Core PHP Programming
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very well written book. Detailed, well organised good for rookies and for pros. My only concern (that's why one missing star) is about the not totally complete coverage of PHP... Read morePublished on 14 Dec. 2001
I like this book a lot. The acutal text isn't that good, but I really like the list of commands, and the examples it gives. This book is very good.Published on 26 Mar. 2000 by firstname.lastname@example.org
It was database administrator friend of mine told who first told me about PHP and everything it was cappable of. Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2000 by email@example.com
I've read this book and it is very complicated, the author used a lot of words that I could not understand.
Also a lot of the examples mentioned didn't work on my computer.
This book doesn't really give you anything you can't get from the online documentation. There are very few examples longer than a couple of lines. Read morePublished on 30 Jan. 2000 by Jim Moores
I started coding in PHP a week ago, and picked it up quick enough. I found the PHP Mailing List very useful, and I also had a Web Server to try out code on. Read morePublished on 10 Jan. 2000 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Since this is the only book about PHP available in English, it's pretty much what there is. The book is very helpful and got us up and running with PHP applications. Read morePublished on 23 Aug. 1999
This book gets to the point!. If you already program and just need a good reference manual with simple (that's good) examples THIS IS THE BOOK!. Read morePublished on 13 Aug. 1999
Part 1 of the book is best. I was already proficient in C, Perl, Java. So I was able to quickly skim through the book and get into production right away. Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 1999