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PHP Functions Essential Reference [Paperback]

Torben Wilson , Zak Greant , Graeme Merrall , Brett Michlitsch
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 27, 2001 073570970X 978-0735709706 1

The PHP Functions Essential Reference is a simple, clear and authoritative function reference that clarifies and expands upon PHP's existing documentation.
The authors have spent time evaluating all of the PHP functions and have selected the essential functions to include in the printed book. This includes around 900 of the 1500 functions. The remaining functions will be covered in the same depth and treated in the same way, but they will appear on the web site along with the content of the entire book, which is provided under the OPL.

Editorial Reviews


This book is an excellent complement to other, more tutorial focused books, or even to the PHP Manual itself. -- Sterling Hughes, PHP Core Developer and author

From the Author

Much of the attraction that PHP holds for its developers is its extensible nature. Adding functionality to the language in the form of optional modules is not only allowed, but encouraged- and often users find that an extension they've written makes its way into the official distribution. However, this extensibility comes at a price: There is a vast amount of documentation of which only a fraction is generally applicable to any given project. This book solves the problem of widely scattered documentation by providing, in printed form and on the book's web site, extensive coverage of every essential PHP function. Zak Greant

Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (September 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073570970X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735709706
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,855,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Awesome Resource January 3, 2002
Whether you are new to PHP or a seasoned web developer, this reference book is an absolutely must. Clean, concise, and well written, the authors are well-known and respected in the PHP community. Zak Greant heads up the PHP quality assurance squad, Torben Wilson is one of the longest-running credited authors of the PHP manual, and Graeme Merrall contributes to several areas of PHP development.
This book is fast. You can get to what you need quickly, and if you're not sure what you need, the logical hierarchy and table of contents makes narrowing things down very snappy. Within minutes of picking up the book, I've learned new things about PHP, even after 4 years of hardcore PHP development. Not too many books do that. The only downside I can find with it is it won't fit in my shirt pocket.
This book has many other strengths.
- It has a companion website that compliments the book and is maintained by the authors.
- It has been released under a license that reflects the very nature of PHP and Open Source Software, a real credit to the authors.
- One of the Technical Reviewers of the book during the process of it being written was none other than Ken Coar, one of the leaders of the Apache Foundation (author of the best darn web server ever made) and one of the Open Source movement's greatest assets. Buying a PHP book reviewed by Ken Coar is like buying a Bible blessed by the Pope.
If you can't RTFM, then for sure, RTFB.
That is: Read This Friendly Book. ;)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Reference for PHP Developers September 17, 2002
I do a lot of PHP web development. The books that use the most are "MySQL by Paul DuBois", and this one.
I hear a lot of comments stating, "you can find it online". Yes, its true, you can. But, when you are writing code the last thing you want is another window open or spend valuable time trying to find an answer.
The authors have done a great job laying this book out. The information is catagorized and aphabetized. There are short examples that do a good job of explaining how each function works. And what really sets it apart from others, is it tells you if the function has been deprecated and/or what version of PHP and OS supports it, it has a "see also" for each pertinent function, and a great layout(check out the sample pages).
If you program using PHP, get this book. The time it saves is well worth the price. This book is for all levels of PHP programmers, novice to experts. Don't be fooled into thinking all you need is the downloadable manual from The manual is useful, but it doesn't work as well as this book.
This book is always within arms reach when I'm programming and I'm sure it will be the same for you.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great time-saver November 3, 2001
By Andra
I found this book surprisingly useful as an ordinary PHP user. I thought it might be only for gurus, but when I picked up the book it fell open to a function that could have saved me hours of programming on a previous project. I built it from scratch when I didn't know the function already existed.
That's the value in this book. There are hundreds of PHP functions, the vast majority of which are unknown to the casual user. If you're on deadline there isn't time to learn them all, or even to wander the PHP sites until you hit paydirt.
This book simply lays them out, with a clear description and example attached to each. It's a huge time-saver.
My one suggestion is that the book would benefit from having a usage index. Right now, functions are grouped by type (say, time & date functions), then listed alphabetically. But often users don't know what a function is called. They only know what they want it to do.
It would save even more time if there was an extra index where you might look things up by use, say, "Create random password." That would make this time-saver even faster.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4 stars because of the horrible (non-existent) support of the promised online version.

I have scoured the Web and have found these two sites that still have the online version ("[...]" says the server is down!). It was a LOT of work to find these, and I'm working on downloading the whole thing to put in a ZIP file and host, some time in the future, but in the mean time I thought I'd save everyone a LOT of work! Here you go:


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reference Material October 30, 2001
This book is undeniably the best PHP Reference book I own. It's saved my butt in many situations while programming. Using an index in a regular book to reference a command is anoying and time consumable. Using this book to reference a command is so fast and easy. The index is setup so nicely. Think about it your not always looking for a way to use a particular command sometimes your looking for the command in general and sometimes you don't even know what the command would be under. For instance I had to figure out a way to make pages so they were refreshed at every visit. I didn't even know where to begin. So I went to the index and looked up Caching, boom right there, "preventing, page 238" less then 1 minute later my page is running smooth. I tried that previously in my other reference book (this book is awfull and will remain secret for their sake) impossible. Don't take a risk buy this book wether our an experienced programmer or new to php. Its awsome, I even like the size, easy to tote around and set next to your keyboard unlike these massive 2000 page bibles of unneeded text and garble.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful
This is excellent for programming PHP and has everything including functions clearly defined. I've used it to make many websites. Great book.
Published 9 months ago by Josef C. Tran
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is out of date
While there is much good information in this book just look at the publication date ***2001*** Enough said... almost. Read more
Published on October 7, 2007 by FordLover37
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have PHP reference
This is without a doubt, a brilliant PHP reference book.

The PHP functions are grouped in chapters based on their relevance. E.G. Read more
Published on September 10, 2004 by Brent Knigge
5.0 out of 5 stars corrected URL for online book
Reviewer Kevin Carlson noted that the book was not available online at the web address that it mentions. It turns out that there is an errata at [... Read more
Published on May 5, 2004 by William Hargen
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have!
This book is a must have for any PHP wed developer. I find myself referencing this book quite often. Read more
Published on October 13, 2003 by Graham Kelly
4.0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedic, but no longer online
Fantastic reference book with code snippets for every function.
My only complaint is that although the book was released under the Open Publication license (allowing it to be... Read more
Published on September 18, 2003 by Kevin Carlson
5.0 out of 5 stars The ideal desktop reference
It's more then the usual printed version of manuals, this book actually give you usable examples along with clear function explanations. Read more
Published on January 22, 2003 by Foti Massimo
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential book for all PHPers
You'll have this book within an arm's reach at all times. It's packed with every PHP function and has excellent examples for each one. Read more
Published on November 16, 2002 by Phillip Schwarzmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference Book
This book has an excellent easy to use layout and contains just about every PHP function you can imagine. Read more
Published on October 3, 2002 by Ernest Correale
5.0 out of 5 stars A goldmine of easy to find information.
I own a number of so-called 'essential' references for many languages, and over a dozen PHP books that claim to be the end all of PHP documentation. Read more
Published on September 25, 2002 by John P. Hoke
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