experience with Java and Java web frameworks such as Struts. So as I worked through this book much of the content was familiar to me but from a Java perspective. It was enlightening to see the authors express these same concepts from a PHP perspective. The fact that many times (not always), the implementation in PHP is more concise and elegant that the Java alternative really shows of the power of a dynamically typed language such as PHP. Also the fact that PHP was bred from the beginning to be a web development language gives it a definate advantage in the web arena.
The authors are honest though, they haven't simply painted implementing OO, TDD, and Refactoring as completelty painless. For instance in the testing portion they've devoted quite a bit of time to showing the difficulties of testing (especially in a Web environment). Such as the need for mock objects and the difficulty in keeping mocks "real enough" so they fail and pass as the real object would. This full disclosure is key for readers to estimate if the extra effort of a concept is worth the benefits for their particual situation.

Overall this is great book for the intended audience. It is not "black and white" about the solutions it proposes. Reasonable alternatives are given and the pros and cons of each are expressed. For those with extensive OO experience, some portions of the book may seem trivial but overall it is still worth a "quick scan" to see the specifics of PHP implementations of general OO concepts.
PHP in Action: Objects, Design, Agility ... Read more

18. Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 with PHP: Training from the Source
by David Powers
Paperback: 504 Pages (2010-08-20)
list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321719840
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This Adobe-approved, project-based guide from one of the world's most popular web design authors, David Powers, will teach readers how to progress from designing static websites to building dynamic websites in Adobe Dreamweaver CS5. Using step-by-step instructions with projects that build on the knowledge acquired in each lesson, readers will learn about the new PHP features in Dreamweaver CS5, including the ability to work in Live View with WordPress, as well as extended support for PHP code hints, syntax checking, and dynamically related files. Readers will learn how to upload images and send email with attachments using the Zend Framework. In contrast to existing books on the Zend Framework, this book will show web designers and developers with little or no programming experience how to use selected modules to integrate dynamic features into existing sites. There is a strong emphasis on following security best practices. Readers will also learn progressive enhancement techniques for updating pages seamlessly with PHP and Ajax. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A title highly recommended for any Dreamweaver CS5 student or collection
Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 with PHP: Training from the Source offers 28 to 30 hours of self-guided tutorials, blending a CD-ROM for easy lessons with step-by-step instructions on how to build web pages using tools for PHP in Adobe Dreamweaver CS5. From creating a WordPress template and editing it to understanding how to produce more efficient databases, chapters are packed with keys to programmer success in a title highly recommended for any Dreamweaver CS5 student or collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Fantastic Dreamweaver Book from David Powers
David Powers long ago established himself as the preeminent author on Dreamweaver and PHP, and with this release he proves once again that if you want to learn these two technologies, and just as important you want to learn how they work together, you cannot go wrong by reading his books.
I have used Dreamweaver for over a decade, since version 4, and have been using PHP for almost as long. I got this book not because I thought I could learn anything from it, but rather because I teach web design and needed to review the book to see if it would work in my classrooms. I therefore had fully intended to just scan the book to make sure it covered what I needed it to. Very quickly, however, I found myself stopping to actually read, discovering that even as well as I know these technologies, Mr. Powers still had a lot to teach me.
Not only will we be adopting this book in our program, but will be recommending it to other programs as well. This is, simply put, one of the very best Dreamweaver books ever written, and one I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who wants to take their knowledge of the web further.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb introduction to Zend Framework and a great tutorial on advanced CS5
As someone who know a little about PHP and has been using CS4, I was at first drawn into the lessons around using Dreamweaver closer with PHP. I was sufficiently impressed to pay for the upgrade to CS5. This alone made the book worth while.

The real surprise, though, was the simple introduction to Zend Framework. I have purchased several books on this already but usually get stuck on setting up the MVC framework. The gentle Zend 'Lite' approach was excellent, and has meant that I have broken through the barrier and am already using Zend elements in my projects.

David is an excellent tutorial writer. He explains things in carefully thought out chunks, covers the little niggles that one invariably comes across and leaves you with a deeper understanding of the principles.

It is more than theoretical, though. Much of the code (such as the user registration system) is of practical use and is being used in my own web site.

Highly recommended in all respects: my only complaint is that I want more. David, looking forward to and advanced version of your book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice work!
I just had my first pass at this book and must say Thank you to David Powers for a job well done! First of, he did not repeat verbatim his book on CS4 as some lazy authors would have, but instead teaches the new advantages of CS5 while giving you great lessons on zend frame work, cms and so on. The examples used are very practical and can be applied directly to your work unlike some books I have read where the examples are only of the authors imagination and you would be pressed to find a way to apply them. He puts to practice his experience with the forums he moderates and shares that experience with you. It would have taken me at least 2 years to get all the experience shared in this book. I can't believe I even offer solutions to questions in forums now, why? because I have read this book and the tips are great. Thanks for sharing your knowledge David. This book though is for intermediate users. Beginners should please buy his CS4 book first and then see this book as a continuation of that. Top it off with his CSS book and maybe his php solutions book if you want to be interested in php and then you can call yourself a web designer that knows his stuff. Intermediate users of Dreamweaver would find this book very valuable. I never knew the new features in CS5 until I used this book and boy was I glad I upgraded. Do you want to style wordpress CMS in dreamweaver, then get this book. Do you want to get interested in the Zend framework and jQuery framework, then this book is for you. Finally if you want great tips on how to use DW, then add this to his CS4 book. If this book was $200 it would still be a good buy, because just the server behaviors that you can create alone with the examples from the book is a great time saver.
If Mr Powers happen to read this review, my only request is that he should please come out with something in the line of questions and solutions in building web sites, so we can benefit from his experience with the questions and answers he always come across in the forums. Anyway, this would do for now.
Thank you

5-0 out of 5 stars Great author can only make a great book !!!!!!
I like the books written by David Powers.

-He knows what he is talking about.
-He writes clearly and cleverly in an easy style to read, even for non-english people like me.
-He anticipates questions and he responds to them before the reader ask !

This book's scope is even wider than Dreamweaver itself.
It also provides good fundations (or reminders) on PHP and database design.

The examples are easy to follow along, with the inclusion of all the files for every steps (in the CD-rom)

If you want to use Dreamweaver for PHP solutions, you need this book.

Very good book !!!!!


... Read more

19. PHP for Absolute Beginners
by Jason Lengstorf
Paperback: 400 Pages (2009-10-15)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$11.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1430224738
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Get started in web development using PHP. Even if you've never programmed before, author Jason Lengstorf introduces you to PHP by building a PHP-based blogging site while covering all the good coding practices and skills that you'll need when you start your own projects.

  • Create web content with version 5.3 of PHP
  • Learn good coding practices from the very beginning
  • Learn how systems like WordPress work

Jason Lengstorf takes a practical approach to teaching you how to build a content management system. You'll dive into writing web applications and be guided by the author's supportive explanations, rather than learning elements of the PHP language and viewing examples after.

PHP for Absolute Beginners starts slowly and covers everything you need to know about beginning web development using PHP. Even the most inexperienced web developer will find this book accessible.

What you'll learn

  • Install Apache, MySQL, and PHP
  • Navigate the PHP language
  • Learn the basics of writing clean code
  • Talk to a database
  • Make a PHP site more secure
  • Create a complete blogging site

Who is this book for?

PHP for Absolute Beginners is written for the complete novice; no previous coding knowledge is assumed, and all concepts are explained to ensure maximum understanding.

However, later chapters in the book may appeal to intermediate programmers looking to improve their abilities in the area of developing content management systems or those interested in making the move from procedural code to the more modular object-oriented approach.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Simple PHP Web Application for Absolute Beginners or Experienced Developers
The first part of PHP for Absolute Beginners, 2009, by Jason
Lengstorf,(he also wrote PHP and JQuery), from Apress Publishers
is a concise, easy-to-follow introduction to basic PHP language.
Everything you need to get started with PHP, from creating files,
manipulating variables with operators, control structures,
outputting to a browser, even using globals to pass parameters
through the Common Gateway Interface, is presented in
easy-to-understand examples.

With the help of this book, an absolute beginner or experienced
web site developer, can create afully functioning Web
application. Understanding the intricacies of code in this book
is not required to build a simple blog, but Lengstorf's code
shows the most important functionality of Web applications,
including advanced subjects like regex, uploading binary files,
and automating syndication.

Anyone messing around with databases used to be considered geeky,
but in Chapter 4 Lengstorf covers how to connect to databases,
database design & tables, data types, data entry, and data
manipulation for all absolute beginners.

Chaper 6's example, using Apache's rewrite module to create
search-engine friendly URLs, was especially difficult for me, but
now that I understand mod_rewrite, I will incorporate a simple
blog on my Websites.

Jason Lengstorf built a versatile and concise Web application
that absolute beginners, or experienced web site developers, can
stacking up block by block. With reliable examples to illustrate
concepts, those who are building personal or professional web
sites can benefit from Jason Lengsdorf's PHP for Absolute
Beginners, from Apress Publishers.

3-0 out of 5 stars Full of editing errors
This book needs to be revised and test the codes that are provided. I had a hard time figuring out where were the errors. Well that's the way one can learn right? But it is not for absolute beginners because they would get confused by this book very easily. It doesn't really explains some things and doesn't say why he does what he does. The author uses some methods and scripts that needs explanation.

3-0 out of 5 stars A review from a REAL absolute beginner in PHP
I am an absolute beginner in PHP.I have never coded anything from scratch in PHP.In fact, I don't have much coding experience at all aside from HTML.The most experience I have in PHP is in wading through thousands of lines of code to copy/paste some mods to an open-source forum program I have on one of my websites.

Being an absolute beginner in PHP, I give the book 3 stars.Here's why:

The author glosses over theory (in some instances, he just does away with it all together) in order to hurry up and get to the part of the book where you code your own blog.That's fine if all you want to be able to do with PHP is code your own simple blog.However, if you're like me and would actually like to be able to code something other than a blog after you read this book, you NEED theory.There are several different ways you can code things to get the same output.You need to know the hows and whys of them all in order to choose the best coding method for your project.Otherwise, you run the risk of creating a buggy program and spending hundreds of hours and countless frustrations on a project that you'll ultimately have to scrap because it wasn't coded properly in the first place.

There is no Glossary.Dozens of new terms and concepts get thrown at you within the first two chapters of the book, most of which are poorly explained (if they are even explained at all).A glossary at the back of the book would have allowed the author to explain them in detail to true beginners in PHP without taking up space within the chapters themselves.Without it, the first couple of chapters can be a bit overwhelming.

There are errors in the test code.To me, this is perhaps the biggest flaw this book has.Even during the first few chapters, you are encouraged to write the test code out for yourself, save it, view what you've just created, and compare it to the example in the book.I spent nearly an hour in frustration over a section of code that was giving me nothing but errors, the entire time wondering what I was doing wrong.Fed up and discouraged, I finally decided to move on.Several pages later, after having read about a new concept, I discovered that the reason why I got nothing but errors before was because one line in the test code was wrong.In a book that is primarily teaching PHP through example codes, having even one line of coding wrong is unfathomable.

The good thing about this book is it DOES get you coding right away.It's encouraging to see code that you've written (even from examples) work.It's even more gratifying playing around with the example code on your own, changing different variables, to see how it changes the final output.Because you're coding a simple blog, you learn about databases and how PHP interacts with MySQL, something that is very valuable in the age of dynamic websites.

All in all, this book is worth the read if you'd rather code a sample project before starting off on your own coding journey.If you are a true beginner in PHP, be prepared to struggle a bit if you don't purchase a separate book on PHP theory or research it online before starting this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Starter book out there hands down..
I have read lots of php books. Especially starter books. Jason does a great job of going over material in a way that lets you jump right into building an app without wasting 400 pages explaining theory and definitions. His hands on approach is a awesome way to make learning the material easier. He goes over stuff as you need it when you need it. This book is one of the best php books you will find.

3-0 out of 5 stars This book needs a lot of editing.
It's clear from reading this book that edits were made after the initial submission.Some of the code doesn't work or doesn't match the author's "official" code sample for the chapter.I've read enough programming books to expect these kinds of problems but it's inexcusable for a book that targets ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS.Many of the errors I've found could have been caught in editing if the proof reader entered the program as described in the book.

For example, in Chapter 5 the author provides a Cascading Style Sheet with the caveat that this isn't a book on HTML/CSS and the user should type the text as displayed. Detailed instructions are provided for including the style sheet in the project.Unfortunately the href for the style sheet - "/css/default.css" - is wrong and it should be "/simple_blog/css/default.css".As a result, the style sheet isn't used and the actual browser output doesn't match what's displayed in the book.

In Chapter 3, page 90 the author feeds the result of the trim() function to the empty() function as part of a conditional check - if(!empty(trim($_POST['username']))). This code returns a fatal error because empty() will only check variables.Again, typing the code as displayed in the book would have caught the error.

In Chapter 7 on page 200 there's a custom confirmDelete() function that doesn't work and isn't part of the author's official code sample.Did anybody test the code before putting it in the book?

I'm giving PHP for Absolute Beginners 3 stars because the editing was sloppy.If the errors are corrected I would give it an additional star.The author provides a complete sample application and reviews all the pieces of the program. That's more than you'd get from a Software Development Kit sample. He discusses using XAMPP for PHP development which is a great suggestion for starting users.There are some wrinkles when installing & configuring XAMPP which would have been nice if the book had taken the time to go over it.I had to spend an afternoon reading the ApacheFriends forums to solve my problems. ... Read more

20. Advanced PHP Programming
by George Schlossnagle
Paperback: 672 Pages (2004-03-01)
list price: US$54.99 -- used & new: US$25.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0672325616
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Over the past three years PHP has evolved from being a niche language used to add dynamic functionality to small sites to a powerful tool making strong inroads into large-scale, business-critical Web systems.

The rapid maturation of PHP has created a skeptical population of users from more traditional "enterprise" languages who question the readiness and ability of PHP to scale, as well as a large population of PHP developers without formal computer science backgrounds who have learned through the hands-on experimentation while developing small and midsize applications in PHP.

While there are many books on learning PHP and developing small applications with it, there is a serious lack of information on "scaling" PHP for large-scale, business-critical systems.Schlossnagle's Advanced PHP Programming fills that void, demonstrating that PHP is ready for enterprise Web applications by showing the reader how to develop PHP-based applications for maximum performance, stability, and extensibility.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

2-0 out of 5 stars Too many coding errors in the examples
By page 19, I had already encountered several examples that contained, not typos, but logical coding errors.Was this book edited at all by anyone?Is it really that hard to test the included code examples?Logical coding errors make me distrust the abilities of the author, since there is no excuse for writing code which any programmer can instantly identify as incorrect.Maybe the 2nd edition will be better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good content
I haven't read all the book yet, but the chapters i had read so far they are well written and they'r rich in information, they give usefull and practical examples, that's what i like the most. The practical examples which in my opinion is the difference with other books which their example's commonly are about FOO and BAR Clases...

1-0 out of 5 stars this book is for morons
If you are not a moron, you will put this book down after page 17.
Pages 16 and 17 (in the first chapter!!!) have code examples trying to argue the use of for/foreach loops over while loops.They are absolutely absurd.If the opening pages of a book have bogus examples and completely false arguments for saying "one should use foreach over for over while", then what hope does the book have for someone wanting to learn something "advanced"?

I am only submitting this review because of the absurdity of pages 16/17. I can not get past those pages.I can not believe this book has $49.99 on it.If I were a job recruiter, I would use page 16/17 as an idiot test--it has that much value, which might be worth $49.99 to recruiters fending off idiots.

"For the sake of example" can only be used if the example makes some sense.On page 16, the example presents a function "is_prime" that takes a parameter $number and returns true/false if the number is prime.The function uses a "while" loop.The author argues against the use of while loops (versus for loops), and essentially says: if you have a moron add some completely bogus, moronic, idiotic code to your almost nice, relatively efficient, functional function named "is_prime", then a "for" loop would help make that function into "is_odd" with an extraneous for loop that is completely inefficient.The examples (more than ten lines long!) equate to:
function is_prime($number){ //although this is really is_odd
return $number % 2;
which has no loops, is way more efficient, and has nothing to do with using for loops over while loops.In this book, we see a bunch of nonsense about (what ought to be for advanced programmers) a TRIVIAL example of control structures (while/for) that are equivalent in most programming languages.

2-0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this book
Do not buy this book. There are so many script examples in this book that do not work, let alone there are many weak and sloppy algorithms and code logic structures the author introduced. If you already bought this book, see his script example in Chapter 13 (A Sample Authentication Implementation), try to read line by line in his Cookie class example, can you find any flaw? Well, there are many them in this tiny/simple class, but i can just ignore and pretend to think that the author did not have enough time to test his own scripts before he put them in his book...but the algorithm/logic structures of the codes that bothers me! Weak algorithm, bad code control structure can lead to a buggy application that is not easy to debug!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good INTERMEDIATE Book
Beginning PHP programmers will be lost.Start elsewhere.
Intermediate PHP programmers will learn a lot regarding technical details and good coding and design practices, but not enough to advance them to the level of 'Expert PHP Programmer'.
Expert PHP programmers should know most of the technical details found here, but they will likely learn a bit about good coding and design practices.

For beginners: *
For intermediates: ****
For experts: **1/2

I am an intermediate PHP programmer, so this book was perfect and extremely helpful for me.I can say that I was very impressed by this book for a few reasons.For one, it provides a nice overview of many useful topics (many of which are not exactly "advanced") such as object-oriented programming, error handling, templates, unit testing, caching, authentication/security, session-handling, remote procedure calls, performance analysis, and writing extensions.However, they are mostly just overviews.It gives the reader a good starting point regarding the various topics and introduces less experienced PHP programmers to the various topics which they may not have been concerned with formally.Unfortunately, even for an overview, a few of the sections were a bit too slim.Object-oriented programming was only touched on and some important topics related to object-oriented PHP were omitted.Also, remote procedure calls received so little attention that they might as well have been omitted.Other sections do a better job.The benchmarking and profiling sections were quite informative as were the sections on error handling (sort of) and unit testing.They aren't comprehensive, but I know that I personally learned quite a bit even though I eventually had to seek out additional references.Regarding the various "advanced" PHP topics, the book is basically a jack of all trades, master of none.The book deserved to either be longer, split up into more than one volume, or it should have had a smaller scope.Still, it does a good job at providing an intermediate PHP programmer with plenty of introductory information on these "advanced" topics.It won't make you an expert PHP programmer, but it will set you on the right path.

There are two main reasons that I liked this book: the clarity of explanations and examples and the strong emphasis on good programming and design practice.Nowhere in this book did I ever feel close to being lost and I can say that the author does an outstanding job at describing the concepts and he chooses good, fairly simple examples.Also, good practices are strongly emphasised through this book.Unfortunately, good practices and technical details are often treated separately in many books if good practices are covered at all.Here, the author never loses sight of this.Even when he gets into the dirty details, he constantly reminds the reader that some paths to the same goal are better than others and he clearly explains why.For this reason, I would even recommend this book to expert PHP programmers who probably already know most of the technical details, although the book is most useful for intermediate PHP programmers like myself.

In summary, this book is best for those who know the basics of PHP but are not yet experts.You will learn just enough technical details to prepare you for the next level even if this book won't take you to that level.Also, this book will help almost anyone write cleaner, safer, better-designed programs, expect for beginners who would not be able to follow the examples and topics.

Final note: GREAT value. ... Read more

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