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PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition) Paperback – March 19, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0321733450 ISBN-10: 0321733452 Edition: 4th
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PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition) + PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide (4th Edition) + PHP Advanced and Object-Oriented Programming: Visual QuickPro Guide (3rd Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This is the fourth edition of my first book: a beginner's guide to the PHP programming language. This book was written for the average computer user wanting to begin developing dynamic Web sites. No prior programming experience is assumed, although you should already be familiar with the basics of HTML. The focus of the book is the PHP language itself, but two chapters introduce MySQL and SQL, in order to start using a database backend.

With the fourth edition of the book, I started by fixing any minor problems and updating the code for the latest version of PHP. New in this edition is a "Review and Pursue" section at the end of each chapter. The review prompts revisit the chapter's key points. The pursue prompts are specific recommendations for how to apply what you just learned on your own. As with any of the book's material, you can turn to the book's supporting forum for help or feedback on the "Review and Pursue" section.

Also new in this edition is an added chapter, called "Putting It All Together." The chapter demonstrates how to use everything covered in the book to assemble a mini-Web application, with authentication and full CRUD (Create, Retrieve, Update, and Delete) functionality.

I thank you for your interest in my work. If you do decide to purchase the book, I hope it meets your expectations.

From the Back Cover

Learn PHP programming--the quick and easy way!
  • Easy visual approach uses demonstrations and real-world examples of dynamic Web development using PHP and shows you what to do step by step.
  • Concise steps and explanations let you get up and running in no time.
  • Essential reference guide keeps you coming back again and again.
  • Whether you're a programming newbie or an experienced veteran learning PHP for the first time, this book will teach you all you need to know, including the latest changes in PHP, what to expect in HTML5, and more!
  • Visit the companion website for online resources, including all the scripts used in the book, bonus content, and a support forum where you can get answers directly from the author.

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Product Details

  • Series: Visual QuickStart Guide
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 4 edition (March 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321733452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321733450
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Susanne C on June 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Larry Ullman's PHP for the Web is unsurpassed as a beginner's guide to learning PHP. The book, for instance, covers many essential topics, such as variables, forms, sessions and cookies, numbers, and strings. Ullman furthermore provides excellent screenshots of the code to provide the macro, or `big picture', perspective while providing an explanatory break down of each piece of code for a micro perspective. Ullman also uses relevant examples that are necessary for making a professional Web site, including log-in pages and editing features for administrators. More importantly, Ullman's style of writing is instantly engaging, wondrously eloquent, and grammatically polished, making for a thoroughly enjoyable read of what might otherwise be considered a dry topic.

Prior to reading Larry Ullman's book, I read the entirety of a PHP manual by Kevin Yank, concluding the book with complete confusion and no practical skills. However, it appears that Yank has a new edition that might have some improved features. In addition to reading Yank's manual on PHP, I read Janet Valade's Dummies guide, which was the worst PHP manual imaginable, heavily laden with coding errors and misprints.

As a beginner to PHP and computer programming, the key to my success with Larry Ullman's book included the prior reading of Javascript, A Beginner's Guide, Third Edition by John Pollock. Pollock's book broke down not only Javascript into accessible components, but also explained the basics of computer languages, such as variables, arrays, regular expressions, and other essentials necessary for a solid background in introductory computer programming and PHP. After reading Pollock's book, Ullman's book appeared lucid and friendly-- a logical next step.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Coulombe on October 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been making websites here and there, simple ones, for over 10 years now. I also have good knowledge of programming, and have been doing that for many years as well (C, C++, Java, and other languages). When it comes to web programming, all I've used before is pretty much only HTML, and some random javascript codes picked up over the internet. I thought PHP was not for me, but mostly, I thought it would be too long to learn.

As it turns out, it is an easier language than most other languages. And this book makes it all the more easy, and goes right to the point. The examples are plentiful--the author mainly starts whatever he wishes to show with an HTML form that is to be handled by a PHP script. The page layout is really well designed as well: all pages are divided into two columns, and on the outer-most columns you have the text, while on the inner-most columns you have codes and boxes. The codes are well laid out as well, with the important or new lines of codes being highlighted in grey. After each example, the author also gives a series of tips, which are very insightful, and generally a little more advanced than the text itself.

This book is certainly written for a beginning audience, when it comes to both PHP and programming more generally. However, even though I'm a beginner only in PHP and certainly not in programming, I appreciate this book immensely, and it is extremely helpful. Importantly, I do NOT deem it to be too simple. It is the case that I read over some sections quickly, but I'm still doing what I bought this book for: learning PHP.

I was hesitating between this book and the author's more advanced
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
I haven't found a lot of great PHP books out there, but the couple of books I've checked out by Lawrence Ullman have been first rate. Ullman writes very clearly, and this book, along with the CSS book in the Visual Quick Start guide series (by Jason Cranford Teague), are clear winners. I'd recommend skipping the VQSG JavaScript book, though.

I don't see how Ullman could make the introduction to PHP clearer or more gentle than this, other than than taking a Sitepoint-like approach and making the book full color with a lot of screen shots.

That being said, if you're not a true beginner, you can probably start with Ullman's PHP and MySql book, which I'm currently reading in the previous edition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Marple on December 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Working with Meetups' PHP Percolate Season four [...] and Larry Ullman's terric book: PHP for the Web, fourth edition, was a terrific experience. The book moved us quickly from the earliest information up through all of the language constructs in a business like manner that gets the job done effectively. This book is simple to follow, easy to read, reasonably easy to use as a reference - I was always able to find something I was looking for; the table of contents describes everything being accomplished in each chapter.

The book stops short of complex PHP issues, object oriented programming and any real discussion on HTML - except by example. The use of HTML is well rounded if not thorough. The only thing I found to criticize is the complete omission of function arguments being passed by reference and what that really means. It doesn't explain that complex types, arrays and objects are automatically passed by reference and why. I guess that's the subject of a serious computer science course rather than a language primer.

The treatment of MySQL is quite thin but suits the purpose of the book's objective to teach PHP, not MySQL. All in all I liked the book very much and think others could be made like it that provide a working set of basic knowledge and allow for inspiration and play to occur while working the chapters. I look forward to the next book in the series: PHP Advanced and Object-Oriented Programming: Visual QuickPro Guide (3rd Edition) by Larry Ullman.
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