This book, as the title states, is an advanced guide to the PHP programming language. Compared to my PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide
, which teaches PHP, and some MySQL, as a new language for beginners, and my PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide
, which teaches PHP, and lots of MySQL, as new technologies for beginning to intermediate developers, this book is different in two ways.
First, this book does assume reader comfort with PHP and MySQL, not to mention HTML, of course (in a way, this book can be seen as a sequel to PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide
). Second, whereas those other two books covers the topics in a planned sequence, often having one chapter build upon the next, this book has fourteen chapters of content that are primarily separate from each other, the exception being the three chapters on Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) that build upon each other. With this structure, my intention is that you can use this book in whatever way best meets your needs as you master the PHP programming language, the MySQL database server, and Web development in general: reading the chapters that are most pertinent to you, skipping around, etc.
The first third of the book covers different individual, advanced techniques in various categories: general, Web application, database, security, and e-commerce. Readers have told me that their favorite sections in this part are those on modularizing a Web site, storing sessions in a database, and using the Filter extension for easy, improved security.
The next 150 pages of the book covers OOP from the basics of syntax to OOP design theory to real-world application of Object-Oriented Programming. The third chapter in that section includes OOP rewrites of earlier procedural scripts so that you can best compare and contrast the two programming approaches.
The remaining six chapters are each on specific subjects: networking, PHP and the server, PHP's command-line interface, PEAR, Ajax, and XML. Some of the specific topics there include Geolocation, cURL, PHP-GTK, cron, command-line scripting, sending HTML email, a full-fledged Ajax application, and manipulating XML. There was not room in the printed book to include two related chapters--one on creating and manipulating images using the GD library and the other on creating and manipulating PDFs, so those have been made available for free from the publisher's Web site.
As I write this now (in March of 2011), there is no current plan to update the book, which means it won't be happening in 2011. The book was written using PHP 5.2, and the most current version is PHP 5.3, so the material is still quite reasonably up to date.
Thanks for your interest in the book. It is appreciated. And if you purchase it, I hope you like it and find it to be useful and informative.