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Object-Oriented Programming with PHP5 Kindle Edition
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|Length: 272 pages|
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The book's first problem is the poor quality of the English contained. The author does not appear to be a native English speaker and the publisher has apparently done little to clean up the language. For the most part that simply makes for some curious rhythm and phrasing but there are a number of places where it contributes to inaccuracies, such as constant confusion between objects and classes. Finding such inaccuracies alongside mistakes such as confusing polymorphism and inheritance I'm left wondering how well the authors really know their subject. Packt would do well to employ another reviewer to clean up the syntax and definitions before any reprints.
The structure of the book is curious. Rather than approaching topics through the use of an example project or projects, the author gives disconnected samples, often offering little beyond that which can be found in the online PHP documentation and generally failing to explain how techniques would be useful. While he insists that PHP5's Reflection API is an important tool, there is little to back up that assertion. There's a large code sample and a list of the methods and attributes of a reflection object, but no real substance. The database section covers some key examples, such as PDO, ADODB and MDB2, and touches on the ActiveRecord pattern, but uses four pages to list the RDBMSs that ADODB supports and then only spends a page and a half on ActiveRecord, failing to explain either its concepts or advantages in any detail.
The high point of the book is the half chapter on unit testing. A few well chosen examples provide a demonstration of how code can be tested and how that allows for refactoring without fear of regressions. The reasons for unit testing are clear as is basic usage of PHPUnit. I'd have liked to see further examples rather than several pages listing all the default assertions PHPUnit provides, and I disagree with the claim that there should never be more than one assertion per test (individual tests should focus on a single concern, but can use multiple assertions to do so) but by that point in the book it was good just to see a section that made its point clearly.
Fundamentally, I came away from this book feeling it had failed to communicate clearly the core principles or reasons for object oriented programming. By trying to cram in too much reference material, not offering clear contexts for each technique, and not lingering on ideas like encapsulation the book fails to instill OO techniques.
Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of this book to review
The "English" used in this book could only barely be called such. For a native English speaker such as myself, the overly-familiar, almost childlike approach to prose that the author has adopted is very distracting. There are blatant errors in the book, and that's not nit-picking; the book probably averages a glaring error every couple of pages. I don't claim to be the world's most polished author, but I'd want to re-write this book cover-to-cover before I'd ever try reading it again.
The coding "standards" professed in this book are horrible for beginning coders, and make little sense. They don't follow any of the accepted "major" PHP standards, and seem to be an amalgamation of non-PHP languages and basic object-oriented principles.
The book does a terrible job of introducing any level of programmer to object-oriented design ideas. Although OOP is one of the most difficult concepts to teach to another person, this book is NOT the place you want to start if you're just picking it up. I am an experienced OO coder and the book had my head spinning with its contradictions, erroneous information, and terrible analogies. The code examples are poorly written snippets of barely functional code in many cases. I'm not sure where Packt Publishing got the idea that this author was even remotely qualified to write this book, but if their "About the Author" section is any indication, no one at the publishing house writes English very well, either.
I am really trying not to be as harsh as I could be here, but I will say that it's questionable whether this book went through ANY level of editorial review. Sure, the author is from Bangladesh, but if there was a language barrier involved, couldn't someone have translated the book into slightly more passable English? I don't know if Packt Publishing is a "vanity" publishing house that doesn't have editors, but I will definitely stay FAR away from their books in the future. In my opinion, you should do the same with THIS book. There are far better books on the subject, and you'd only be wasting your money on this one.
I had hoped this book would provide a deeper understanding of using OOP techniques and objects to take web application development with PHP to that next level of reuse, maintainability, and extensibility, but it definitely came up short. Guess I'll have to look for another.
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