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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Upgrading to PHP 5
Format: Paperback|Change
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on January 12, 2012
PHP5 has been out for many years now, so this book might seem somewhat irrelevant to today's programmers. But this book is still a valuable addition to the intermediate PHP programmer's bookshelf. The first time I read this book (years ago) I was still programming strictly for PHP4 and had never touched OO programming in PHP. I had a basic understanding of what it was, but I had never tried to use it. This book gave me the logical and practical introduction to OO programming in PHP that I needed. I still take a peek at this book every now and then to refresh my memory on some of the language constructs that I may not use very often. This has probably been one of the most helpful PHP books I have ever purchased.
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on October 26, 2010
I got this book some time ago, when still I worked with php. It is a great wrap-up about php good practice with a mashup of techniques about mysql and other ancillary components to php.
It is a good reading and still one of the books I remember with gratitude.
Is the cover picture about turtles crawling somehow hyronical about the slowness of php programmers?
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on November 19, 2013
I purchased this book when PHP5 first came out. It got me up to speed on the new features in PHP5 really quickly. Don't get this book if you're new to PHP.
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on September 4, 2004
Being fairly proficient on PHP 4 but looking for more info on version 5, the idea of getting books on PHP 5 that, once again, starts from scratch wasn't exciting at all. This book instead was exactly what I needed, it assume you know PHP 4 and covers only the new features with a good amount of details and a bunch of useful suggestions for code migration. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is that in the chapters covering OOP and DOM the author try to explain the new functionalities but also attempt to throw in the mix more generic info on this two topics. The end results are somewhat mixed, the coverage of PHP 5 is, in my opinion, very good, but the material about OOP and DOM instead aren't up to the rest and does more harm than good.
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on July 11, 2005
I own a sizable collection of O'Reilly books and have found them to in general be very well written and useful. "Upgrading to PHP 5" continues this tradition superbly.

This book is _not_ for new PHP coders; the vast majority of the text assumes good familiarity with PHP 4.x. If you have this familiarity then you will find this book to be a thorough and well-organized primer on the many new features in the new PHP.

The first chapter merely lists the major areas that have changed in the latest PHP, each of which roughly corresponds to a chapter in the book.

Major enhancement to the OOP facilities of PHP are appropriately discussed in the next chapter. Unfortunately, this is probably the most clumsily written chapter due a strange desire to educate the reader in OOP basics (about the only place in the book where this mistake is committed). The result is a schism that imposes redundancy in the material while simultaneously making it unduly hard to locate specific topics.

Thankfully the subsequent two chapters (on the new MySQL interface and the SQLite database) are uniformly well-written. Especially useful is a (perhaps oddly-situated) section on migration strategies from a PHP 4/MySQL 4.0 platform to a PHP 5/MySQL 4.1 platform.

A chapter on XML follows, but I did not read it in great detail since my applications tend to not require it, so other reviewers are likely to provide greater insights here.

Iterators, yet another feature completely new to PHP 5, are covered next. Unlike much of the conventional PHP fare (even OOP) this topic really does require understanding of rather abstract concepts (especially when debugging the RecusrsiveIterator interface). For this reason, while clearly written it may take hobbiests some time to take this material to heart.

The new error-handling functions are introduced next. I think that the chapter could have benefited from a little more discussion; Trachtenberg seems to think providing code samples is almost self-explanatory. At the end of the day, though, the chapter does its job.

The chapter on streams and filters is another one that I barely perused, so I defer to other reviewers on this topic.

The penultimate chapter provides a very cursory evaluation of a handful of extensions to PHP. While certainly useful to the practicing PHP programmer they are covered in so brief a manner that you will need a separate text to implement them meaningfully. But this chapter does give enough information to at least evaluate the extensions' potential usefulness in an application.

Trachtenberg concludes with an example PHP application. I do not like such examples in books - between space limitations and the complexity of real life this and other examples feel too... contrived... to be worthwhile. But I understand that it is included practically as canon, and do not fault the author for its inclusion.

So, all things considered, this text covers the changes in PHP 5 in detail in a surprisingly brief 300 pages (and small page footprint). A worthy addition to a book collection, provided you already have general PHP reference available.
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on January 27, 2005
A very good choice. PHP5 is a new wave in dynamic web development. It dramaticly improved the handeling of classes and objects. This little book is your quick and easy to use refference of objects, methods, variables, scopes, functions. At Procreative Designs (procreative.ca), the company I work for this one was distributed all over our web development department at the beginning of last month. I personally find this book really handy and useful. Previously I owned PHP4 Refference and it always served me well. Overall its a great choice for quick refference.
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on August 5, 2004
This is a fantastic book. I frequently find that when an existing developer buys a book, he/she has to sort through all the garbage review in the beginning. This book assumes you are a competent PHP4 programmer. Then it takes you step by step through new PHP5 syntax and features that are unique to PHP5. It reviews and explains Object Oriented Programming (OOP), then discusses a variety of PHP5-only concepts, like SimpleXML and SQLite.

I recently installed a PHP5 server and this book has been by my side since. All PHP4 developers who expect to use PHP5 within the next year or so should really have a copy of this book handy.
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on March 10, 2005
The author does a great job summarizing common PHP characteristics and elaborating on PHP 5 improvements, with plenty of well-chosen code examples. Well suited for the established PHP programmer making the transition to PHP 5. For those starting out, use "Learning PHP 5" instead.
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