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Programming PHP 2nd Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596006815
ISBN-10: 0596006810
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

PHP is far more than a cult language or open-source icon. It's a remarkably capable language that's well integrated with lots of technologies--notably mSQL and MySQL database servers--and quite easy to learn. Programming PHP helps you up the PHP learning curve, very nearly guaranteeing that you'll find in its pages an example that illustrates every fundamental aspect of the language and its most important extension modules. Plus, there's some cool advanced stuff, like recipes for manipulating images, working with Extensible Markup Language (XML) content, and generating Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files. Rasmus Lerdorf invented PHP and quarterbacks its ongoing evolution, so there's little question of the content's authority.

The authors use a Talmudic style to explore PHP's capabilities and explain them to their readers, meaning that they like to present code and commentary in close formation, with each enhancing the other. Typically, they'll present a capability generically and show the relevant code. Then they'll dig into variations on the theme, calling attention to required code alterations as they go. This is a book about PHP itself, so practically no attention is paid to PHP Builder or other development tools. Regardless, this book will help you solve programming challenges with PHP, and enable you to write efficient, attractive code. --David Wall

Topics covered: The PHP programming language, for people who are coming to PHP with a bit of programming experience in other languages or who want to expand their existing PHP knowledge beyond the basics. Sections deal with the core language, as well as HTTP session management, database connectivity (to MySQL and Oracle, as well as with PHP Extension and Application Repository--PEAR), graphics file manipulation, XML parsing, and PDF creation. There are instructions for building a PHP extension library in C, as well as a function reference and guide to existing extensions. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Creating Dynamic Web Pages

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 542 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (May 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596006810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596006815
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,169,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback
Most of the books I've looked at on PHP have tied it in a three-legged race with mySQL. I was looking for something that taught the core language itself and its place in applications besides those in which it is teamed with mySQL. This appears to be that book. The core PHP language is very good at handling strings and arrays and objects. Along with standard and optional extension modules, a PHP application can work with databases like Oracle and MySQL, draw graphs, create PDF files, and parse XML files. You can write your own PHP extension modules in C to provide a PHP interface to the functions in an existing code library. You can also run PHP on Windows and use it to control other Windows applications such as Word and Excel with COM or interact with databases using ODBC. This book is a guide to all of these capabiliies of the PHP language, as well as a tutorial on the core language itself. This book assumes you have a working knowledge of HTML and that you know how to program - preferably in either C, C++, or Perl.

The first six chapters teach the core language itself. The six chapters include a dedicated introduction and a chapter on language basics which acts as a concise guide to PHP program elements such as identifiers, data types, operators, and flow-control statements. The next four chapters after that concern functions, strings, arrays, and objects respectively. The following is an outline of the remaining chapters of the book:

Chapter 7, "Web Techniques" - PHP was designed as a web-scripting language and, although it is possible to use it in purely command-line and GUI scripts, the Web accounts for the vast majority of PHP uses. A dynamic web site may have forms, sessions, and sometimes redirection, and this chapter explains how to implement those things in PHP.
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Format: Paperback
I'm the editor of Programming PHP. I can vouch for the fact that Rasmus was a fully-fledged author. Besides fact-checking everything that the other authors wrote, he contributed many chapters of his own. I don't know where the idea that Rasmus was "just supervising" or "has not done any major writing" came from (it's not a conclusion you could come to from actually *reading* the book) but it's absolutely wrong.
By all means be vague ("fairy land") and strange (LDAP and SNMP as "what makes PHP what it is today"?!) in reviews, but please don't be dishonest.
For my rating of this book, by the way, I came as close to the current average ranking as I could. I'm obviously not impartial (I think the book's a 5!) but I don't want my partiality to bias the reader ratings.
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Format: Paperback
I almost always turn to O'Reilly first when purchasing a new reference book, however this time I was disappointed. This book is fairly shallow in content and much of the information that you need is actually buried in the text instead of being presented as a topic unto itself.
The thing that is the most bothersome, however, is the plethora of flat out errors. Many of the examples have typos, missing code, etc. Even as a PHP novice I was constantly spotting errors which is frustrating when you're trying to learn the language.
On top of that, many of the examples exhibit just plain bad programming form (inefficient code, variables that are only used once, etc). It's the kind of thing that makes a seasoned programmer wince (and if I was reviewing the code I would send it back to the author with lots of red ink).
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By A Customer on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Programming PHP is a great introduction to PHP. The chapters are well written with good examples that explain what is being discussed. The chapters are not written in a "read one after the other" fashion, so you can easily go to the chapter you need information on and find what you are looking for. This book did have some errors in the sample code, but if you read the text and actually try out the examples you can easily figure out what needs to be fixed to get them running. Since the O'Reilly "Programming" series is more about advanced programming issues, I think this book should have had the title "Learning PHP". It just seems to be an introduction, because it did not delve into any advanced topics. It is worthy to have on any PHP developers bookshelf. Recommended for beginners.
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