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Beginning PHP 5.3 Paperback – Oct 26 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 840 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox (Oct. 26 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470413964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470413968
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 18.5 x 4.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #182,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Format: Paperback
PHP is at 5.4 now and if your interested in the differences here's a link to the documentation [...] but in summary, relative to 5.3.x "most improvements in PHP 5.4.x have no impact on existing code." Meaning this review is not totally in vain.

I'm giving this book two scores with explanation:

4/5 - No programming experience outside HTML/css
It's hard to go wrong when writing any sort of how-to or introductory guide when your covering really basic stuff. There's some review of HTML, mostly in Chapter 9: Handling HTML forms with PHP, and a few non-PHP topics reviewed throughout, like directory structure, URL strings, and of course fundamental programming concepts such as loops and functions. The examples are useful and not verbose. In the end you will have a PHP/MySQL "book club" website which is functionally a user registration service. The reason I can't give it a 5 is because a few details were left unclear. For example, how php tags alternate with html tags is, I think, totally unintuitive and needs to be explained better. Also, some functions or concepts are introduced in the example code, not beforehand in the exposition and then later exemplified. I really dislike this pedagogy, because then you have to sift through examples to review and then chances are because it was used in an example it wasn't explained thoroughly. The XML chapter is like this.

3/5 - Programming experience
The chapters on images and XML should be elaborated, especially XML. It's too basic to be used as a reference. I started this book after taking a course in Java when my goal to was learn how to do PHP/MySQL ecommerce. Now trying to do things on my own, I find that the book didn't really prime me for reading the official PHP documentation. If you have programming experience you should skip this book, like I should have done. Maybe get one of those in a nutshell books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
How I wish I had this book back when I began learning PHP! Feb. 5 2010
By Lulio Vargas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How I wish there was a Matt Doyle's textbook back when I began learning PHP. Well, I guess, better late than never!

Having worked in technical education for many years, and more recently as a front-end web developer, I know how crucial it is for educators and web designers to have a good grasp of the workings of PHP. PHP is the most widely used programing language, developed from the ground up, to address the needs of the web browsing consumer.

Back in November 2009 while looking at new arrivals in the technology section at a local bookstore, I came across what I consider now, the ideal book on the subject of PHP. Beginning PHP 5.3 by Matt Doyle "speaks" directly to my urgent need to understand what PHP is all about. This textbook "magically" (to borrow a term used recently by Steve Jobs) has clarified my understanding of many concepts in PHP that for years I felt pretty fussy about!

In 800 pages, it does the best job I know on the PHP language basics, including an extensive treatment of PHP's advances in object-oriented programing. Even better, I now also have a chance with this book to be very much up to date on the newest features of PHP programming brought on by version 5.3. Advances like object overloading, abstract classes, interfaces, namespaces and XML parsers are treated by Matt Doyle in his characteristic down-to-earth style. What's more, he never forgets to illustrate further the various subjects treated in the book, with the most appropriate and simplest code examples available.

For schools with courses on programming, Beginning PHP 5.3 is, without a doubt, an excellent textbook. It even includes exercises at the end of every chapter, with the solutions at the end of the book.

As for me, I'm planning to donate my whole PHP book collection and just keep my copy of Beginning PHP 5.3 (together with its eBook version) for my own learning pleasure and ready reference.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Really Awesome Book for a Beginner May 16 2012
By Walkingfish.syc - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Purchased this book just beginning of this month, and I am on Chapter 8 as I am writing this book review. This book is really easy to follow if you want to get started with PHP programming. The best part that I like the most about this book is the exercises at the end of each chapter. It's a good way to test myself and go back to review some of the areas that I need to complete those exercises, then I can discuss with other programmers on wrox.com forum site.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Best book I have read on PHP Sept. 21 2011
By loachman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I rarely write reviews, but after finishing the book I felt compelled to. This book is the best book on PHP I have ever read, and I have read alot of them. Everthing from PDO, to Object Oriented Programming,Regular Expressions, Image Creation with GD, XML, and more is within the pages of this book.

Highly Recommended For Newbies and Pro's alike.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great book to begin learning about PHP May 15 2012
By Ian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great introduction to PHP. I had no experience with PHP when I decided to learn it earlier this year, and I began with the "Head First PHP" book from O'reily. I really like that series, but it was not a good way to learn PHP. This book is simple, straight-forward, and concise. The arrangement of the book is very well thought out, and the book really doesn't assume any prior knowledge. That being said, the subject is complicated, and does take a solid effort to get, but the text does a great job of building on itself. I really like the book, and I think I will stick with the Wrox series from now on. You can also preview portions of the book on Google books.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Really great examples except for PEAR May 7 2012
By snolan760 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book had great coding examples and very well written and easy to understand code, but my biggest problem was when the examples would include the PEAR framework. Only one install of PEAR worked, and the other one that is used a lot, the HTML_QuickFrom wouldn't at all. Not only is this one deprecated, it fired off a ton of errors and I couldn't get the form to work with the other examples. I understand using the QuickForm would be easier and nice to work with, but in my opinion the PEAR framework is kind of skeptic to use at times. I don't think the book should keep using the examples if people can't even use the framework and it's hard to tell the book, "These examples aren't working". Other than that, really great book and I learned a lot and enjoyed reading it!

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