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Programming PHP Paperback – 8 May 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 542 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (8 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596006810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596006815
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 520,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Coauthored by its creator, Programming PHP is a nitty-gritty guide to PHP development. PHP is an open-source scripting language used to build dynamic Web sites. In this title, the authors go step-by-step through the language, including brief coverage of common applications such as graphics or database work.

The first six chapters explain PHP essentials, including data types, functions, string manipulation, arrays and objects. Next comes a look at basic Web techniques, followed by an introduction to database access. There is a chapter on generating graphics with the GD extension library and another on creating Adobe PDF documents. The authors then show how to parse XML, and there is a section on security with some handy tips for protecting PHP sites. A chapter on application techniques looks at code libraries, performance tuning and handling errors. Next there is an explanation of how to build extensions to PHP using C, followed by a look at Windows issues such as COM and ODBC. Finally, there is a complete reference to the standard functions in PHP 4.0.

This is not an advanced programming book, but even experienced coders will discover new things about the language and get a clearer understanding of how PHP works. The specialist chapters such as those on XML or PHP extensions tend to be introductory, so readers will need further resources. For example, the database section is short, and would be best read alongside Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL or another book with more detailed database coverage. Even so, this is a strong hands-on title that PHP developers will want to keep close at hand. ----Tim Anderson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"....a well formed and written book, with the 'typical' ORA feel to it—very clear and concise." -- Raymond Camden, Hampton Roads ColdFusion User Group, June 2002

"Personally, I think the authors did a very credible job of creating a book that even a non-programmer can use to get started...." -- Jim Huddle, CompuNotes Issue #191

"The book is a useful and practical introduction for those who want to get started with PHP programming." -- Pete Hoyle, Williamsburg Macromedia User Group, August 2002 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Symeon Charalabides on 31 July 2002
Format: Paperback
Programming PHP is written in part by Rasmus Lerdorf, the man who first created it and is still an active member of the development community. This can only be good news.
The book is divided in chapters in a well-ordered and intuitive way. I get the impression that the authors wrote full chapters each, as they tend to vary in depth. In general, though, they present a wide variety of the features and potent of PHP, and, maybe most important, also discuss limitations.
The book can be read by people with no knowledge on the subject whatsoever, though some programming experience would come helpful. The language is clear, precise and to-the-point. Code examples are presented after each point discussed. There is useful information spread all over the book, of the technical and not-so-technical kind, and I cannot imagine anybody going through the book without learning a few new things, however experienced they may be.
Apart from chapters on the usual PHP features (strings, arrays, objects, etc.), there are subjects on commonly used web techniques (and why they are commonly used), security (server-side and scripting), writing your own PHP extensions, and one dedicated to the special relationship PHP has with windows. Personally, I believe the chapter on security alone is worth buying the book for.
Sometimes the authors give the impression they like showing off (OK, so you can double a number by left-shifting), but this is rare and unobtrusive. So, why only 4 stars? Because the book hasn't been very well edited (at least the first edition which I have): there are spelling and coding mistakes, and the latter is not only less than expected by such a company as O'Reilly, but can severely affect a programmer's first steps into a new language.
This said, this book is definitely worth buying. In fact, it's the best descriptive book I've read on the sole subject of PHP, great as a reference book, and shouldn't be missing from any PHP programmer's library.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is similar to every other O'Reilly book in that it is clear, concise and to the point. Never does it waffle on, and never does it go into too much detail and complexity that everyone except the best programmers understands it.
I personally found the explanation of objects and their classes to be better than the other explanations I have read for different languages, and certainly made picking up OOP in PHP a lot easier. Throughout is the obvious knowledge of the authors, something always reassuring in a title like this. The book fits well for beginners and seasoned programmers alike: the basics are explained well, and the technical reasons why things happen are included for good measure.
I was also surprised by the size of this book, as it significantly thinner than the other O'Reilly books (and other computer books for that matter), that I own. Computer books often appear large, daunting and dry. This book is an exception to that rule, and is perfectly good for someone wanting to learn PHP from the ground up to someone wanting to pick a chapter to swat up on, and use it as a reference book. All in all, a very good book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Precious TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
PHP is a great language to start creating dynamic websites with - it's easy to learn, but very powerful.
This book will start you out on the right tracks with PHP and help you build up your experience - even once you're experienced, you'll still turn to it for reference.
As usual, it's a solid O'Reilly title, it won't let you down. Being co-written by Rasmus himself (the creator of PHP) it benefits from more than a little extra experience and inside information.
Basically, if you want to create dynamic websites with a lot of power, PHP is the language you want, and this is the book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 3 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in the standard O'Reilly style, this book gives you a comprehensive coverage of PHP without being overly verbose or too dryly technical. Now in its 2nd edition this book covers the most recent version of PHP, version 5.

While I wouldn't want to learn PHP as a first programming language from this book, anybody with a basic knowledge of HTML and an OOP based language (Java, C++ or even JavaScript) will quickly be able to code PHP.

While the book isn't perfect: the aforementioned lack of concrete examples (the cynic in me might think that O'Reilly were saving these for the PHP Cookbook which is due out soon) and the chapter on objects being only 20 pages long, it's still all you would need as both a reference and a learning resource. A strong buy.
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This is billed as a book suitable for those with basic HTML programming skills, but it in fact requires you to know an awful lot. There is insufficient explanation of how the given examples actually work, or why. Some examples have quite lengthy code, without "walking" you through each step. I wanted to write a search script which looked up my MySql database and produced the selected information with the reference link appearing as a hotlink. I could not find out how to generate hotlinks (by converting a text address into a web address) in this book, so I took to the internet where I found a number of terrific examples of writing the code I needed - and the generated hotlinks now work on my project.
Another example that was not sufficiently explained was the extraction of data and displaying it in a table.
Of course, I accept that it may be just me that does not find, as the authors suggest, that "PHP is a simple yet powerful open source scripting language."
Having said all of that, I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water! PHP is a terrific language and its capabilities seem, to my untrained eye, quite awesome. I just don't think I am going to make much progress with this book, which is too advanced for me. I had wanted something more user friendly for true PHP novices.
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