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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The master returns: the best short course on PHP available
Larry Ullman brings two major talents to the task of writing "PHP": a) a thorough knowledge of PHP, and b) the ability to write on technical subjects clearly and concisely.

Ullman himself considers this edition "a relatively light revision of the book, tweaking some things, solidifying the discussion of PHP 5 (which was just out when the second edition of the...
Published on December 23, 2008 by Jerry Saperstein

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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best... Could be better...
Being a little new to programming, I thought this book was for me. However, I was dissapointed. I have a good working knowledge of HTML... I had to refer to various other sources to learn...
Definitely not for beginners... Also the layout of text is just too complicated.
Published on January 24, 2010 by S. Coutinho


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The master returns: the best short course on PHP available, December 23, 2008
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This review is from: PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition (Paperback)
Larry Ullman brings two major talents to the task of writing "PHP": a) a thorough knowledge of PHP, and b) the ability to write on technical subjects clearly and concisely.

Ullman himself considers this edition "a relatively light revision of the book, tweaking some things, solidifying the discussion of PHP 5 (which was just out when the second edition of the book was written), and addressing some of the changes forthcoming in PHP 6 (whenever that may be)". I have the earlier edition(s) in my library and there aren't any super-major changes visible.

I suspect that a non-programmer would have litle difficulty learning how to program in PHP using this book. But I think a working knowlede of HTML and perhaps even Javascript would be helpul.

Ullman begins at the beginning with the basic concepts of programming and PHP. His writing style is very comfortable, very clear and the beginner will not feel lost, though the experienced programmer may do nothing more than skim these first pages.

He moves forward into functions and control functions, working his way to interaction with databases, one of the most widespread uses for PHP.

All in all, this is great learning tool for those coming with experience in other programming languages and those who are neophytes. Ullman has done it again: excellent work.

Jerry
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive, Yet Simplified Jump Start for PHP Beginners, August 15, 2009
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This review is from: PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition (Paperback)
I started as not knowing much about PHP, and by the time I had completed reading this book and doing many of its exercises, the book had lived up to its promise of "Learn PHP the Quick and Easy Way!", at least for me.

PHP is actually easy, but it is somewhat involved! It is not like learning VBA where you focus on the language syntax and that is all you really need to learn. PHP, by its Client Server nature, requires us to learn some HTML, Forms, CSS, and Database as well. Being a Client-Server Scripting Language, this is only natural.

Larry has done an excellent job of keeping this book comprehensive by giving us enough first had knowledge to be effective in HTML, Forms, CSS, and Database. But most importantly, there is enough to help learn to write a useful program as a beginner. However, previous experience about other programming languages,we can get inventive and write more complicated ones using this book.

Chapter 1 gets us started nicely. Chapters 2 to 5 are basic things like variables and strings. Chapter 6, does a good job of giving practical, and clearly explained control functions. Chapter 7 on using arrays gives us a good start plus a lot of helpful things like how to convert an array into a string, and vice versa. I found Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11 containing all essential things needed to make a decent website including session management and cookies. Again, he clearly gives an excellent start, and empowers us to build on that. Chapter 10 is on functions and Chapter 11 introduces us to files and directories as seen by PHP Client Server approach. Chapter 12 is introduction to Databases. Databases and detailed explanation of them, to satisfy a DBA for example, will take a complete book focused on it. However, Larry has packed enough database information here that will get us started and more importantly operational on the Back End Database. Chapter 13, regular expressions, while important, was sort of icing on the cake for me.

Appendix A does a basic treatment of general installation for different operating systems. Appendix B, on the other hand is a good list of other resources.

As a suggestion, I would say that if the code for a more involved, ten or fifteen page website could be shown to expand on what is already in the book, would help put all in prespective. Also, there is a slight confusion at this time in this book. At the time this book was being written, there was some confusion about PHP 5 or 6 in the Regular Expressions Chapter 13. I would recommend that this be cleared up in the Fourth Edition. This book is well worth a Fourth Edition!

The pace of the book is good and it does not jump around, and it does not leave gaps that would be frustrating to a first time PHP programmer. It logically and systematically builds up on previous chapters as it proceeds.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Introductory Text, October 11, 2009
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This review is from: PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition (Paperback)
A relatively easy-to-follow series of lessons and sample scripts make for easy reading and rapid progress. Many sidebars contain excellent "Tips" which sometimes turn out to be more useful than the main text. Explanations and instructions are surprisingly clear, and this is a good introduction to PHP for beginners.

Issues include usage of old mysql library (instead of mysqli, in use since PHP 4.1), a somewhat stilted version of PHP redux, usage of now-deprecated ereg functions in regular expressions, and a few other minor anomalies. Lots of space is wasted showing actual scripts which are being explained simultaneously in adjacent pages, and are available for download on the book's website anyway. But the overall concepts are well-explained, and this text is less confusing than several others available. An economical and educational choice for a PHP beginner wanting to get their feet wet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for "regular folks" who want to learn programming, April 13, 2010
This review is from: PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition (Paperback)
I reviewed this book as a text possibility for my Basic Web Programming course at The Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. My students are people off the street - not CS students - who have day jobs in areas like heating and cooling, local government, sole proprietor businesses, graphic art, etc (all across the board.) If I were to teach this course like a CS course, these folks would never come back.

So, I needed a textbook that explains absolutely EVERYTHING, repeatedly. And I needed a textbook that would refer new skills back to previous material. My students aren't going to "get" the full meaning of any principle in one explanation. This book explains the little pieces and nuances that were a total mystery to me, when I was a CS student. Of course, as a CS student you are supposed to be very smart and just naturally understand everything without explanation or review, but that won't work in Adult Education.

Some Features that Make the Book User-friendly
- I like the fact that the code is shown in entirety and then also in pieces. This is a design feature that makes the book usable in my classroom situation.
- The explanation of principles is placed in Tips and boxes. In the design principle of "proximity," that means that the tips are right there, next to the relevant material. However, by pulling them out, they are easy to find, if the reader isn't going through the exercise. Neither does the extra instruction stop the flow of following the material.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book SAVED MY @$$, December 10, 2010
This review is from: PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition (Paperback)
Short and sweet: I was taking a PHP course as part of my master's degree and the professor, while a super smart guy, couldn't teach for $#!t. i was considering dropping the course until i found this book. I was able to start at the beginning and go step by step at my own pace. All of the questions that I had from the class Ullman was able to answer through the book and its examples. I would have definitely failed if not for this book; I ended up with an A.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Larry Ullman Did The Impossible: Got Me Excited About Learning PHP!, November 10, 2009
This review is from: PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition (Paperback)
There is no shortage of people who understand PHP. But people who understand it at a high level, yet can explain it to beginners, are rare.

Hats off to Larry Ullman, for he has accomplished this. I'm a non-programmer, and opened this book with great trepidation. Yet page after page, chapter after chapter, Ullman took me by the hand at exactly the right rate.

I was amazed...after a few chapters, I was marvelling to myself at how FUN PHP was!

I'm not sure how you did it, Larry, but you have some powerful juju going for you!

What a fantastic book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easy, clear, step by step ....., March 26, 2009
By 
OSWALDO OLEA (cavriglia (ar), italia Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition (Paperback)
excellent for beginers in programming, complements perfectly html and css for web designers looking to enter into making web applications, too easy for experienced programmers. In today's job market it will give you an advantage to find work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Beginner Book for PHP trainees (with prior HTML, CSS knowledge), September 23, 2012
By 
Joseph Kalfus (Stuttgart, Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This book is very good at teaching you PHP and mySQL at a beginner level pace. I made the mistake of actually buying PHP 6 and MySQL 5 For Dynamic WebSites which went at a much quicker pace. I didn't buy the hardcopy book but rather the Kindle version (more publishers need to get on the e-book train as that's the way of the future). I will discuss my set up later to show effective coding.

ASSUMPTIONS
You need a computer (of course), server, text editor/IDE/Dreamweaver etc. Also a basic understanding of HTML and CSS is assumed. I've been working with computers for about 15 years and have a good knowledge of how client/server models work along with some C++ coding and HTML. Obviously, if you're looking at PHP books then you already know that the Internet and sites like Facebook isn't run on magic.

PROS
- Good beginner pace covering PHP and database management

- Great real world examples (not just code you won't ever use just to teach a topic)

- Line numbers on code to debug those crazy typos

- Code was commented really well

- Focuses on topic on hand, not a bunch of excessive code not related to that topic

- Linear format builds on simple concepts and gradually builds upon what you previously learned

CONS
- A lot of wasted space in pages/hard drive space (will give you code in entirety and then repeat that code in chunks to show you whats going on, could of referred to "see lines 30 to 36 which demonstrates..."

- The usage of single and double quotes got confusing when using together (maybe not in a hardcopy but especially on the Kindle for Mac app)

- The last chapter ends abruptly (Regular Expressions) Here is a quote from the book
"Back Referencing: There is one more concept to discuss with regard to establishing patterns and making replacements: back referencing."
But the next page is Appendix A so where did back referencing go?!

- The appendix on installing your PHP/Apache server on your Mac is way outdated (more on this later)

- Wish there was an entire chapter dedicated to putting everything to use. A chapter to put everything you learned into a image board site (something that wasn't covered earlier like the blog/posting examples)

TIPS
This was my setup on a Mac running Mountain Lion and the Kindle App with this Kindle e-book. The mac has multiple desktops so I acquired a copy of Adobe's Dreamweaver and put it on my 1st Desktop. On my 2nd Desktop, I would have the Kindle App (fullscreen view) with the page I was reading. On the 3rd Desktop I would be running Safari (full screen view) with the link to my server/script I'm currently working on. I would then 4 finger swipe left and right between the desktops (you may have to browse system preferences to enable this) and this system given me much more time for the topic on hand, CODING! To rearrange your Desktops, you need to four finger swipe up and drag your desktops around. Don't get me wrong, you don't have to dish out money for a Mac if you don't want to, but have a good system to maximize your time. If working on Windows, you can hit the Alt+Tab key combo (I think) to switch between windows but less effective. Also, you don't have to get Dreamweaver per se, but get something with line numbering. Heck you can probably use vi(m) if you so choose. Dreamweaver will give you code completion, error handling, code inspection, code collapse, and a built in FTP manager to seamlessly manage your site. Ensure you enable Code View as most of the scripts in this book are PHP based (which Dreamweaver can't display since it's dynamic content rightfully so) and not too much HTML content.

Read only one chapter a day. Let the information settle in before speeding into another concept. Don't rush it! It'll pay in the long run.

TYPE all the code out. Yeah you can copy and paste from the Kindle App and delete the line numbers, but a hands on approach is the best way to learn. Also debugging will be put to test. I remember spending 45 minutes trying to debug a script and it came to be me missing an ending curly brace } which Dreamweaver didn't catch. If a script isn't going as planned, then you do have the PHP scripts available for download off the publishers site (which I haven't really used). If you're stubborn like me, then take a time out, come back to the code the next day with a fresh mind. Also, learn about when to use single and double quotes (taught in this book). As mentioned previously, the Kindle App makes double and single quotations run together. For example, it would be written "' which could go single quote and then double quote or vice versa. There is only one right answer. To the author, as whitespace really does not matter in PHP, he should of written the code with like

' " or " '
instead of
'" or "'

My last tip is to have the big boy hosting companies manage your site and domain. As mentioned previously, running a local web server with PHP and mySQL support was a bit tricky (especially on a Mac) and I found myself debugging local server issues instead of debugging coding issues. Yeah you'll dish out some more money but it'll save you some time (time is money!). Now if you already have the knowledge or have this already set up, then go for it. If you're a newbie and are new to running your own server and don't want potentially more security holes on your system then dish out $10 a year for a domain and $50 a year for a Linux/Apache/mySQL/PHP (LAMP model) server from godaddy or another hosting company.

APPLYING YOUR KNOWLEDGE
This is a bit tricky. I've read the entire book and I ask myself "Now what?" Start with an *original* idea, and find the best way to implement it through HTML, PHP and mySQL. It's easier said than done. I was stumped when trying to design my site and said, should I used a WHILE loop, or a IF ELSE loop or whatever. Like I tell all my friends about my coding experience, there is 50 different ways to code something up but only one best way to your situation. Just think about what you're trying to do, break it down into manageable parts, and sometimes you may have to think outside the box.

CONCLUSION
I would defiantly recommend this book to beginner PHP trainees. I rate this book 4 out of 5 noting some "need improvements" mentioned earlier. The author poses everything in a everyday jargon free English approach. The text isn't bland and boring (except for maybe the code). Currently, I'm restarting the reading of the next book from the same author PHP 6 and MySQL 5 For Dynamic WebSites which is a more faster pace that builds upon this book's concepts. Hope this review helps future readers and also the author. Comment below for any questions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful author and forums!, July 12, 2012
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I had a great experience with this book. The author has support forums that are filled with helpful people. He also answers all the questions personally. As I went through this book he personally helped me several times when I had questions. The support you receive while learning is worth the price alone. The book is also great for beginners as it assumes no prior programming experience. It doesn't leave you with gaps in your knowledge.

If you are a seasoned programmer and are just trying to learn an additional language you might want to start with his second book (a spiritual sucessor to this one that I'm reading now) PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide (4th Edition). That versions goes more quickly through the material. It also works as a great followup to this one because it gives a refresher course before going into new material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped me get going, February 4, 2011
By 
flatlander "flatlander" (Bell, Florida, All "A" Schools here) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition (Paperback)
I was/am a beginning php coder and an older guy, I bought several php books before this one and had a hard time with them.

It wasn't until I backed up a little and bought Ullman's PHP 3rd edition that I could start. It was easier to start coding with PHP 3rd edition than books like Head First which was a little odd to me. After I went through this book I could then go through the harder PHP books like Ulman's PHP 6 & MySQL 5.
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PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition
PHP for the World Wide Web, Third Edition by Larry E. Ullman (Paperback - December 22, 2008)
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