94 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Great PHP book, but for programmers,
This review is from: Programming PHP (Paperback)
The creator of PHP himself, Rasmus Lerdorf, put together a thorough and enlightening guide to PHP. In this book you will find everything you need to know about PHP from variables to a long list of all the PHP functions and how to use them. I found many features of PHP that I had no idea existed (such as creating PDF files). I use this book as a reference for a PHP course I teach, and its examples have been more than helpful to me in designing lesson plans.
The one caveat of this book is that it is not geared toward brand new web programmers. PHP as a language derives from C, C++ and Perl, and if you are not at least somewhat familiar with these langauges, you can get lost in this book. The authors really want to draw a parallel between PHP and its predecessor languages so that programmers can pick up PHP more easily. I really like the fact they try to do that, and it has helped me enjoy this book more. But on the flip side, it will be more difficult for new programmers to read this book. I really hope O'Reilly comes up with a "Learning PHP" book that will be more for beginning programmers, because PHP is a great language to learn, and it would be nice to have books to appeal to all levels.
In any case, for a book about PHP, you can ask for no better book than one written by the author itself. This book does keep up the tradition of professional, useful O'Reilly programming books, and is worth the time for web programmers to read. Thus I think it earns 5 stars.