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on January 3, 2004
I've must have spent at least a gabazillion dollars on useless PHP (and other programming) books in recent months. NOT ONE of them has the ability to:
1. Explain things clearly and understandably to all, and/or
2. Present their material without being FILLED with errors that essentially render their books totally useless.
Unlike EVERY OTHER BOOK I've now read on the subject, this one is a GEM!! Run out and BUY IT, NOW. If you are new to PHP you should NOT even consider anything else first. I've just spent TWO WASTED WEEKS with another book (allegedly the "latest and greatest") that was just released on this topic - I'm now about to give up on that one simply because the pubisher has ignored the horrendous errors in that book and won't publish an errata sheet. This book, even though I've covered half of it, just this evening (really), has taken me well beyond where I had gone with the last one, in just a FRACTION of the time. Even better, I actually UNDERSTAND what the author is trying to say and his code actually works! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE write more!
Perhaps my only "complaint" is that this book is now "dated" and should be revised. By that I mean that most examples refer to PHP ver. 3 and some of the HTML should also be updated to reflect the change to XHTML. These little matters are easily overcome though and do not present a significant problem.
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on December 30, 2000
Essential PHP for Web Professionals is intended as a concise how-to guide for somebody new to php and needs quick answers. For its size, the book covers quite a lot of breadth: from simple forms all the way to databases. The small size of the book makes topics easy to find though. Another big plus is the line numbers in the code listings that make the author's commentary easy to follow. However code readability suffers from the indentation style or lack of thereof.
To round out this review, I should mention that there are a couple of irritating details. The section on how to install php on a Linux computer is clearly a cut & paste job from the Windows section. It makes reference to the c drive which of course does not exist in Linux. Thus a Linux user will find the installation chapter pretty well useless. I have sent off an email to the editor but have not yet received a reply. There is also a typo in the chapter on incorporating mySQL into php. The flag to compile apache with mySQL support is --with-mysql and not -with-mysql. This section for the Linux user is again useless because of it's incompleteness.
In summary, I would recommend this book for the example scripts but if the reader requires more details on installation and/or database connectivity, other books will have to be consulted.
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on July 27, 2001
The book is for those who know NOTHING about PHP!. They just need to know simple thing about HTML (just understand the code!), or it's for those who need QUICK reveiw on PHP.
The author's language is very simple and to the point. He will teach you from installing PHP (and Apatche server) in your pc till integrating PHP with Mysql database. After you finish chapter 2, you will know how dynamic pages work and you can do very simple dynamic page. The chapter about database is perfect (now i understand and know how to make databases on my server!!)
The author is explaining all lines of each script in the book, which is good way of understanding how a script works!
After you finish the book, you will understand PHP scripting (you won't know everything about PHP) so you can start developing your self by doing more scripts.
This is the only book i found about PHP, so can't compare it.
but it is worth it!!
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on October 9, 2001
This book has some pretty good examples; however, it skimps on details. It also seems to be geared toward those already familiar with UNIX scripting conventions, because it introduces some syntax features, like back-slashes, with little or no explanation. It also does not explain how or if "nulls" or string-to-number conversions are handled. Nulls can be big "gotchas" if not well-understood. It does not cover session management (which is fairly new I hear, and may not have been around when written). If you like practical examples, then this may be for you. If you like programming details, avoid it. Also, code indentation was lacking in many examples. They may have done this to make it fit on the page, but even slim indentation would have helped readability.
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on April 5, 2001
This book provides the basics of PHP programming in an easy-to-read format. It also provides a simplistic discussion of many of PHP's benefits, including cookie management and auto responders. Its lack of detail, however, will frustrate those who already have experience in programming Perl, C++ or other OO languages. For example, the book introduces the mail() function with a light code example, but does not indicate or even hint that configuration must occur somewhere with sendmail (on the linux box) or an outgoing smtp server (for windows). I would recommend this book to non-programmers who want a quick-and-dirty intro. to PHP, but experienced web app. developers should look elsewhere.
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on October 25, 2001
Although the book does contain some "real world" examples, it lacks in real substance on the language of PHP. The examples are trivial at best. It would've been more worth the money had the author provided more depth to the use of presented functions, as well as included additional language structure specifications.
If this book is geared for TRUE web professionals (ie: programmers that want to know limitations), the author should have included information that is pertinent to professional development. Instead, the author chose to punt and let the white papers located on the PHP website handle those issues.
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on April 30, 2002
This book has been a big help since I'm a beginner at PHP. It's very informative although I do find most of the same stuff online.
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on November 15, 2000
It's easy to understand for beginners, and fast enough for professionals.
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