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66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful and informative book
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...
Published on 31 July 2002 by Symeon Charalabides

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many mistakes
I found this book a good introduction to PHP. But, it has a lot of mistakes. I think these have happened when the book was updated to cover PHP 5.

For example, when it describes constructors it says the constructor is a function named __construct(). But then it immediately gives an example where the constructor for class Person is a function called Person()...
Published on 22 Dec. 2006 by Amateur photographer and baker...


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66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful and informative book, 31 July 2002
By 
Symeon Charalabides (Galway, Galway Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Programming PHP (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
4.0 out of 5 stars An O'Reilly Classic, 20 Aug. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Programming PHP (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy start in dynamic webpages, 26 Jun. 2003
By 
David Precious (Stevenage, Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Programming PHP (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, 3 Aug. 2006
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This review is from: Programming PHP (Paperback)
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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many mistakes, 22 Dec. 2006
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This review is from: Programming PHP (Paperback)
I found this book a good introduction to PHP. But, it has a lot of mistakes. I think these have happened when the book was updated to cover PHP 5.

For example, when it describes constructors it says the constructor is a function named __construct(). But then it immediately gives an example where the constructor for class Person is a function called Person(). The former is PHP 5, the latter is PHP 4. Perhaps the update was a rush job.

If you can't already program in C or C++ then this book may not be for you. If you can, then it's OK.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the beginner and very resourceful for others, 24 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Programming PHP (Paperback)
I bought this book as a friend of mine from my computer course at university asked to me to help him with some coding he was doing for a company. I had only learnt Java in my life and I was pretty competent with that but I had never heard of php so this seemed like a very daunting task. The only reason I decided to try to learn it was that he kept saying that it was easy.
I got an extremely big shock when I realised he was absolutely right. Despite it being very similar to C and thus Java, it was like reading a published book of my Java lectures. It was extremely easy to read and I found myself coming to the conclusion that I was only going to be using this book in reference. However, I can see that this book explains the main grounds of learning any similar languages in very simple terms and therefore I recommend it to any beginner. It explains simple concepts such as data types all the way to reading from databases and more.
The only grudge I have against this book is its lack of example programs, which may throw beginners slightly. Understandably the author expects the reader to piece pieces of information together but I feel that it could at least provide a sample program summarising all the early chapters in addition to the database example. If you want to know what I mean, read Wu's book on Java (another very good book for beginners).
So, programmers new and old, get this book and its partner (the web database applications one) and go far you shall!!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not a book for beginners, 16 July 2012
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This review is from: Programming PHP (Paperback)
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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Look elsewhere!, 1 April 2011
By 
M. L. Kelly - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Programming PHP (Paperback)
This book is by far and away the most complicated computer programming book I have ever read.
I have learnt XHTML, CSS, Javascript and XML through the excellent Wrox series.
Unlike Wrox which gradually introduce concepts, this book throws you in head first, at the deep end.
The "language basics" chapter is far too vague for a beginner. It waffles on about this, that and the other,
but fails to give the depth of knowledge required for someone new to the language.
It's just so boring. It fails to keep a novice interested and you quickly find yourself skimming through the
book and wondering why on Earth you bought it in the first place.
I gave up after the second chapter and went off to watch some paint dry (nice).
I have ordered the Wrox book on PHP and would suggest anyone without prior programming knowledge does the same.
Once you have a basic understanding of PHP i am quite sure this book would become a usefull tool in your arsenal, until then steer well clear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Programming PHP (Paperback)
good product. good price.
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