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Pro PHP: Patterns, Frameworks, Testing and More Paperback – March 30, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
I went through any number of online tutorials and "Learn PHP in 24 Hours" books in the beginning and they were fine for "Hello World" applications. But as my need for sophistication rapidly grew, I found a distinct lack of good, readable texts that could function not only as tutorial but as reference as well. I went through a disappointing array of O'Reilly, Manning, Osborne, Addison-Wesley, etc. books, each of which lacked that crucial combination of clarity, accuracy, and scope. Then I happened to chance upon Apress' publication of "Pro PHP Development."
I just finished reading "Pro PHP Development," and when I say I "finished reading" it, I mean exactly that - I read it cover-to-cover. Kevin McArthur has the uncommon talent of writing a technical manual in prose. Unassuming vernacular makes reading easy, instead of the more typical struggle with every idea and re-reading sentences and paragraphs after that "HUH???" experience forces wonder at the author's point and intent. Concrete, concise, and useful examples demonstrate the textual subjects in clear unambiguous source code. And where appropriate and useful, McArthur introduces aspects of PHP 6.0. The coverage of some of the most useful objects in the SPL and the extensive treatment of the Zend MVC Framework is worth the price of admission in themselves.
In summary, "Pro PHP Development" is right up there with the finest technical literature I've read and has earned a place on my bookshelf (lesser texts get relegated to eBay). It's a keeper. Until the next edition!
One common technique I use when looking at a book I am thinking of
buying is to flip through to a dozen or so random pages and read a
paragraph or a bit of whatever is on that page. If most of these chance
peeks reveal something interesting or useful to me, then I figure I'll
probably get enough out of the book to make it worth buying. I did that
with this book, and found plenty of interesting stuff. However, in the
reading of the book I was a bit disappointed.
First, the bad:
The book attempts to cover too much for the number of pages. The Title
is clear enough, but the subtitle ("Patterns, Frameworks, Testing, and
More") coupled with the introduction, which states "In this book, you
will learn how to make the most of your PHP programming, from a detailed
understanding of OOP theory, to frameworks and advanced system
interoperability" promises a great deal more than what the book
delivers. For example, the "detailed understanding of OOP theory" is
provided by a 7-page chapter on "Abstract Classes, Interfaces, and
Programming by Contract" and another chapter covering static members.
This is sufficient to describe a little about the mechanics of OOP in
PHP, but it's a stretch to call it even an introduction to the theory of
OOP. Pretty much the same can be said for the coverage of Patterns,
Frameworks, and Testing. I am not exactly sure what "advanced system
interoperability" is, I assume the author is refering to web services
which is covered to some degree.
To me, the book seems disjointed, and more like a collection of magazine
articles than a cohesive book.Read more ›
Two such examples of this in Pro PHP that helped me are array overloading with the ArrayAccess SPL class and the observer pattern using SplObserver and SplSubject. Firstly, ArrayAccess allows you to access objects (such as reading and writing) as you would with an array. One such example of this is in the PHP SimpleXMLElement class. Secondly, using the observer pattern allows one object to monitor the state of another object and react to these changes as desired. Kevin describes these to the reader and provides solid examples of using them.
An interesting aspect of this book is the chapter dedicated to PHP 6. Although a stable version has not yet been released, Kevin covers the key features that we can look forward to such as namespaces, late binding and native Unicode support.
The other thing that I like about Kevin's style and methods are that they are fairly similar to my own, meaning for the most part I agree with his methods and therefore recommend them to other users as well.
On the whole I would have two minor complaints with this book. Firstly, there is a lot of "conceptual code" rather than practical real-world examples.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lot of people tend to dismiss PHP as a language for newbies and wannabe programmers. Nothing is further from the truth, and this book illustrates how the language can be used in... Read morePublished on September 8, 2011 by Peter de Tagyos
This book started out strong and seemed like a great place continue on with learning more advanced PHP. However towards the middle I hit a wall. Read morePublished on July 6, 2011 by jremydeaton
I'm about 250 pages into this book. Already I know it will make me a much better developer. It covers so much of what I've been wanting to know for a while. Read morePublished on June 11, 2011 by A. Agronick
great book! I does go into details and watch at php as a solid enterprise solution. It makes you a better developer. Really.Published on June 8, 2011 by fabs
This book was written in anticipation of PHP 6. Most everything the author writes about has been released in 5. Read morePublished on May 29, 2011 by Ben
First of all, by no means am I an expert programmer, but I'm plenty competent enough to concur with another reviewer that you could get better info on the contents contained in... Read morePublished on January 21, 2010 by WanderWhere
While Mr. McArthur seems to know what he is talking about, this book doesn't have much substance over the plain documentation you get with PHP and the Zend Framework. Read morePublished on January 15, 2010 by Billy O'Neal
Please, do NOT spend your money on this book. It does not cover any of the topics in good detail. A simple search of each of the topics by google could give more information.Published on October 19, 2009 by Amazon Customer
When I first learnt PHP - I learnt it in less than a day. Serious, I was able to write simple web pages, db operations, AJAX ... I thought I knew PHP. Read morePublished on August 18, 2009 by XNOR