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PHP 5 Advanced: Visual QuickPro Guide 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342376012
ISBN-10: 0321376013
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

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.

From the Back Cover

Visual QuickPro Guide--the fast, efficient way to learn!
  • Easy visual approach uses pictures to guide you through PHP and show you what to do.
  • Concise steps and explanations let you get up and running in no time.
  • Page for page, the best content and value around.
  • Companion Web site offers sample scripts, updates, and more.
  • Bonus chapters available for download at the publisher's Web site.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 2nd edition (March 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321376013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321376015
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #762,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Despite having written many computer books, I have no formal computer training, save for one Pascal class way, way, way back in high school. So I like to say that I'm not a computer geek, although I can speak their language.

My formal education was in impractical knowledge: English literature, language, and writing; philosophy and religion (with a heavy emphasis on symbolic logic); and, Latin. As you can see, nothing really useful here. I guess what I did figure out is how to learn something new, how to synthesize all the information I come across, and how to communicate what I've learned in a clear and effective manner.

Since college I've worked at a national bookstore chain, at the main library at Georgetown University, and then for DMC Insights, Inc. I started as the head of the Digital Media Technologies department, where my main focus was on developing dynamic Web sites. I've since been promoted to President of the company, but that's not as impressive as it may sound! Most of my time is spent writing (books and articles), teaching (online and in small group settings), and actually using the technologies that I write about and teach.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've been reading Larry's books since back in the early days when php/mysql books were barely found. I have to credit Larry's books with helping me just get started learning about php & mysql, and even helping me with most of what I learn today. I've purchased every new version of his books and pick up new things every time. It's so easy to step along with the examples, to help provide a solid understanding, and to give a fresh reassurance of what I may have already known... plus I always learn new tricks and techniques. I guess that's why I keep getting his books. This book especially helped me with a few tricks just at the right time, right when I needed help with them. I have over twenty-five php books and his are all in the top of my favorites and most referenced to.
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By Callum D on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
While not quite as good as its predecessor (PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Websites 2nd edition) in terms of readability and ease of understanding, Larry Ullman is still, with this book, miles in front of pretty much any other technical author I have read. The chapters on object oriented programming are certainly the best I have come across on the subject.

There is also a quick but useful demo of how to put a bit of AJAX in to a PHP site to increase usability.

The one thing missing from this book that I personally would like to have seen, would be an introduction to frameworks.

But let me stress this point: Larry Ullman is the best technical author, by a long, long way, on any subject I have ever read about in my life. I just wish he was an expert and wrote books on all the other things I want to learn about - that's how good his teaching ability is.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've purchased this book and PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide, both by Larry Ullman. They're wonderful -- with them, I took my first steps into working with databases and a language like PHP. The step by step examples have made it very easy to learn and when I've been stuck -- I've gone to Larry's site and he's answered my questions in his forum. Two of the best purchases I've ever made. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like this book so much I have to give credit to both:

(1) The author, for selecting straightforward, useful topics and presenting them clearly and cleanly. I particularly appreciate his emphasis on simplicity and practicality. Just enough concept and just enough hand-holding. I was struggling to make the leap from building haphazardly assembled web pages to an organized, modular, MVC architecture, and Chapter 2 provided an invaluable intermediate step that I have not seen in any other text. Likewise for OOP. Other books go off on verbose tangents without showing you syntax that you'll actually use. This book demonstrates just enough OOP to do anything you'll ever really need to do with objects, without dogmatically pushing you to unnecessarily objectify and wrap every piece of data in your application with layers of abstraction.
The introduction of "advanced" features, like Ajax,COM, PEAR, PECL, and several of the useful libraries therein, was also a good introduction to the deeper waters beyond a basic mastery of the PHP language fundamentals.

(2) The whole "visual quickpro" series and concept. I have dozens of other IT/programming books that are just way too heavy on text and demonstrative code snippets and lack the complete small-project approach of these quickpro books. The wrox and o'reilly books with 2 dozen authors and endless UML diagrams just don't do it for me. The quickpro two-column page layout with code and screenshots next to explanations is easily approachable. I also recommend the author's "Building a website with ajax" for the same reasons. Go through each chapter, typing and running his code as you go to make sure you internalize the concepts and syntax, then go through it again and adapt the material to your own projects.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book because I have two of Larry Ullman's other books: PHP 5 and MySQL 4.1 for Dynamic Websites and the updated PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic Websites. It seemed natural for me to turn to this book to learn about advanced PHP topics, particularly since I wanted to learn about PHP object-oriented programming.

As with his other books that I own, Larry Ullman's explanation and examples are very simple and easy to understand, particularly when it came to learning about object-oriented programming. He starts you off with a basic understanding of object-oriented programming, and then advances you to advanced object-oriented programming, and then finishes it off with a real world example in creating a shopping cart for an e-commerce website. What's beautiful is that in the previous chapters, he had you create a shopping cart in the procedural programming style. Now you can compare and see the difference in procedural programming versus object-oriented programming on the same type of application you are building. I tried reading other books and websites on PHP object-oriented programming, but none of them clicked with me as they had complex examples and their explanations weren't clear. This book really nailed it for me and I am now writing and working with object-oriented PHP code.

On the back cover, it also mentions that there are bonus e-chapters about creating PDF's with PHP and images with PHP. Unfortunately I have yet to redeem the bonus chapters from their website so I cannot comment on them.

I highly recommend this book if you want to learn about PHP object-oriented programming and to keep as a reference. There are other interesting topics in this book that I also found useful, such as security (sanitizing data), database encryption with MySQL, basic AJAX, XML/PHP, modularizing a website, and working with multidimensional arrays.
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