The authors use a Talmudic style to explore PHP's capabilities and explain them to their readers, meaning that they like to present code and commentary in close formation, with each enhancing the other. Typically, they'll present a capability generically and show the relevant code. Then they'll dig into variations on the theme, calling attention to required code alterations as they go. This is a book about PHP itself, so practically no attention is paid to PHP Builder or other development tools. Regardless, this book will help you solve programming challenges with PHP, and enable you to write efficient, attractive code. --David Wall
Topics covered: The PHP programming language, for people who are coming to PHP with a bit of programming experience in other languages or who want to expand their existing PHP knowledge beyond the basics. Sections deal with the core language, as well as HTTP session management, database connectivity (to MySQL and Oracle, as well as with PHP Extension and Application Repository--PEAR), graphics file manipulation, XML parsing, and PDF creation. There are instructions for building a PHP extension library in C, as well as a function reference and guide to existing extensions.