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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
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on February 11, 2001
This is the first serious PHP Developer Guide and reference book that we have used! Well written with an easy to use presentation and with sufficient depth to remain useful well into the future.
We have used PHP3/4 on our own LAN and Web servers for more than two years now and have relied upon the PHP online documentation as well as several popular print books (writing our own when necessary). For the most part we have been disappointed in the printed material. But Blake Schwendiman has finally put together a useful book for the serious developer!
The style and format make it easy to use for both the novice wishing to learn PHP 4, and the experienced developer in need of a useful reference on the shelf. We recommend it for both!
Our only small disappointment was the single chapter devoted to data base support. Data base support is PHP's most powerful feature in our opinion and we expected a bit more. That said, this is a PHP Developer's Guide and not a data base reference, and the information given is sufficient to get you up and running.
Computer developer books by nature quickly become 'dated'. But for the serious developer, this one will serve a long and useful life! Highly recommended!
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on February 24, 2001
If you are a serious PHP4 developer you will get plenty of long term benefit from this book. The author is really clear with complex topics and his generous samples of code examples are well written. Although the book is 775 pages, the developers guide chapters are all covered in the first 342 pages. There is a 391 page appendix of alphabetically listed and defined PHP functions which can come in handy, a listing of predefined variables and constants, and an appendix on build options. I found the chapters on code reuse and separating html from php quite useful. More database coverage would have been nice, and, like a lot of technical books theses days, I thought it was a little over priced. Overall, this is one of the better books on the subject that is available, and I do highly recommend it.
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on February 13, 2001
The book assumes knowledge of SQL and HTML, so it is not for newbies. Overall it was good, has great examples, well written. Author knows his stuff. Half this huge book is the PHP function reference which you can get for free online. Tells how to set up shopping cart, other advanced structures. Best points: 1. Promotes good design structure 2. Covers security issues 3. Shopping cart setup 4. Great reference tables for basic PHP language constructs
Bad points: 1. Expensive 2. Not all functions mentioned are in the reference, such as "include" 3. Needs more examples. I like two per main concept All in all, if you don't care about $$$, good to have on hand. (I paid $65 in a book store. Amazon had better deal)
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on June 23, 2001
This book looked great when I flipped through it in the store, but after actually trying to use it it's been a big disappointment. My biggest complaint is the index, which has contained almost nothing I've wanted to look up, i.e. no index entries for "subroutine" or "date", to name two.
What *is* here is well written, clearly by someone who knows what they're talking about, but I generally felt disappointed by each section, as so many topics were presented with such a cursory treatment. This is not the book for someone who wants any depth on any particular aspect of using PHP (databases, sessions, etc).
All I have to say is, I'm going to try and exchange this book for another one next week.
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on January 11, 2006
This book is one of the worst technical book I've ever read.
The explanations are rather unclear. Not extensive at all.
More than half of the book is used for listing all the PHP functions. This kind of information, you'd rather want to look it up on the web.
The index is completely unusable. There are so few entries.
For example, rand() is not even listed.
A book this bad couldn't be a mistake : I couldn't imagine an author capable of writing such a junk ever being able to write something acceptable.
I'm never going to buy from this author again. Period.
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on July 9, 2001
This book covers almost every function available in PHP besides some good implementation of PHP features such as sessions, forms manipulation and file transfer. However, this book is lack of examples and looks like a dictionary. You will know the purpose of each function, but no description about how to use it. Experienced users will find this book useful. For beginners or intermediary, you should combine this book with PHP Developer's Cookbook to gain the best benefits from this book. However, despite of its disadvantages, it still one of the best PHP book available this day.
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on January 30, 2004
This is among the worst computer books I've ever seen. The examples are poor and the explanation of topics could not be worse. Although it is 700 pages half the book is an appendix with a language reference. In the 350 or so pages of text, the topic of reading and writing files with PHP gets 6 pages. I can't emphasize enough how poorly done this book is.
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on January 22, 2003
Actually, this is a good book (not for novice). It covers more advanced topic needed for real life projects. But, I don't like the function reference part (it takes a REALLY lot of pages). I don't think it has any advantages. I hope the publisher will reprint it without the function reference part.
Overall: This is a good book.
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on February 26, 2006
This is easily amongst the worst technical books ever written.
Every time I see this book on my shelve, I get angry at myself for having bought it. Got ripped big time.
It's not even worth that I waste my time reviewing it.
This is not a book you want to learn from. Frustration is the only thing you'll get from it.
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on December 31, 2002
This book is mainly useful for its Function Reference which takes up nearly 400 pages. However, even this Function Reference is not very helpful because of its lack of useful explanations and examples. Several of the PHP related Web Sites have more useful reference sections.
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