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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
I have 3 or 4 PHP books, and this one is the worst, by far. I bought it because it was required for a PHP class I am taking, but it is a horrible choice for a course textbook.

An example: In chapter 10, "Working with the file and operating system", there are something like 15 pages about reading files, but not one page about writing files. Say what? And no examples of writing files. It's really as if the author simply never thought about it.

Every subject, every section leaves me wanting. There is almost no section of the book where I pick it up and glean meaningful examples.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2011
I have done a lot of Java web programming. I thought of learning PHP so that I can set up my own website for cheap compared to Java hosting. It's a fun project. So, I bought this book. I read the first 9 chapters and my experience has been very frustrating. TONS of theory. I hardly wrote a single line of code. By the time you read chapter 9, you forget what's in chapter 6. This book so heavy on my brain. I wouldn't recommend this books for anyone who is an absolute beginner to programming because you never really code in this book. I gave up after reading the first 9 chapters and in search of a better book now. Maybe I will jump straight into Zend. If you have some programming experience, then YMMV. You might like this book. But if you are a person who likes to code along with the book, then this book is not for you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
This book has absolutely NO examples. Programming is not something you can pickup by reading and understanding, you need to DO to learn the nuances of how things work. I could understand if one chapter went into the "theory" behind things and definitions and the next went into the application but the entire book is REFERENCE. If you want to learn PHP do not buy; this book is a PHP dictionary.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2012
The author knows his stuff, and gives plenty of good examples. So why don't I like this book? It's a very frustrating read. Here's an example:

"The print() statement's return value is misleading because it will always return 1 regardless of outcome (the only outcome I've ever experienced using this statement is one in which the desired output is sent to the browser). This differs from the behavior of most other functions in the sense that their return value often serves as an indicator of whether the function executed as intended."

This appears early on, when he hasn't even covered the use of return values. And in any case, he uses about 3 times as many words as he needs to express a simple concept. Try: "The print() statement always returns 1. This differs from most other functions, which return a value that indicate success or failure."

Then he goes on to cover echo().

"While there are technical differences between echo() and print(), they'll be irrelevant to most readers and therefore aren't discussed here."

So WTF are they discussed?

Lots of padding also. Do I need advice on finding a hosting provider? Maybe I do, but a programming textbook is the wrong place for it. There's also a history of the language which I might have enjoyed reading if it weren't such a muddle.

I'll probably keep this book around so I can dip into the advanced topics. But for introducing myself to PHP, I'll look for an author who doesn't try my patience.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2012
Beware! If you're a beginner this book is NOT for you.

Author says you only need cursory knowledge of HTML and then writes this: "suppose you wanted to insert a single dynamic integer value into an otherwise static string"... This is the first time the reader runs into these terms in this book.
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