Customer Review

1.0 out of 5 stars A truly appalling book, July 15 2004
This review is from: Secure PHP Development: Building 50 Practical Applications (Paperback)
I normally like to be charitable, but this publication really has nothing to recommend it. Don't touch it with a bargepole.
It's a book about secure, object orientated PHP applications by a guy who doesn't understand security, doesn't understand OOP and can't write.
Despite the title "Secure PHP", there are whole classes of security exploits which are not even mentioned. There is no comprehensive and authoritative discussion of security at any point.
The code samples are poorly laid out, riddled with errors, littered with notes to the author from the technical reviewer, and astonishingly repetitive. You will often get large chunks of code repeated many times just to show changes in a couple of lines buried somewhere in the middle.
Not that the code is worth the effort of reading. The design is often naive, the organisation unclear and the coding practices poor.
For example, he uses a naming convention for constants ($MY_CONSTANT) rather than defining proper constants as provided for by the PHP language via define().
Another example: on page 41 he exhorts his readers to use good naming standards. Yet the abstract application class that forms the core of the book is full of method names such as: name() number() currency() show_status()... I could go on. There are dozens of other equally cryptic examples.
The copy editing and proofreading is the worst I have ever seen in a technical book: it is a disgrace to the profession. There is a grammatical error in the second sentence! Here is a sample of what you can expect, from the 3rd page:
"Next, you need to consider how user interfaces will be presented and how can you allow for maximum customization that can be done without changing your core code. This is typically done by introducing external HTML templates for interface."
Even the section headings are ungrammatical: "Using relational database" (p21)
The 16 editors and proofreaders credited in the frontmatter should hang their heads in shame. This has severly damaged my confidence in Wiley as a brand - they clearly have no concept of quality control. I will be very wary of buying their products in future. The cover strapline "Timely. Practical. Reliable." is a sick joke...
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