2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Everything you'd expect from a very fat book.,
By A Customer
This review is from: PHP 4 Developer's Guide (Application Development) (Paperback)
I read this book as a web-developing enthusiast looking to learn about generating dynamic web pages. The choice of language was easy; PHP is the 'in' thing now. Unbiased, free, multi-platform, powerful and lots of database support, momentum for PHP is picking up faster than ever. But I jumped right into it with less-than-adequate programming knowledge and fell flat.
Anyone with little programming knowledge wanting to learn how to speak PHP like me will need major guidance. This book is excellent for that. I couldn't even get past the installation and configuration until I went out in desperation to buy a book. The book helped a lot and starts right at the beginning, though it is aimed mainly at the just-below-intermediate folks.
This book covers all the necessities from installation (very, very useful) to the usual 'Hello World' examples to linking with databases to e-commerce and beyond. It emphasises on real-world examples and gives down-to-earth guidance, tips and tricks. And the convenience of the stuff that comes with the book!
Probably the best way to learn is to read from the first page to last, but me with my short attention span and limited brain cells still found it easy to skim through the book and refer to the relevant chapters when required. I found it fairly easy to follow and nothing beats hands-on experience.
I like this book because (from my experience of constant failure setting up PHP), this book covers all the crucial bits, almost as if the authors know what things we know and what things bog us down.
Overall, this is a fairly great book, very very helpful and easy to follow. Price is on the high-end but the CD-ROM alone saves a lot of downloading, and don't forget this is one of the newer books around, covering the new features of PHP4. And the authors write with an extraordinary, creepy love for PHP and databases. I wanted to fiddle with web-based content managers generating database driven, templated webpages and this book helped me do just that.