Programming PHP Paperback – 4 Apr 2002
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Coauthored by its creator, Programming PHP is a nitty-gritty guide to PHP development. PHP is an open-source scripting language used to build dynamic Web sites. In this title, the authors go step-by-step through the language, including brief coverage of common applications such as graphics or database work.
The first six chapters explain PHP essentials, including data types, functions, string manipulation, arrays and objects. Next comes a look at basic Web techniques, followed by an introduction to database access. There is a chapter on generating graphics with the GD extension library and another on creating Adobe PDF documents. The authors then show how to parse XML, and there is a section on security with some handy tips for protecting PHP sites. A chapter on application techniques looks at code libraries, performance tuning and handling errors. Next there is an explanation of how to build extensions to PHP using C, followed by a look at Windows issues such as COM and ODBC. Finally, there is a complete reference to the standard functions in PHP 4.0.
This is not an advanced programming book, but even experienced coders will discover new things about the language and get a clearer understanding of how PHP works. The specialist chapters such as those on XML or PHP extensions tend to be introductory, so readers will need further resources. For example, the database section is short, and would be best read alongside Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL or another book with more detailed database coverage. Even so, this is a strong hands-on title that PHP developers will want to keep close at hand. ----Tim Anderson
"....a well formed and written book, with the 'typical' ORA feel to itvery clear and concise." -- Raymond Camden, Hampton Roads ColdFusion User Group, June 2002
"Personally, I think the authors did a very credible job of creating a book that even a non-programmer can use to get started...." -- Jim Huddle, CompuNotes Issue #191
"The book is a useful and practical introduction for those who want to get started with PHP programming." -- Pete Hoyle, Williamsburg Macromedia User Group, August 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided in chapters in a well-ordered and intuitive way. I get the impression that the authors wrote full chapters each, as they tend to vary in depth. In general, though, they present a wide variety of the features and potent of PHP, and, maybe most important, also discuss limitations.
The book can be read by people with no knowledge on the subject whatsoever, though some programming experience would come helpful. The language is clear, precise and to-the-point. Code examples are presented after each point discussed. There is useful information spread all over the book, of the technical and not-so-technical kind, and I cannot imagine anybody going through the book without learning a few new things, however experienced they may be.
Apart from chapters on the usual PHP features (strings, arrays, objects, etc.), there are subjects on commonly used web techniques (and why they are commonly used), security (server-side and scripting), writing your own PHP extensions, and one dedicated to the special relationship PHP has with windows. Personally, I believe the chapter on security alone is worth buying the book for.
Sometimes the authors give the impression they like showing off (OK, so you can double a number by left-shifting), but this is rare and unobtrusive. So, why only 4 stars? Because the book hasn't been very well edited (at least the first edition which I have): there are spelling and coding mistakes, and the latter is not only less than expected by such a company as O'Reilly, but can severely affect a programmer's first steps into a new language.
This said, this book is definitely worth buying. In fact, it's the best descriptive book I've read on the sole subject of PHP, great as a reference book, and shouldn't be missing from any PHP programmer's library.
I personally found the explanation of objects and their classes to be better than the other explanations I have read for different languages, and certainly made picking up OOP in PHP a lot easier. Throughout is the obvious knowledge of the authors, something always reassuring in a title like this. The book fits well for beginners and seasoned programmers alike: the basics are explained well, and the technical reasons why things happen are included for good measure.
I was also surprised by the size of this book, as it significantly thinner than the other O'Reilly books (and other computer books for that matter), that I own. Computer books often appear large, daunting and dry. This book is an exception to that rule, and is perfectly good for someone wanting to learn PHP from the ground up to someone wanting to pick a chapter to swat up on, and use it as a reference book. All in all, a very good book.
This book will start you out on the right tracks with PHP and help you build up your experience - even once you're experienced, you'll still turn to it for reference.
As usual, it's a solid O'Reilly title, it won't let you down. Being co-written by Rasmus himself (the creator of PHP) it benefits from more than a little extra experience and inside information.
Basically, if you want to create dynamic websites with a lot of power, PHP is the language you want, and this is the book.
While the book isn't perfect: the aforementioned lack of concrete examples (the cynic in me might think that O'Reilly were saving these for the PHP Cookbook which is due out soon) and the chapter on objects being only 20 pages long, it's still all you would need as both a reference and a learning resource. A strong buy.
For example, when it describes constructors it says the constructor is a function named __construct(). But then it immediately gives an example where the constructor for class Person is a function called Person(). The former is PHP 5, the latter is PHP 4. Perhaps the update was a rush job.
If you can't already program in C or C++ then this book may not be for you. If you can, then it's OK.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is billed as a book suitable for those with basic HTML programming skills, but it in fact requires you to know an awful lot. Read morePublished on 16 July 2012 by Single Mind
This book is by far and away the most complicated computer programming book I have ever read.
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