2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not bad, but let down lousy editing - wait for a 2nd edition,
This review is from: PHP 6 for Absolute Beginners (Expert's Voice in Open Source) (Paperback)The principle behind this book, that of teaching the reader PHP by building a real-world, fully functioning web application (a simple blog CMS) rather than by abstract exercises that can seem irrelevant to a new programmer, is a sound one and is what attracted me to this book.
That sound idea, however, is let down by less than shining standard of execution and some very sloppy editing. The book has a friendly, conversational style, but the copy is littered with typos (I counted five in the first few pages). Most of these are inconsequential, if annoying, but some completely change the meaning that the author is trying to convey.
There are also a number of errors in the code extracts as printed. Again, most of them are fairly obvious (and I think corrected in the downloadable code package on the publisher's website) but enough to cause the true "absolute beginner" some serious head scratching.
I'd also more generally dispute the claim that the book is suitable for *absolute* beginners. I'm an experienced front end developer who picked up this book to plug a few of the more glaring holes in the PHP I've acquired ad hoc over the past few years, so am comfortable with the terms and constructs the book uses, but for a novice reader the descriptions and definitions of programming terms are rather loose and ill-described, and are often introduced later than would be useful for a beginner.
If you really want to get started learning to programme I'd suggest Chris Pine'sLearn to Program: Using Ruby (Facets of Ruby) - it's a far, far better written book and Ruby is a much friendlier language for a novice than PHP. Read that first, then if you still want to learn PHP come back and buy this book. You'll get a lot more out of it that way around.
Lastly I'd reiterate that all the issues with this book could easily be fixed with a little more editorial rigor, so if (like me) you get bugged by egregious typos, I'd also be tempted to wait for a second edition.