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O'Reilly & Associates
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manuellemos.netFinally a real PHP book is published by O'Reilly. Despite they have published many more books for other languages like Perl, Java or Python, this is a good sign as it reflects the fact O'Reilly is not neglecting PHP and considers it a serious language with great acceptance as we know PHP is.
Previously the only book that they published was just a handbook to have on your programming desk for looking up PHP functions. This time is a complete book co-authored by PHP creator Rasmus Lerdorf. The fact that this book was being promised a long time ago by the PHP created raised the expectations.
As for the book itself it is really not very innovative when compared with other PHP books released by other publishers. This does not diminish the value and importance of the book. It is important to consolidate PHP acceptance that different publishers release good titles like this.
The book itself is very light. It does not try to be exhaustive nor it is vague. Although it is not explicitly divided like that, I see it divide in two main parts: language constructs and interfacing with language libraries to develop PHP applications typically for the Web.
In the first part it addresses language data types, variables, expressions, operators, flow control, functions, string manipulation, array manipulation and object oriented programming.
In the second part it addresses Web programming techniques for like form handling, HTTP requests and responses for performing authentication and session management, secure HTTP requests over SSL. The it starts addressing the most important types of resources that can be handled by PHP extension libraries like database programming, image manipulation, PDF document generation, XML document generation, parsing and manipulation and Windows programming via ODBC and COM.
There are also a few advanced chapters that address important PHP programming security issues, template based HTML page generation, output buffering and compression, error handling and optimizing PHP applications. Finally there is a separate chapter on developing new PHP extensions in C.
Overall this is a good PHP book that covers the most important aspects of the language. It should be appealing to either developers that are initiating on PHP programming and also has enough of interest for more advanced PHP programmers.
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