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[NOT SO] Complete Reference
on August 27, 2008
PHP, The Complete Reference may be a good book to start learning from. In addition, it does touch on most of the major topics.
However, calling it "Complete" is a joke. I have been writing software for over 40 years, and this is the first language "reference" book I have found that does not fully describe the built-in functions supported by the language. For example, on pages 82-84 the author lists about 100 string functions in a 2 column table. The first column is the function name, and the 2nd column is a single phrase that states the purpose of the function. No syntax is shown, no arguments, no return value information and no usage information. In the few pages that follow, there are in-line examples of a couple of the 90+ functions.
The same is true for other groups of functions. Having to go online to find out information that should be in a "complete reference" obviates the need for a book. At the price charged for this book, you'd be better off using the abundant information available online.