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The PHP Anthology, Volume I: Foundations
December 24, 2003
Week: Not ranked All time: 24
manuellemos.netOver time, many general purpose PHP books have been released. All of them have been following a similar structure. There are chapters that cover the different areas and extensions of PHP that are used to solve the most common problems, illustrating the explanations with code examples.
"The PHP Anthology" is a general purpose PHP book that follows that common structure. However, there are details worth of mention that are not so well covered in similar books, making this more interesting for readers looking for this type of book.
Actually, this book is split in two volumes. This review just focus on the first volume: Foundations. It starts with a chapter about the PHP language basics, then follows with another about object oriented programming in PHP, and then others about database programming with MySQL, accessing and manipulating files, generating and manipulating text, dates, times, images, and web pages, sending and receiving e-mail, and error handling.
One of the interesting details of this book is that, while each chapter addresses one of the general purpose topics of interest about PHP, most of the chapters have sections that answer frequently asked questions, that sometimes do not have a trivial answer, but address very important questions that will help many users to solve frequent PHP problems.
It would take me a long review to mention every section of this book where important frequently asked questions are answered. So, I just give the example of the chapter about image manipulation where the author not only explains how to generate thumbnail images, which is a very frequently asked question, but also addresses the problem of avoiding image hot linking.
Many Web developers are concerned about this problem because they have sites where they publish photos or other types of images, but other developers are abusing of hot-linking to make the photos appear in the pages of other sites without authorization. Although the solution to this specific problem that is presented in the book is not very sophisticated, it clearly demonstrates that the author is well aware of the problems that PHP developers face and provides useful solutions.
Another detail of interest to most PHP users that wish to keep upto date with the latest PHP developments, is that this book partially addresses the important features introduced in PHP 5, namely about object oriented programming.
Despite the book was released before the final PHP 5 release, the book mentions the aspects about the differences using references in PHP 5. However, it does not cover the class member access levels, i.e. private, public and process, which is another important PHP 5 enhancement.
Overall, this is an excellent choice for any PHP user that is looking for a general purpose PHP book. Not only you will learn most of the important details of programming with PHP, but you will also find here solutions for frequently asked questions that in some cases are not easy to answer.
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