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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of a huge topic in a small amount of space
I had a lot of programming experience in C, Fortran, etc, but zero web programming experience when I bought this book along with a number of others on html, css, php, mysql, javascript, ajax, and another on Zend Framework. Out of them all, I found myself spending about 80% of my time with this book. I think the reason was that it acted as a roadmap for what I needed to...
Published on January 14, 2011 by sootsnoot

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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Attempts to cover too much information and leaves behind a lot of basics
This review comes from an experienced PHP programmer (10+ years) who knows OOP, and has worked with other PHP frameworks like Symfony. I bought it to see what the Zend Framework was all about. After reading this book (and realizing I hadn't learned much) I took two courses from Zend that really cleared things up. Yes, I know the courses are much more expensive than this...
Published on September 18, 2010 by ChillFok


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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Attempts to cover too much information and leaves behind a lot of basics, September 18, 2010
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This review is from: Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
This review comes from an experienced PHP programmer (10+ years) who knows OOP, and has worked with other PHP frameworks like Symfony. I bought it to see what the Zend Framework was all about. After reading this book (and realizing I hadn't learned much) I took two courses from Zend that really cleared things up. Yes, I know the courses are much more expensive than this book, and don't pretend a book to compete with that.

A good analogy to explain what this book does is: it gives you the cooked fish instead of teaching you how to fish.

For example, right on page 33 it shows you how to use modules which is definitely not needed for beginners or even required to do a successful ZF project. Here's a quote from Matthew O'Phinney (Zend Framework's main contributor as of 18/Sept/2010) "modules are really second-class citizens in ZF currently." ([...]).

It also jumps to forms use right in page 47 without covering very basic things like how to get a Bootstrap instance from a Controller Action (which is used in real life WAY more than modules or forms), or how to work with Application Resources in the Bootstrap. I'm not saying "don't go into forms at all", I'm just saying that covering it on page 47 is jumping the gun a little. Note that if you are -as the title states- a ZF "beginner", by the point where forms are presented you STILL don't have the tools to do anything on your own, other than the little things the book has shown you. And again, the book shows you how to do a couple things, but doesn't go into WHY you want to do that.

By page 100 it starts with the Model and instead of using ZF's own database components, the author decides to use the Doctrine ORM which is way waaaaay more complicated than using Zend_Db. Again, Doctrine is a wonderful package and I use it ofter because of its amazing features, but it is not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for a ZF beginner. Actually for the project this book proposes there is absolutely no need to use Doctrine; you could do all you need by using Zend_Db and its related classes. None of the features that you'd normaly use Doctrine for are used here. So again, this book jumps the gun once more.

The good thing about this book are the links at the end of each chapter. They point to VERY useful references that expand on what the chapter covered. There are also "ASK THE EXPERT" boxes with some useful info too.

I wouldn't recommend this book to a beginner rather than an intermediate ZF user who wants to see a different take on a ZF project (like for example how to use doctrine on your models).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of a huge topic in a small amount of space, January 14, 2011
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This review is from: Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
I had a lot of programming experience in C, Fortran, etc, but zero web programming experience when I bought this book along with a number of others on html, css, php, mysql, javascript, ajax, and another on Zend Framework. Out of them all, I found myself spending about 80% of my time with this book. I think the reason was that it acted as a roadmap for what I needed to learn about next to understand how to build a real-life non-trivial web 2.0 application. It doesn't go into a huge amount of detail on any one aspect. Instead it presents a series of real-life problems to solve in the context of implementing a very well-chosen sample application.

It explores one or two ways to solve each problem making best use of the Framework. It then settles on a particular way to do it in the sample, usually with very good explanations for why he chooses the solution he does, and provides lots of references to good, current online sources of information about other choices as well as more detail on the one chosen. A lot of other (thicker) books, as well as the Zend Framework Reference Manual, and much of the online information in forums, try to demonstrate how many different ways the author knows how to skin a cat, and go into detail on each one, without ever giving any guidance on how to choose among them. An alternative is overview books that are a lot thinner, but they don't give enough detail to actually build anything significant. This book strikes a happy middle ground with good overview material showing how the big pieces fit together, discussion of alternative solutions with references providing details on them all, and then real code implementing one or two of the choices. There are separate stand-alone code examples that help explain alternatives, but each chapter provides code that contributes to a single application that ties it all together, and that can be downloaded and run. There might have been one or two minor problems that I encountered getting it to run (on XP with XAMPP for Windows 1.7.3 and Zend Framework 1.10.7), but even though I had never seen php code before, it wasn't very hard to get it running.

The book is also very current, and it works to present current best practices. Another review mentioned that choosing to use Doctrine instead of Zend_Db seemed like a bad idea. But I would argue that there are plenty of good references and examples of code using Zend_Db. Doctrine really seems to be gaining traction, and using it within Zend Framework is something someone just starting to use the framework would be better off learning than Zend_Db. You go to a framework to get some leverage on complex problems, and Doctrine gives you so much more leverage than Zend_Db. That choice also serves as a demonstration for how extensible and flexible the framework is, which is important for a new user to understand.

Of the 17 books on various aspects of web programming that I can see from where I'm sitting, this is the only one with noticeable wear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Newbie review of Zend Framework A Beginners Guide, April 10, 2011
This review is from: Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
This is the first review of any book that I've ever bought. I'm a part time Hons Degree student and I have to develop a web application based on an existing desktop application as my final project.

I have purchased many books over the course of my degree and before it, some are on par with this book some are so poor I've either gotten refunds or they are used to prop up my monitor. I felt that I had to write this review because without this book I would be sunk. I have one php and one Ruby module under my belt from college so I guess that the book is not really aimed at me, as it says in the book it is intended for those with a firm knowledge of PHP. However I have found that the content is so easily explained that I have had no real issues with developing the base of my app.

I would have liked to see more content given to Ajax such as searching with Ajax, a section explaining Zend_Session_Namespace and how to handle updates etc of models with composite primary keys, hence only the four stars. However to be fair this is more due to the fact that the documentation on the Zend Site is so poor and the majority of examples I found online are outdated and don't work with the latest version of the framework.
I have also found that the author to be very helpful and approachable. He answered the questions I had about the content of the book and provided some helpful links. This is a major first as I've contacted the authors from other books (mainly those propping up my monitor now) and am still waiting for a reply. Thank you Vikram.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zend Framework - a useful book, April 6, 2011
This review is from: Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
The Zend framework is currently one of the most used frameworks for application development in PHP. It is well-supported and offers a robust and feature-rich set of tools and a living, competent and skilled community of users.
This book is a beginner's guide to the Zend framework. It is, however, important to notice what it is not: It most certainly is not a beginner's guide to PHP. Quite the opposite; if you haven't mastered PHP at an intermediate level before you start working with this book -- you may soon be lost. So it is beginner's guide that actually presupposes quite a lot.
Having said that, in my opinion this is a great book for programmers and application developers. It really is a very practical guide to the Zend Framework, and offers tips about how to use the framework smartly, with discussion of options and guides to using this rich framework in ways which are considered best practice. It shows, in real world examples, how extensive, scalable and flexible this framework is. The book discusses Basic Features; Basic Principles and Conventions; Models; Controllers and Views; Authentication, Access Control and Sessions; Routing; Error Handling; Advanced Features; XML; Ajax and JSON; Localization; Web Services; and Performance Optimization.
You will learn how to use the Zend Framework to simplify and shorten the application development cycle, reduce testing time and improve quality. Lots of examples of real-world implementation of code are offered. Also, all the code from the book is available for readers to download. In addition, there are links at the end of each chapter that point to very good and useful references that expand on what the chapter covered. The "ask the expert" boxes provide lots of useful information too.
The writing style is very clear and concise. In my opinion this is one of the best books on the Zend Framework there are, if not the best. It helped me a lot - I found it tough going in the beginning, but as I progressed I found it to be excellent. It is a book I feel I can recommend to anyone wanting to learn about and understand the Zend framework.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated Book, January 2, 2012
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Amazon Customer "I.C.E." (Mesa, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
This book has cost me hours and hours of wasted time. Turns out this was pre PHP 5.3 and the changes between PHP and updates in Zend have rendered the basic examples in this book worthless. I have had to rework many things to get them to work down to comments changing from a "#" sign to a ";" sign. That alone cost me a few hours to track down log files and search Google for a fix.

I got to chapter 3 before I threw this book away, every chapter had major coding issues. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like it, June 5, 2011
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This review is from: Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
I have almost every other Zend book available on Amazon.com and this one is possibly the best. I dont know what the bad reviews are all about. Yes some of this info is in the docs but in my opinion it is worth the money and it has brought me up to speed pretty quickly. I like it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars waste of time, May 30, 2011
This review is from: Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
This book dives into code examples with few and short explanations related to the Zend Framework itself. Some descriptions in the book are rather unstructured and seems to lack completeness in many cases. The terminology in the book is rather imprecise.

Two examples to demonstrate some of the qualities of the book:
1)Chapter 4 "Working with Models" states under "Ask the expert" that a model is not simply a set of prepackaged SQL statements. This is true enough. However, the remaining of the chapter only explains how to use Doctrine to generate a model from a database. Basically that is all the auther manages to convey about models and this is in contradiction to his own expert advice. Cleary, he understands that models are not purely "prepackaged SQL statements". However, that is just about all you will learn about models from this book. The chapter 2 on MVC also shows limiting understanding of the MVC framework in general, and specifically about constraints on MVC in a web-server/php context.

2) In Chapter 3 "Working with Forms" one subsection is about using Decorators. Most of this subsection consists of a code example showing how to reset default decorators. It is than hastily added in a "NOTE" at the end of the chapter: "...it isn't possible to cover them (decorators) in exhaustive details in this book" and "For more in depth study, refer to the links at the end of this chapter". It is easy to agree with the last statement.

If you are an experienced programmer this book is just below your dignity, if you are not an experienced programmer this book will force you to google so much that you can do without the book. The front cover is rather appealing though :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, June 1, 2011
This review is from: Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
A well organized and clearly written book on Zend. I have not found any other Zend books that compare.
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1.0 out of 5 stars out of date, August 25, 2013
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This review is from: Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
I tried to use the code presented but it didn't match what is currently available as downloads (tools needed) so a lot of code seemed worthless. Lack of a personal coach made most of the book unusable but it did serve to give me a peek at the world of Zend. Zend framework changes rapidly with current updates and online training available from Zend is very expensive. This is a catch-22.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Way too complex for beginners, February 18, 2014
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I was looking for an introduction to ZEND, and after reading 3 samples I really liked the author's style - so I bought it. I knew that this was not discussing the latest version of ZEND and still deals with ZF1 - that was fine for me. I'm comfortable with PHP but knew nothing about the framework, so a Beginner's Guide seemed the logical starting point.

I've now been working through the book and still haven't finished chapter 2. Why? Because the code doesn't work, nor do much of the author's own practices make sense. ZEND is perfectly capable of deploying a sample application that we can modify to begin with. But rather than explaining what's there, the author asks us to tweak the core structure of the framework (with modules and custom routes). We're being taught to "not do it like ZEND does it". That's missing the point for me. Teach me ZEND, then show me how to expand on it - in a much later chapter.

Sadly, even though I'm following the samples to the letter, using the provided code available from the authors website, the samples don't work - which is a major letdown. I appreciate the effort in writing this book, but if I can't get past the second chapter then either I'm too thick to understand ZEND, or I've got the wrong teacher.
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Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide
Zend Framework, A Beginner's Guide by Vikram Vaswani (Paperback - August 12, 2010)
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