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Pro PHP: Patterns, Frameworks, Testing and More Paperback – March 30, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin McArthur is an open source developer residing in British Columbia, Canada. He is a self-taught entrepreneur and has been running a very successful PHP application development studio for more than eight years. His company, StormTide Digital Studios, has worked with industry in the United States and Canada to provide scaling solutions for web statistics, VoIP, and print automation. An avid IRC user, Kevin helps to administer one of the largest PHP support organizations, PHP EFnet. Kevin's contributions to open source projects, including the Zend Framework, have made him a well-known authority in the industry. He has written several articles for PHPRiot.com on topics such as reflection, the Standard PHP Library, object-oriented programming, and PostgreSQL.

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Product Details

  • Series: Pro
  • Paperback: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2008 edition (March 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590598199
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590598191
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Galbreath on May 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been developing web-based, database-driven applications for 12 years using Perl, Java, and, for the past 3 years, PHP. I was a late-comer to PHP because, quite frankly, its early iterations sucked. The committers finally got it right with 5.2 and 6.0 looks like they are staying on-track.

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!

Mark Galbreath
Annapolis, MD
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Format: Paperback
[reviewed by XPSD member Woody Zuill]

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.
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Format: Paperback
As an experienced PHP developer and author myself I was delighted that Pro PHP showed me a number of new techniques that I can apply to my own every day development tasks. This makes me confident that developers of all levels will gain value out of reading this book. I typically like to keep up with recently released books so I know the material that is available, but as somebody who has been programming PHP for almost 10 years I generally don't find new ideas that can be applied to general PHP programming.

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.
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