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PHP in Action: Objects, Design, Agility Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (July 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932394753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932394757
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #963,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dagfinn Reiersol has been designing and developing web applications, web content mining software, web programming tools, and text analysis programs, mostly in PHP, since 1997. He also has a long history as a technical writer of software manuals. He lives in Oslo, Norway.

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Customer Reviews

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Very good book for intermediate or advanced php developer, I'm very happy with the book.
D. Ruslan
This book clearly EXPLAINS the importance of object oriented DESIGN techniques and walks you through real-world examples of how to actually implement them effectively.
The book not only covers what you should do, but it goes into explaining why and how in an easy to understand manner.
Eldon Alameda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Discoveror on October 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most books, I've read are written by full-time authors, rather than contractors (i.e. practitioners) ... and it shows ... in the "hello world", foo-bar examples ... for lack of immagination. This author has, clearly, been developing websites - for years; it's so evident throughout. Moreover, the author is VERY well read and aware of the latest development theories, practices, principles and design patterns. He writes with the wisdom of someone who has lived through long wars of website development and, more importantly to the reader, has found most practical ways to weave current design theory into guidelines for getting things done with PHP.

How many books have you finished and asked yourself, "ok, now, where do I start?". This is NOT one of those books. This, more than any other, answers the "How ...?" providing a whole process for starting, being sure of incremental progress, handling inevitable complexity and, ultimately, maintainability.

I've read over a dozen PHP books, usually picked based on Amazon recommendations (when available). This book stands head and shoulders ABOVE ANYthing I've found to date ... for its pragmatic blend of theory and practice. On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, this is at least an 11 (or better)! If you don't study this book, CAREFULLY, you're in for far more miserable coding experiences than necessary.

When I took the scenic boat ride through Oslo harbor, I had no idea that such a blend of PHP techniques and advanced coding theory was evolving in Norway! <G> It's such a beautiful ride ... try it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sam on December 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is geared toward the intermediate PHP developer who wants to bring in aspects of OOP, Testing and Refactoring to help improve the quality of the code they write. It is split into four parts; Basic Tools and Concepts, Testing and Refactoring, Building the Web Interface, and Databases and Infrastructure.

In addition to PHP, I have decent amount of experience with Java and Java web frameworks such as Struts. So as I worked through this book much of the content was familiar to me but from a Java perspective. It was enlightening to see the authors express these same concepts from a PHP perspective. The fact that many times (not always), the implementation in PHP is more concise and elegant that the Java alternative really shows of the power of a dynamically typed language such as PHP. Also the fact that PHP was bred from the beginning to be a web development language gives it a definate advantage in the web arena.
The authors are honest though, they haven't simply painted implementing OO, TDD, and Refactoring as completelty painless. For instance in the testing portion they've devoted quite a bit of time to showing the difficulties of testing (especially in a Web environment). Such as the need for mock objects and the difficulty in keeping mocks "real enough" so they fail and pass as the real object would. This full disclosure is key for readers to estimate if the extra effort of a concept is worth the benefits for their particual situation.

Overall this is great book for the intended audience. It is not "black and white" about the solutions it proposes. Reasonable alternatives are given and the pros and cons of each are expressed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Trent Buckingham on October 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
One thing I liked in this book is that it has lots of information for experienced web developers who are moving from a bigger framework (like .Net, Rails, or even Java) to PHP. It contains good practices for performing "framework-type" activities like database and HTTP request encapsulation. The chapters on controllers tells you how emulate MVC-like components in PHP.

The only problem I have with it is how the chapter intros were written. They read like page fillers that just break the smooth flow of the whole text. Most of them are personal experiences by the author(s) that were forcefully fitted to introduce a certain programming topic or issue. The thing is it just doesn't work.
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful By George Jempty on November 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
The problem with PHP experts is that they're just beginning to catch up with experts in other OO languages. The author purports to compare and contrast Java and PHP in early chapters, but fails to point out a significant difference, although he uses such examples over and over: that object constructors that take no arguments may omit the (empty) parentheses in PHP, but not in Java. The author's explanations of certain design patterns are sorely lacking; for instance regarding the Strategy pattern, he uses the ambiguous term "pluggable" over and over but never once the term "algorithm", yet substituting algorithms is precisely what the Strategy pattern is designed for. There is some very good material on MVC -- he even has the courage to contradict Martin Fowler -- but mixed with suggestions that are myopic, such as the author's continued insistence that using PHP's various ob* (output buffer) functions are practically the only way to compartmentalize web page components should you choose to role your own framework, while ignoring the notion of layout definitions (a la Java's Struts/Tiles), which I am using successfully on a current project. So, while this is a much better thought out book than most on PHP, this needs a highly critical reading, something which most PHP programmers are probably not inclined to.
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