on 6 October 2005
As a professional web programmer who has worked in the computer publishing industry, myself, I very often read a book with half a mind as to who it is either aimed at or will benefit.
As a result of reading this book, I came to the conclusion that those it would benefit were (downwards, in ascending order):
A) those with a good grounding in a web-base OOP programming language like Java or C#, who need to do some PHP, and need to know how much of what they are familiar with can now be applied in the PHP 5 world and how it is implemented.
B) those coming from a desktop-oriented OOP background who need an insight into the unique problems of designing multi-user, distributed web-based systems, using the OOP features found in PHP 5.
C) established PHP programmers from a procedural background, who still needs convincing that PHP's object model is becoming strong enough to justify a switch to OOP, and how to achieve that switch.
D) hapless Visual Basic programmers, with plenty of experience using the COM-based Object interfaces, themselves, and who therefore need no convincing of the advantages of OOP, but who are desperately seeking a way out of the ever shrinking market for their existing skillset in desktop development (this describes a lot of the developers where I am currently working, BTW.)
It won't help an absolute novice programmer, however, which is a shame, because many of the arguments it puts forward to forcibly are aimed squarely at avoiding many of the pitfalls that new programmers fall into when presented with:
A) an apparently simple problem
B) DBMS which (all to often) still doesn't default to enforcing constraints (for instance!)
C) An absolute wealth of functions.
Anyone who's made a ton of money from temporary work debugging runaway VB, VBA, PHP and, recently, a depressing large number of .NET projects (as I have, in recent years) will attest to the observation that: "Some people really put the 'vice' into 'novice'." So, the people who really need to learn this stuff would probably not be able to follow the arguments, as they are presented, here.
So, in a way it is preaching to the converted. However, it hits the right note, in doing so, since it does not dwell overly long on concepts familiar to its target audience, but dives straight into the meat of the problem,and its solution, in each case.
Pithy and to the point: a real credit to the author and his editorial team. (The index was great, too.)
on 31 October 2005
This book is very much an all-rounder. This first explains why PHP4 is fine, yet PHP5 for many will become a must-have. The addition of objects to PHP4 introduces a very powerful, and fittingly albeit surprisingly complex topic. This book will spoon feed you to become a programmer among the big boys. Without missing one step, this is more than just a resource to learning PHP5 objects. It's about getting closer to perfectly implementing demanding php/database applications in complex environments with many developers - and wasting minimal code by re-use. I'm freely marking my copy - I can tell I'll never sell it!
on 27 February 2006
Let me just say that this is not a bad book at all, it's just isn't good enough in my opinion. Maybe it is for starting programmers but it is not for me.
It succeeds well in explaining some of the more common patterns in PHP4/PHP5 but fails to goes into detail on a lot of them.
I'd really recommend some other books. If you want to learn about design patterns, there are a lot of better books out there. Unless you need the explanation in PHP code ...
I was not fully satisfied and learned little from it.
Not a bad book, but disappointing to me