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  #1  
Old May 10th, 2003, 06:57 AM
Vince Vince is offline
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Terrible PHP Books out there!

I have bought 3 PHP books and have taken them back because of the following reasons:

1. They are too formal. If someone is learning something they need it to be as simple as possible. Fancy words don't stick to your head as much as simple ones.

2. They do not have any examples, or at least good ones. All the books start off with variables, then data types and then arrays and classes etc... there are no good examples at the end of a chapter. Perhaps if they made a book that taught you how to make a whole site using php/mySQL starting off basic and making scripts to add to it whilst learning the functions that would help more people. I know very little PHP, recently learned basic array functions but add that to variables and basic mySQL querys it's nothing really.

3. No CD's with examples, tools...

I bought a Javascript book ages ago and it was great because the book allowed me to make scripts in every 2-3 pages of reading so I didn't get bored. And I could compare my work to the example one in the CD.

Overall, my experience of PHP books as been poor. I bought SAMS teach yourself PHP in 24 hours, A programmers introduction to PHP 4.0 (probs the best one out of the bunch) and another one which I can't remmber the title.

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Old May 10th, 2003, 09:37 AM
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The PHP Black book is a good one to buy.. it has plenty of examples, and its written for programmers learning php from scratch..

PHP Black Book by Peter Moulding.. he actually has quite a few books under him that he wrote.. check out petermoulding.com


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Old May 10th, 2003, 11:53 AM
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thanks, I will try and loan it out at the library b4 I buy it

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Old May 10th, 2003, 04:54 PM
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that's why i dont buy books cause i bougth 6 flash mx books and none provided the info i was looking for, so i am taking macromedia's course instead.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 05:00 PM
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glad to see people share my views I thought I was going to get my head bitten off!

the thing is, everyone always says that reading PHP books is better than tutorials but from my experience tutorials have been better

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Old May 10th, 2003, 05:00 PM
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The only books lately that I've been buying <with exception to my php black book> are at 75% off books.. lol.. only pay like $5 for each of em...

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Old May 10th, 2003, 05:01 PM
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there arent shops like that where I live, everything is full price! how queer is that!

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Old May 10th, 2003, 07:10 PM
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I've got that Sams book myself, it indeed kinda sucks The examples are short and you don't really learn alot from it You learn alot more by just reading the php.net documentation

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Old May 10th, 2003, 07:47 PM
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its really pissing me off that there is no definitive guide to learning php. A language so popular doesnt have that many great tutorials, its really shocking...
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Old May 10th, 2003, 08:10 PM
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i have Sams PHP & MySQL Web Development... i found it okay...

Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 wasn't nearly as PHP based as i hoped... [forget the publishing company]

i took PHP & MySQL For Dummies out of the library.... ugh!! forgot how bad dummies books are...

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Old May 10th, 2003, 08:15 PM
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quite the contrary IMO, dummies books are very good because they include a lot of examples and cd's to help you learn.

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  #12  
Old May 10th, 2003, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vince
its really pissing me off that there is no definitive guide to learning php. A language so popular doesnt have that many great tutorials, its really shocking...


what do you need more than the php documentation? It's one big tutorial

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Old May 11th, 2003, 02:46 PM
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yeah but it is more about explaining the syntax rather than explaining how scripts work

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Old May 13th, 2003, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadCowDzz
i have Sams PHP & MySQL Web Development... i found it okay...
I have this one too. I think it's probably among the better ones, in terms of what Vince is looking for. (More examples, bigger picture stuff, cookbook stuff...) The first half of the book consisely touches on all of the nuts & bolts, then the second half is all case studies. I like that format, however, I still don't find this book or any other PHP book I've seen to be totally adequate.

Some faults of this and every PHP book:

Outmoded syntax (e.g. register_globals is a big one). Not enough big-picture discussion: how scripts should be structured to tie together into a whole. Little or no coverage of templating, abstraction, n-tier structure, planning. The academic stuff. All of the nuts & bolts syntax stuff is covered very well by php.net documentation, with the bugs and gotchas amended by real-world users. Too many pages are wasted on basic syntax in every book. Too many dead trees of screenshots that take up half the page. I find myself flipping pages between short little paragraphs that should really be side-by-side, but are instead scattered between unnecessary screenshots. Some sort of SQL cookbook section would also be helpful, with example structures of common queries, and the like.

I'm sure I could add to this if I went back and looked over the books I have.

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  #15  
Old May 13th, 2003, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by *JaH*


what do you need more than the php documentation? It's one big tutorial


The truth is if you don't already know what your look for it doesn't help. If you know exactly what youa re looking for it is great
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  #16  
Old May 14th, 2003, 01:57 PM
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well I finally found one: PHP in easy steps by Mike McGrath

I actually read it for 1 hour in the bookshop until the woman started giving me dirty looks and then I shelled out 10 for it and walked home.

When I was skim reading the content of the book it is very good, because it covers all the aspects in chapters with loads of small little scripts which could come useful.

The book itself is quite small but I didnt want a huge encyclopadeia on PHP, more an introduction and comprehension on all Syntax and allowing me the ability to freely code my own scripts without using any resource to help me.

If you want to buy it the ISBN is: 1-84078-207-2 and it costs 9.99 GBP, you can visit the official site: http://www.ineasysteps.com

Vince.

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  #17  
Old May 14th, 2003, 03:35 PM
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did you go to the book store and look at the php black book?

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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:46 PM
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no, they Didn't have it. I chose the one I did because I have a few of the "in easy steps" ones and they are very good (Visual Basic, and Creating Web Pages)

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Old May 15th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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I started learning PHP from on line tutorials, and online scripts and PHP documentation. later I did bump into few books but they are still new in my collections.

The best way to learn PHP is from the scratch, and try to develop systems by urself and dont ever forget to post any doubts over here. It helped alot.
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  #20  
Old May 16th, 2003, 06:07 AM
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we used to have a partnership with wrox, and used to get books all the time. Its a pitty wrox went under as the quality of there books is fantastic! Sams is also another good publisher, Ive just bought a Flash 6 book (advanced actionscript) from sams, and im inpressed with the quality

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Old May 16th, 2003, 07:19 AM
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I loved wrox's stuff! Sams isn't too bad.. but it's not quite what I was looking for.. I found their linux books to be wishy washy.. but that's just me..

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Old May 17th, 2003, 12:49 PM
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Im not too big a fan of SAMS, my friend let me read his and I didnt like it. Of course I didnt finish it because I got bored

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Old May 19th, 2003, 12:20 AM
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I've never really had much reference from books - I picked up PHP from trusty old webmonkey.com with their friendly, "informal" tutorials for the absolute newbies ;-)

Sites like DevArticles.com, SitePoint.com & a few others also provide plenty of good tutorials, but I feel that they are more concentrated towards the programmers of "intermediate to advanced" stages.

Just my 2c.

-a-

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Old May 20th, 2003, 01:33 PM
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Book review

Slashdot just put up a positive book review of Sams PHP and MySQL Web Development, 2nd Edition:

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/05/19/1355232

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Old May 21st, 2003, 10:17 AM
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Learning PHP

The only way I began to understand php was studying C\C++. Of course basic html is necessary but also forms and knowing what variables do helps a lot. I am somewhat behind though in my keeping current on what is happening. For instance I am not sure what the differences are for Register Globals being off and on. I just took over a site's management and although it seems to be working okay the latest php environment recommends Register Globals be off. The site does not work when I have register globals off. What do I have to do to site programming to have it work with register globals off. Is there a definitave article on this concept somewhere?

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Old May 25th, 2003, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vince
quite the contrary IMO, dummies books are very good because they include a lot of examples and cd's to help you learn.


I'm glad you find them helpful... I dread those damn yellow books...
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Old May 25th, 2003, 11:12 AM
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They're great for propping up other books with! or leveling tables

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Old May 27th, 2003, 01:45 PM
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Visual Quickstart Guide(s)

I been using the "Visual Quickstart Guide " for a while now and they are okay preliminary stuff - every thing is in step by step format. Anybody have an opinion on those (better said should i stop buying those).

Thanks


Dave

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Old June 8th, 2003, 02:09 PM
FrankieShakes FrankieShakes is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by nicat23
They're great for propping up other books with! or leveling tables


Hahaha... There we go! Now we found a good use for those books!

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Old June 9th, 2003, 09:34 PM
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Re: Terrible PHP Books out there!

Quote:
Originally posted by Vince
I have bought 3 PHP books and have taken them back because of the following reasons:

1. They are too formal.

2. They do not have any examples, or at least good ones. Perhaps if they made a book that taught you how to make a whole site using php/mySQL starting off basic and making scripts to add to it whilst learning the functions that would help more people.

3. No CD's with examples, tools...

...snipped...


Hi Vince,

For what it's worth, I agree with Ben about Wrox's books. They generally are really good, and fulfill at least two of your three needs.

1. They're easily readable, written by programmers, and are mostly informal.

2. Lots of examples, geared (in the book I'm recommending) towards developing a specific real world example, with explanations of the code.

3. OK, no CD's, but you can download the latest code and errata from their web site.

I'd say that PHP MySQL Website Programming - Problem - Design - Solution by Lea C, et al from Wrox Press would probably suit you.

http://www.wrox.com/

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