There is a lot of very useful information to be found inside of the book that is essential for anybody coming to PHP for the first time. However I found that installation of the software, especially using source code was a real problem, not being familiar with the process of installing similar source code.
In the end I installed Ubuntu and used 'apt-get install' within a linux terminal to install apache, php and postgresql (my preference over mysql).
Even taking this approach requires that you look at the net and make a few configuration file setting changes (mostly associated with access rights) to get it all working.
Others on the net have experienced the same problems that I encountered and with a little investigation and trial and error most people should be capable of getting the components to work.
I think that as the book suggests installing from source as being a good solution then it should dedicate a chapter to the set-up process requirements focused on what can go wrong and how to remedy.