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5.0 out of 5 stars The best "non-bible like" php book
It took me only about 15 minutes to size this book up and it's a winner. It's concise, complete, and extremely well organized. It's a heck of a good reference when you're programming and just can't remember something. And unlike most of the programming books I've used, it's large titles (every two pages are a "module" discussing an important concept) make it...
Published on Oct. 18 2001 by biolight

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Depends on what you want...
If you are a beginner to programming languages this book is very good. If you are a proffesional this is a book that you would breeze through in a night, maybe two to get an overview of the language.
The book is good for a beginner because you cannot get more detailed about the small topic chunks they covered at any given time. The books assumes you know nothing or...
Published on Sept. 26 2002 by P. Martinez


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5.0 out of 5 stars The best "non-bible like" php book, Oct. 18 2001
By 
"biolight" (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
It took me only about 15 minutes to size this book up and it's a winner. It's concise, complete, and extremely well organized. It's a heck of a good reference when you're programming and just can't remember something. And unlike most of the programming books I've used, it's large titles (every two pages are a "module" discussing an important concept) make it EASY to find exactly what you're looking for.
IT'S UNIQUE, AND IT'S ACTUALLY INTELLIGENTLY WRITTEN
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What's unique about this book is that the information is presents is very easily digestable. I own 4 php books including this one, and none of them are as useful to me on a day to day basis, because finding information in them is so much work--I usually just end up looking on google. Most of the books I own (and I do own quite a few), well, they.... um.... suck. Especially after you realized they're index is not good for looking things up or they're written like the hobbit (actually, we have a theory about that... you see... how do hobbits make money after all...).
Additionally, the format seems to appeal to different kinds of learners. I am more brainy in the way that I learn, but my more corporeal "hands-on" programmer friend (who learns by doing) took one look at this thing and insisted I order him a copy (which is the reason I'm writing reviews, don't you know ;-). I think the format will appeal to a wide variety of learners.
WHAT'S REALLY REALLY GOOD
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* Awesome format
* Complete index
* easy to find information
* clear writing
* well laid out information
* introductions to more advanced material (like how to set up a mysql database)
* the entire book is on PDF on the CD, which is SO COMPLETELY AWESOME IT SOLD THE BOOK (publisher if you read this, it's the reason I bought a copy of your book -- keep it up). No more wishing you had a copy of the book with you at work when you need it -- now you don't have to own 2 copies to have a decent reference!!!
* It's CHEAP. I'm buying a number of this series because it's almost like two for one on Amazon.
* lots of pictures and screen shots (that make sense for once!)
* an example on the same page as almost every category
* it's the same format most folks learn in -- do and then see what happens, then do this and see what happens, etc...
WHAT'S NOT GOOD, OR COULD BE IMPROVED
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* Could use a little more in depth information
* Could use a keyed index (in other words, put the page number of the page the stuff you're talking about is referenced in the reference section -- a minor, but useful, tune up)
* Index of functions, while useful, it pretty slim on explination
* Missing more comprehensive examples -- how do you put it all together kind of material. Kind of a mixed blessing.
* It has a few typos. And as you know BOOKS are not supposed to be like web pages.
* I'll bet you one of the examples is broken somehow. All computer books have a broken example in them. It's like, a cyber-rule. Really. So go find it. Go on. Email me and I'll put it in the review (I couldn't find anything that looks obviously messed up straight off).
* A map of the php world would rock. I love books that give me nice big fold-out "reminescent of National Geographic" maps of programming languages. <sniff>
* This book could be improved if it was packaged with $100 dollars of cold hard cash. That's a joke.
WHAT I REALLY THINK (REALLY!)
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In short, this book won't help you write better programs or give you a really good framework for understanding and developing applications (and don't be fooled, most books that claim to suck continuiously for 500 pages before boring you into submission).
It will get you productive in php and teach you what you need to know. And the pdf version of the book on cd makes this the benchmark computer book format (it's like it's, NOOO!!! It's from the future!!! Oh my god, another publisher realized that releasing computer books in pdf won't hurt sales, and in fact encourages users to buy more of their books! <nod o'reilly>
THE BOTTOM LINE
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If you're a beginner/intermediate, or even just want something to use as a reference or occasionally brush up, this should be in your library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best PHP book I've seen yet!, Aug. 26 2001
By 
Ed A. (Connecticut, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
In less than 300 pages, this book manages to explain the simpler concepts while not omitting the more advanced topics of PHP programming that aren't covered adequately in other books with over 1000 pages. If a PHP book gets into things like object oriented PHP, using multiple tables in your PHP/database projects, session management and even frequently overlooked things like foreach conditional statements, then it is worth considering. This book covers all that without being annoyingly verbose like so many other books. Topics that take 30 pages of excessive rambling in some books are concisely covered in several pages with diagrams of code to illustrate. I have over a half dozen books on PHP/MySQL and I find that this is the most useful and easy to understand and can be used as a tutorial and quick reference. It is useful for both beginners and experienced programmers. "Php : Your Visual Blueprint for Creating Open Source, Server-Side Content" lives up to its motto "Read Less, Learn More".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best PHP book I've seen yet!, Aug. 26 2001
By 
Ed A. (Connecticut, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
In less than 300 pages, this book manages to explain the simpler concepts while not omitting the more advanced topics of PHP programming that aren't covered adequately in other books with over 1000 pages. If a PHP book gets into things like object oriented PHP, using multiple tables in your PHP/database projects, session management and even frequently overlooked things like foreach conditional statements, then it is worth considering. This book covers all that without being annoyingly verbose like so many other books. Topics that take 30 pages of excessive rambling in some books are concisely covered in several pages with diagrams of code to illustrate. I have over a half dozen books on PHP/MySQL and I find that this is the most useful and easy to understand and can be used as a tutorial and quick reference. This book is useful for both beginners and experienced programmers and really does lives up to its motto "Read Less, Learn More".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had this book when I was learning PHP, Oct. 14 2003
By 
"grumpychris" (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
Books on PHP are definately improving as time goes on. This is the best book I've seen so far for the beginner, and I definately wish I had it when I was started learning 3 years ago. A wide variety of functions were covered to get the novice familiar with how PHP works, giving them a good foundation to move onto more advanced books and/or tutorials.
I would have given it 5 stars if it weren't for the fact that it failed to stress the importance of form related security (which should definately be taught from the beginning), as well as writing with registered_globals off (which is the default setting in PHP for 4.2 or later). Many beginners who follow this book may wonder why their scripts aren't working because of it.
Overall, though, I was very impressed with the layout of the example code, with plenty of pointers explaining what each part of the code is doing, as well as how easy it was to skim the text that came with it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, Dec 26 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
I am currently in college for computer programing and have read many books, some for college and some not. Between classes and homework time was a tight issue. Many books have alot of text, which can be hard to read all at once. With this book I could pick it up on any page that I was reading without having to backtrack and remember what has already been explained. This is extremly helpful because of the tight time. I am surprised how fast I learned the syntax of PHP, I think this was due to the pictures explaining how things work. And being able to take breaks inbetwen reading. I would recomend this book to anyone who wants to learn PHP, although the book is small, and doesn't have many pages do not be sceptical for it really is great. I also have the Visual Blue Print for mySQL which is what I will be reading next if it is as easy to read and learn as this one, I will be buying alot more "Visual Blue Print" books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Learning Tool for PHP, Sept. 28 2001
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
I have purchased many books to learn new programming languages in my spare time. Most of them I got boared with that rambled on and on and didn't really help me much. I give this 5 stars because for a person with programming logic and some programming skill you can get a ton out of this book. This is the best programming tutorial I have ever read. I am a software programmer by trade so I have seen a lot of books. This book is right to the point with graphic examples and makes things so easy to understand. If you know a little bit about programming and want to pick up the PHP language this is a must have book. I am about 1/2 way through it right now and can't wait to get the time to finish it. All in all this is a must have book for Newbie PHP programmers to help get your feet wet in the PHP world. Great Job!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Depends on what you want..., Sept. 26 2002
By 
P. Martinez (Grants Pass, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
If you are a beginner to programming languages this book is very good. If you are a proffesional this is a book that you would breeze through in a night, maybe two to get an overview of the language.
The book is good for a beginner because you cannot get more detailed about the small topic chunks they covered at any given time. The books assumes you know nothing or virtually nothing of programming languages or server side scripting.
The book is only a wet your lips kind of thing for a proffessional. It will not give you everything you need to really write good production sites. You need another book for that. Even though it only wets your lips, this book is a good book even for the proffesional because it is a very quick read for someone who knows other programming languages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best for beginer-intermediate, May 28 2003
By 
xman "xman" (Miami, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
This is not the book to be used for developing an e-commerce site (security issues left out)nor is it for advanced PHP features nor is it reference of all the PHP features. Its a book for someone who has had some little exposure to some other programming language and would like to develop a web site in PHP. This book takes from you from beginning through intermediate level and it does it very well and very clearly without confusing you with endless options and parameters and permutations of every PHP function. It covers the most usefull and basic fucntions and does a very good job. I have three books on PHP, this is the one I start with to learn a concept because it is quick, clear, and to the point. As I want to learn more advanced features I consult other books later or php.net
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best PHP-reference Around, Oct. 15 2002
By 
R. Anthony Mills "R. A. Mills" (Baltimore) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
As an developer wanting to learn additional languages and distinguis between the syntax differences of web-coding languages, I was particularly happy to find a book that served as a true example-based reference guide. Ironically, I've not even "cracked" the CD packaging!
Whether you need to install and configure Apache, install PHP or use it to code, install MySQL or use it in your PHP scripts, this book walks you through it all. There's even a handy comprehensive PHP functions reference in the back of the book. Personallly, I liked this book better than the one for dummies.
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone wanting to know more about PHP.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Written for humans, Nov. 28 2001
By 
Erik Rogneby (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PHP: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content (Paperback)
This PHP book is an excellent choice for both the beginner and the skilled coder looking to pick up PHP quickly. The information is presented with step by step coding examples and results inline on the page. It is rare to find a "computer book" so visually well organized.
This book has a quality index, and comprehensive API Appendix organized by catagory and THEN alphabetically in the catagory. Some API categories are "DOM XML Functions", "Filesystem Functions", "PostgreSQL Functions", "Oracle 8 Functions", "String Functions" etc...
I am going to keep my eye out for more books in this series.
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