Customer Review

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe there's a better book to start learning PHP with, 15 Dec. 2009
This review is from: PHP: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE (Paperback)
I've been fiddling with PHP for more months than I care to admit to and I really wish I'd read this book BEFORE starting that. I also own Mr Vaswani's "How to Do Everything with PHP & MySQL" and had leapt straight into the middle of that book, trying to do my own thing with chunks of code from the book before I really understood what they were doing. To be fair, the code in both these books is really well annotated so that approach worked out successfully. I'm doing considerably better by working through PHP: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE (Beginner's Guides (McGraw-Hill)) from start to finish though. It's written in a way that you can dip in and out of different bits of it but it works particularly well if you go through it from the first to last chapters too.

What makes Mr V's writing work so well, in my opinion, is that he's got the balance between dry technical content and humour pretty much perfectly balanced. It seems to me that, modern technical writing, about topics like this, seems to veer to one extreme or another. The author either puts so much focus on filling their tome with accurate and worthy technical content that you need to keep pinching yourself to stay awake as you slog your way through it, or they spend ages trying to be funny and you end up skipping through bits to try and quickly get what you need to know out from amongst the jokes. Mr V seems to steer between these extreme very successfully. This book is very readable. It's written in an empathic manner, where it's obvious that the author has thought about which bits you, the reader, are likely to have found easy or difficult. You'd need to be made of wood not to crack a smile whilst reading this PHP book but the humour rarely gets in the way of learning the code.

There are masses of examples in the book, several of which I've adapted, to great effect for various projects. I've got several books where I've worked through the examples only to find that it's really hard to adapt them to do anything other than what they did originally. The opposite appears to be the case with this and the recommended additional reading, mentioned within the book, is well thought out too.

If you're relatively new to PHP and are torn between buying this, or another PHP book - buy this one.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Oct 2010 17:34:44 BDT
G. Weirs says:
Does it focus on PHP5?

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Oct 2010 10:29:16 BDT
MissLee says:
It covers PHP 5.3
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