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PHP 5 Objects, Patterns, and Practice [Paperback]

Matt Zandstra

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Book Description

Jan. 4 2005

...if you have seen true object-oriented development, and have had trouble using these concepts in PHP; don't despair any longer. Matt (Zandstra) has done all the work for you--all you need is a weekend or two to do a little reading.

— Daniel Holmes, Slashdot Contributor

While being an easy read, Zandstra's introduction to the object-oriented features is, I believe, perfectly adequate to get started with object-oriented PHP programming.

— Lasse Koskela, JavaRanch Bartender

PHP 5's object-oriented enhancements are among the most significant improvements in the 10+ year history of the language. This book introduces you to those new features and the many opportunities they provide, as well as a number of tools that will help you maximize development efforts.

The book begins with a broad overview of PHP 5's object-oriented features, introducing key topics like class declaration, object instantiation, inheritance, and method and property encapsulation. You'll also learn about advanced topics including static methods and properties, abstract classes, interfaces, exception handling, object cloning, and more. You'll also benefit from an extensive discussion regarding object-oriented design best practices.

The next part of the book is devoted to a topic that is often a natural extension of any object-oriented introduction: design patterns. PHP 5 is particularly well-suited to the deployment of these solutions for commonly occurring programming problems. The author will introduce pattern concepts and show you how to implement several key patterns in your PHP applications.

The last segment introduces a number of great utilities that help you document, manage, test, and build your PHP applications, including Phing, PHPUnit2, phpDocumentor, PEAR, and CVS.

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Product Description

About the Author

Matt Zandstra has worked as a Web programmer, consultant and writer for a decade. He has been an object evangelist for most of that time. Matt is the author of SAMS Teach Yourself PHP in 24 Hours (three editions), and contributed to DHTML Unleashed. He has written articles for Linux Magazine and Matt works primarily with PHP, Perl and Java, building online applications. He is an engineer at Yahoo! in London.

Matt lives in Brighton with his wife Louise, and two children, Holly and Jake. Because it has been so long since he has had any spare time he only distantly recollects that he runs regularly to offset the effects of his liking for pubs and cafes, and for sitting around reading and writing fiction. Learn more on Matt's website, getInstance.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper enterprise level respect for PHP5 Jan. 14 2005
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on
Fact of the matter is that PHP5 is a serious enterprise level development system. This book takes it seriously and presents both practical and architectural material at a level that used to be reserved for J2EE and .NET works. This relatively short book is packed full of well written and insightful content. It stars with the basics of PHP5 OO programming with detail about the mistakes in PHP4 that have now been rectified. That is taken all the way through advanced topics like reflection.

The author then switches gears and gets into the design of object oriented applications. Now that we have the right tools, how we should use them to make better systems, right? UML is covered, and so are design patterns.

The later chapters of the book cover solid software engineering practices, like version control and unit testing, amongst other.

Not only will this book give you new ideas at a coding level, it will also open your mind as an engineer and get you headed in a direction toward architecture and large scale application design.

An excellent book. A must have for any serious PHP developer.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Stuff on PHP OOP June 17 2006
By David Stapleton - Published on
I liked this book. It is probably the first I have run across that treats PHP as a serious development environment, addressing it to enterprise level tasks. That said, let me add a cautionary warning, this book is not for the novice to OOP.

Mr. Zandstra approaches his task by dividing the content into three sections: 1) Objects - covering various basic and advanced concepts in OOP as they apply to PHP, from polymorphism and encapsulation to abstracts, error handling and interfaces, 2) Patterns - using a few sources (including the 'Gang of Four') he covers composition, object generation, tasks and layers among other topics, 3) Practices - offering a little advice on how and why to use patterns and standards, as well as some coverage of PEAR, documenting and version control.

From a practical standpoint, I found the book interesting, but somewhat overwhelming. Let me try to clarify that a little. This book is targeted at enterprise level development, meaning serious business level coding/development. Most of my work in PHP so far, while it makes use of OOP, is relatively small scale (15-20 classes ranging from 200-1500 lines each in my most complex site). While I can see the logic in the patterns and practices that Zandstra writes about, the overall content is overkill for my scale of project. Now that isn't to say that I found the book useless, there are many of the concepts that the author discusses that will find their way into my design and code; I just won't be doing a wholesale pattern refactoring of my code (a viewpoint I get the feeling the author would agree with).

If you are a professional developer, I would recommend this book as a good read and part of your PHP reference library. If you are not an enterprise level developer and are just looking for sample code to help solve or implement solutions I would recommend PHP 5 Recipes (Apress).
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to object-oriented PHP March 9 2005
By Lasse Koskela - Published on
I haven't read a book on PHP in ages. In fact, I haven't programmed in PHP since 2001. With this in mind, I can say that Matt Zandstra's "PHP 5 Objects, Patterns, and Practice" was a very approachable introduction to what the latest version of the PHP platform has to offer to an OO developer from the Java scene.

The book is split to three main sections: objects, patterns, practice. The first section runs through the new object-oriented features of PHP 5, the second sections introduces design patterns and includes a catalog of some of the more common patterns from the original Gang of Four patterns as well as from "Core J2EE Patterns". The third section is a set of tutorials on tools and assets that a modern day PHP developer really should know about and make use of: the PEAR installation tool, PhpDocumentor, and the Phing build tool. The author also squeezed in a bit about the PHPUnit2 library for unit testing PHP code which I especially appreciated.

The design patterns catalog is far from comprehensive, covering only a small subset of published design patterns in the Java/.NET camps, but serves its purpose alright. Every included pattern is illustrated with an example that the author has crafted for the PHP context - in other words, these are not just direct ports from their Java equivalents, for example.

While being an easy read, Zandstra's introduction to the object-oriented features is, I believe, perfectly adequate to get started with object-oriented PHP programming. Combined with the discussion about design patterns, the book feels like a valuable asset for getting up to speed after a break. A more up-to-date PHP developer might find the information a bit lacking but for someone new to PHP 5's object-oriented features, this is a good package to get started with.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Next Step for the Serious PHP Programmer May 4 2005
By J. R. Stephens - Published on
I got this book thinking, "Hey, this might help me get a leg up on that new PHP 5 OOP stuff." That it did.

However, this book accomplishes much more than that. Zandstra sets himself a several goals and meets them all quite well. These include: providing an understanding of classes, objects, and interfaces in PHP 5; presenting a numbers of useful design patterns as expressed in PHP 5 terms; giving the reader information about and insight into advanced development tools and methodologies for large-scale PHP 5 projects.

A particularly valuable service provided by the author lies in the fact that there is a real dearth of material on design patterns for PHP developers, most of the literature on this subject being written with the assumption that the reader is highly proficient in Java or C++ (or possibly Smalltalk). This is all well and good if your background includes lots of work or study in one or more of these; however, for many Web developers, PHP is the primary and sometimes only programming language (and for many more, their only previous experience is with other scripting languages such as Perl, Python, JavaScript, VBScript, etc.). Zandstra goes to the effort of translating many of the classic "Gang of Four" design patterns into PHP 5 code and thereby makes accessible a realm that was heretofore unknown to many PHP developers.

If this were all that the book covered, it would be useful in and of itself for this alone. But the author also gives us a good, thorough grounding in both the mechanics of PHP 5's new object model and (especially important!) the rationale behind it. He also provides a nice tutorial on UML modeling along the way, and finishes up with a look at some current development tools like Phing and CVS. There are plenty of helpful and useful examples along the way.

I give this book 5 stars for having really helped me wrap my head round some advanced OO programming and design concepts. I've already got loads of use from it; my copy is about two months old, and it's already getting dog-eared. It's also a very enjoyable read, and a real cut above most of the "How To Program In ..." sorts of books. This is the perfect book for someone with some experience with writing PHP code who's looking to move up to the next level - creating real, scalable, enterprise-level PHP applications.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2 key ideas in programming Jan. 20 2005
By W Boudville - Published on
As languages which were not originally object oriented grow in popularity, there is sometimes a trend to upgrade them, by adding in this functionality. C++ can be regarded as an upgrade of C, in this respect. Or how Visual Basic now as VB.NET has quite impressive OO features. So Zandstra's book attests to this trend and to the popularity of PHP. It describes how the OO enhancements in PHP 4 were extended into version 5. You are shown how to use objects to the full extent allowed in PHP 5.

The book is also aimed at a reader who might never have formally learnt to use objects or design patterns. In the last 15 years, these have been two very important ideas in programming, independent of the languages used. Which gives us another merit of the book. You are not just learning PHP 5, though that may be good in itself. By understanding and using the book's ideas, you should be able to apply these in other languages. A valuable increase of your skill set and hence marketability.

You should also read carefully the section on bad practices. Sometimes, just being able to avoid these in your code may be enough to produce a successful program.

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