Get past all the hype about PHP and dig into the real power of this language. This book explores the most useful features of PHP and how they can speed up the web development process, and explains why the most commonly used PHP elements are often misused or misapplied. You'll learn which parts add strength to object-oriented programming, and how to use certain features to integrate your application with databases.
Written by a longtime member of the PHP community, PHP: The Good Parts is ideal for new PHP programmers, as well as web developers switching from other languages.
Become familiar with PHP's basic syntax, variables, and datatypes
Learn how to integrate the language with web pages
Understand how to use strings, arrays, and PHP's built-in functions
Discover the advantages of using PHP as an object-oriented language
Explore how PHP interacts with databases, such as SQLite and MySQL
Learn input- and output-handling best practices to prevent security breaches
Peter MacIntyre lives and works in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. He has over 20 years of experience in the information technology industry, primarily in the area of software development.
Peter's technical skill set includes several client/server tools and relational database systems such as PHP, PowerBuilder, Visual Basic, Active Server Pages, and CA-Visual Objects.
Peter is certified by ZEND Corporation on PHP 4.x and has contributed writing material for Using Visual Objects (Que Corp.), Using PowerBuilder 5 (Que Corp.), ASP.NET Bible (Wiley Pub.), and Web Warrior Survey on Web Development Languages (Course Technology). Most recently he has co-authored the Zend Studio for Eclipse Developer's Guide - Addison-Wesley.
Peter is a former contributing editor and author to the on-line and in-print magazine called php|architect (www.phparch.com). He has also spoken several times at North American and International computer conferences including CA-World in New Orleans, USA; CA-TechniCon in Cologne, Germany; and CA-Expo in Melbourne, Australia.
The animal on the cover of PHP: The Good Parts is a Booted Racket-tail hummingbird (Ocreatus underwoodii). The Booted Racket-tail is a species that, as its name suggests, is noted for a pair of distinctive features: a split tail that is sometimes thought to resemble a pair of tennis rackets with elongated handles and small heads, and legs clad with downy white feathers, causing the bird to appear to be wearing boots. Female Booted Racket-tails also sport white breast plumage.
The Booted Racket-tail is a South American variety of hummingbird, and can be found along the Andean cordillera, in the rainforests of Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Because of its fairly widespread habitat, the bird is considered relatively common in western South America. Nonetheless, Booted Racket-tails are a popular subject for birdwatchers and photographers visiting the region, likely due to the species' distinctive appearance.
In 2004, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology included Booted Racket-tails in a study of Peruvian hummingbirds intended to discover why the species remained mostly at lower altitudes, as opposed to venturing up higher where there is less competition for food. Not surprisingly, the researchers noted that at higher altitudes, where the air is thinner, the hummingbirds demonstrated a loss of power and maneuverability, hampering their ability to thrive.
An image of Booted Racket-tails also appeared on a 1996 Ecuadorian postage stamp.
Comments about O'Reilly Media PHP: The Good Parts:
I was disappointed to find that this book contained neither. Even the basics covered are extremely basic at BEST.
I got to the section on "getters and setters," which, instead of covering the get and set magic methods that let you define actual OOP style getters and setters, the author describes adding methods that just happen to be called setx and getx and have no link to a property x other than name. Bizarre. From this I concluded that the author himself does not understand the basics of PHP OOP.
From that point (I had read the entire text to that point), I skipped ahead to the chapter at the end titled "Advanced Goodness," only to find even more very basic stuff covered under the guise of "advanced" - i.e. regex, SimpleXML, and *gasp* IDEs and popular PHP sites.
I'll be checking out PHP Hacks, and the PHP Cookbook next. Hopefully one or both of them will reflect the quality that I normally associate with O'Reilly...
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Comments about O'Reilly Media PHP: The Good Parts:
This book tries to bring you from 0 to 60 in 148 pages. As a result the first half of the book was not of much value, and if I was a newbie I do not believe the second half would have been worth much to me.
That being said the book is well written and does cover things in a way that is entertaining. If you are a novice or an expert and have 20 bucks laying around this is a great resource. I'd also suggest the PHP Pocket guide if you want a decent compendium of built in PHP functions.
Good book but too short for everything it tries to cover.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend