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Core PHP Programming

3.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Tandem Library (Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061392276X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613922760
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book even after reading a mixture of negative and a few positive reviews, and am so glad I did. I had many questions about PHP and correct syntax that the online manual simply did not answer - this book does answer them, and a lot more.
Without this book I would have spent a lot of time submitting questions to mailing lists and waiting for answers. For example, if; elseif; else; is explained and an example is provided that makes it so easy to understand, the first time I used it it worked perfectly first time. This is a fairly basic example, but the book contains so many useful examples and real- useable ones too. The important thing is, I had never used if,elseif,else before to build a dynamic web page, and after reading the example in this book, it worked FIRST TIME!
As a result of this book being on my desk for a week I have transformed one site from a mass of pages to an application with a smaller number of actual pages that respond to users' clicks appropriately - thanks to a better understanding of PHP.
Tie in the examples in this book with the stability of the UNIX server, mySQL and PHP3 and you're on to a winner.
If you even think you need this book, I would say buy it! But then, the choice is yours.
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By A Customer on 19 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
Mr. Atkinson is a nice guy... but this book was rushed to market, and will be qualitatively beneath the next PHP books. As a handy paper source, it is sufficient.
After flying through this book, I was comfortably writing 300 line PHP scripts to access Oracle databases and contextually format very complicated web pages. My general happiness with life right now is probably due more to PHP than to this book.
One example of this book's problems: function calls are sorted alphabetically. Thus, you'll get to "closedir" way before you get to "opendir" or "readdir". Also, the function titles go like "string urlencode(string url_text)" -- which means that you have to read the SECOND word of every heading to see the (alphabetical) function name and the FIRST word to see what the function returns. Function descriptions are generally sorted into "File", "Database", "RegExp" etc., which further frustrates any quick reference attempts.
The book is not in depth. If you're wondering whether you can regexp with a variable during a directory read, you're out of luck. I found myself wishing Larry Wall (of Perl) had written the book.
The thing is, I probably know more about PHP after one week exposure to PHP than the book does. A good reference book is supposed to constantly refresh and enlighten you. Lastly, keep your pen handy, because this early edition's code has some errors that you'll want to correct on the page. The CD-ROM also has those errors.
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Format: Paperback
I have been using PHP in various forms for over a year, and would not consider developing a site without it. I have the complete PHP manual printed out on paper and the HTML version stored in a sacred place on my hard drive. I refer to both often.
Like most burgeoning open-source technologies, PHP has the technology developed first, docs second -- sometimes a very distant second. Although the manuals at the PHP site are very good, they do leave a bit to be desired when it comes to real-world examples. They're primarily academic in nature and aimed at folks who already understand programming.
This book starts with some programming basics applied specifically to the PHP enviroment, fleshes out the manuals with real-world exmaples, and much more. It's a must-have for anyone developing in PHP or even considering it. The examples are clear and concise. I learned quite a bit from a quick scan, and I considered myself a bit of an expert.
My only criticism would stem from the layout of the book istelf. There are many many source code listings, and references to these listings in the text often occur several pages before or after the listings themselves. This necessitates quite a bit of really unncessary page turning. Many of the source cod listings are very short and could have easily been contained on the same apge as the references.
If not for this, I would rate the book 5 stars -- the content is worth it.
Given the price and complexities of competing technologies (ASP, Cold Fusion, etc.), PHP is a steal -- it's free. We need books like this to help keep that community alive. Good job Leon!
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Format: Paperback
If your looking to get up to speed with PHP and are reasonably comfortable with C or C++ then this is your answer. From getting the distribution of PHP compiled (on Linux) or just installed (Windows) you will be admiring your first working scripts within the hour.
Somehow Mr Atkinson weaves straight, comprehensive information directly into an interesting prose. The reference sections have been thorough enough for me to get my work done without questions going unanswered.
With comprehensive coverage of the major database management systems available you will be able to confidently put together your DBMS powered Web Site in no time.
My only suggestion for the third edition would be a more comprehensive index to the function reference sections as you sometimes have to guess how a function would be classified before you can identify it.
Altogether a very good package from Leon Atkinson, who is a active contributor to the PHP movement.
Note to the Author: What we need now is a cook book!
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