on July 27, 2005
PHP 5 Power Programming is the ideal introduction to PHP 5 for those who are already familiar with the PHP language. This book, written by some of the best known in the world of PHP, brings together all of the new and powerful features that PHP 5 has to offer, from polymorphism and interfaces to SQLite and SOAP. Anyone who knows PHP 4 and are wanting to make the change to PHP 5 would benefit from the "Making the Move" chapter. Watch out beginners, while the book does offer a "Basic Language" chapter, it isn't designed to introduce new programmers to the language. Those who are familiar with similar programming languages may be able to learn PHP from this short chapter, however don't expect the rest of the book to stop and wait for you.
PHP 5 Power Programming succeeds in showing the new features of PHP. The principle addition to PHP is the improvement of OOP. This book dedicated two chapters to introduce PHP 5's Object Orientated language and makes a fine job of simplifying something which appears complicated even to an experienced programmer. If you ever wanted someone to make sense of what PHP 5's OOP can accomplish, this book delivers it without fail. One of my personal favourites about this book is Chapter 5. Unlike the myriads of other PHP books, Chapter 5 actually deals with real life situations, such as file uploads and basic (but important!) file architecture. This chapter deals with the problems faced with cookies and sessions, and provides an excellent way around them. By the time you reach Chapter 6, you could be wondering what's left to be learned. The answer? Lots. So sit back and enjoy the journey through PHP 5, your in the hands of very experienced authors.
Not only does this book provide you with the "definitive introduction to PHP 5's advanced features" it also includes an extended 90-day trial of Zend Studio - the ideal Development Environment for PHP. This may make it a tempting purchase for programmers who are new to PHP. Even if the back cover encourages new developers to buy this book, I would strongly recommend against doing so. Chapter 2 does help set down the basics, but be prepared to take the plunge as Chapter 3 goes straight into OOP. If you're new to PHP and sure about choosing this book, I would suggest skipping both Chapters 3 and 4, head into Chapter 5 and see how the language should be used to the best of its ability.
PHP 5 Power Programming by Andi Gutmans (co-creator, PHP 5), Stig Saether Bakken (PHP core team member, creator of PEAR) and Derick Rethans (PHP contributor and the PHP QA team leader) is the perfect purchase for PHP developers wishing to bring their skills and programs into a new level. This book wastes no time in getting stuck into the advanced new features of PHP 5 and soon you'll be putting a big of reflection into all of your code. While not ideal for beginners, anyone who has experience with languages such as C, Perl or Java will find themselves understanding PHP in no time.