Customer Reviews: PHP 5 Advanced: Visual QuickPro Guide
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on July 15, 2007
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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on October 23, 2007
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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on June 24, 2016
Though the material was fairly comprehensive, I didn't like the explanations and really didn't like the format and layout of the book. It was just pretty much a bunch of code samples with a tiny sidebar and some brief explanations of the code. If that's your kind of thing go for it, but the format didn't work for me. Also, there didn't really seem to be a clear structure or progression in the book, it was kind of random.
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on March 4, 2011
Larry Ullman's PHP 6 and Mysql 5: Visual Quickstart Guide was required reading for a college course I took in Data Driven Websites. Unlike other programming books that try to liven up their dull topics with equally dull humor, Larry has a way of writing that makes learning exciting and easy to follow without having to read through hours of text diluted with painfully unfunny humor.

Also unlike other programming books, you know the exercises in his books are going to work. If you get stuck on an example, Larry provides online support for his books. Larry answers your questions and gets you back on your feet so that you can get on with learning the rest of the book.

No other author is so involved with his readers' learning.

Other great books on PHP - Visual Quickstart PHP 6 and Mysql 5, and Effortless E-commerce. All these books are must reads for anyone serious about learning PHP.
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on April 19, 2013
Another great book written by Larry Ullman, a magnificent guy and coder that will not only help you learn coding but he will trigger much more inside your brain, from scheduling, organizing projects, structuring your work and many more. If you want to buy this than you should for 100% but check also the latest version which includes more about earliest php 5 version.
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on June 13, 2008
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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on September 18, 2012
I am a student in Web Design and Development going for a Bachelor's Degree and for this we have to learn PHP. We used one of the Larry Ullman books and he is a fantastic author with easy to understand English that makes sure that everyone that can understand what he is saying and explaining in plain English not just a bunch of technical talk that no one can understand.
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on December 14, 2010
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. Most of the quickpro books seem to be for introductory level material. I'd like to see them cover more advanced topics with the same emphasis on succinctness and practicality.

Larry, if you read this -- please consider doing a "PHP 5 More Advanced" to cover MVC in detail and help us put some of the more useful design patterns into practice. More security related material would be cool as well. You'd have at least one buyer.
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on July 11, 2009
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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on May 6, 2008
This book is a great continuation of the PHP5 Visual Quickstart Guide by the same company "Peachpit press). They stay with the same learning style that they have in the other books (visual and doing) but go into more advanced operations.
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