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PHP for Absolute Beginners (Expert's Voice in Open Source) 1st ed. 2010 Edition
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More About the Author
He posts armchair philosophy on his blog at http://lengstorf.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Being an absolute beginner in PHP, I give the book 3 stars. Here's why:
The author glosses over theory (in some instances, he just does away with it all together) in order to hurry up and get to the part of the book where you code your own blog. That's fine if all you want to be able to do with PHP is code your own simple blog. However, if you're like me and would actually like to be able to code something other than a blog after you read this book, you NEED theory. There are several different ways you can code things to get the same output. You need to know the hows and whys of them all in order to choose the best coding method for your project. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating a buggy program and spending hundreds of hours and countless frustrations on a project that you'll ultimately have to scrap because it wasn't coded properly in the first place.
There is no Glossary. Dozens of new terms and concepts get thrown at you within the first two chapters of the book, most of which are poorly explained (if they are even explained at all). A glossary at the back of the book would have allowed the author to explain them in detail to true beginners in PHP without taking up space within the chapters themselves. Without it, the first couple of chapters can be a bit overwhelming.
There are errors in the test code. To me, this is perhaps the biggest flaw this book has.Read more ›
For example, in Chapter 5 the author provides a Cascading Style Sheet with the caveat that this isn't a book on HTML/CSS and the user should type the text as displayed. Detailed instructions are provided for including the style sheet in the project. Unfortunately the href for the style sheet - "/css/default.css" - is wrong and it should be "/simple_blog/css/default.css". As a result, the style sheet isn't used and the actual browser output doesn't match what's displayed in the book.
In Chapter 3, page 90 the author feeds the result of the trim() function to the empty() function as part of a conditional check - if(!empty(trim($_POST['username']))). This code returns a fatal error because empty() will only check variables. Again, typing the code as displayed in the book would have caught the error.
In Chapter 7 on page 200 there's a custom confirmDelete() function that doesn't work and isn't part of the author's official code sample. Did anybody test the code before putting it in the book?
I'm giving PHP for Absolute Beginners 3 stars because the editing was sloppy. If the errors are corrected I would give it an additional star. The author provides a complete sample application and reviews all the pieces of the program. That's more than you'd get from a Software Development Kit sample.Read more ›
I have a few PHP books and looked over lots of others online but so many have fell short in my opinion. Either they are way too basic and cover little tidbits and little examples. Thats all well and good for just learning the basics of the language but then what?
After you learn the basics of the PHP syntax (variables, conditional statements, loops, functions, object and connecting to MySQL) then what?
Well, normally most will try and look for an intermediate-advanced book, but do know what happens then? You find the book teaches more advanced topics which may or not be of help to you because you really havent fully understood how to use the basics yet.
This book does. This is the only book i've read in PHP (if not any other programming web langauge), that after it explains the syntax basics with some small little examples, it then shows the reader how to take what they have learned into developing a real world example.
This book shows its readers how to build a working blog site. Of course its not a WordPress clone, but its a useable website that can be expanded. It is actually useful web application. Brilliant!
I have started to implement this book on my PHP classes I will teach next semester.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for someone else to get started in PHP. It's good for a beginner in PHP, but as someone who is well versed, I felt it was lacking in describing best usage of the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by C. Gleason
This book has too many errors on the code samples. Use only if you want to debug.Published 3 months ago by Dinga
Like others have said, lots of editing errors. You get to a point to where there's code in the examples that they just never covered.Published 6 months ago by Rian
I've been doing development work professionally in one capacity or another for around 15 years. I wanted to learn some PHP for a small side project and picked up this text at... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Gregory Hein
I have worked with PHP for more than a decade and got this book for my brother who wanted to learn PHP. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Moazzam
First, if your a beginner, this book is not for you unless you want a tutorial that throws large amounts of code at you and explains it in two or three sentences and repeats. Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by Daniel Beaulieu
I just wanted to echo the sentiments of the referenced review, and further down weight the rating of this publication. This book is not worthy of 3 stars, let alone 5. Read morePublished on November 10, 2011 by Warfarin
As other reviewers have mentioned, this book is full of programming errors, thus definitely not a book for Absolute Beginners. Read morePublished on August 16, 2011 by A. Hussain
Just check out jdhadwin's review for most of my thoughts. He really nailed the shortcomings of this one. The book has good intentions, but you can't trust the code examples. Read morePublished on January 29, 2011 by KingJames