Web Application Development with PHP 4.0 by Tobias Ratschiller and Till Gerken.
Published by: New Riders
Reading through the intro for this book, I have to admit it sounded extremely good. I've grown tired of reading through the basics of PHP and this book promised to skip the basics and jump right into the advanced aspects of the language. The titles of every chapter sounded very intriguing. I really hate to write a bad review about something a lot of people put so much work into, but that's exactly what I am doing now. I started reading with much excitement, almost right away they're talking about basic PHP info (at least info I thought was basic). A couple chapters later I am still waiting for it to get good.. Over half way through the book and I am really starting to feel like I have completely wasted my money. By the time I got to the last chapter (hacking the core of PHP) I only had enough enthusiam to quickly scan through it and put it on my book shelf simply to get it out of the way.
I can't even imagine what kind of audience this book is trying to target. The majority of the book explains very basic knowledge such as proper coding style, security issues, library's to use (don't re-invent the wheel) things to consider etc etc; Whereas inbetween is in fact more advanced, however, they really didn't go into any depth at all. Not even the code samples in the book were complete, instead they refer you to the CD - and the code on the CD isn't even complete, i think they're using the "learn by doing" method but whatever it is I really didn't care for it (if i wanted homework i'd go to school and not the book store). Overall it's more or less a "do your homework" type of book, rather than giving in depth explanations they just give uri's to the obvious resources for further research, and really leave you to figure out the more complex things for yourself.
If I didn't know any better, I'd say this book was thrown together without much thinking before hand, which is kind of ironic considering a huge chunk of the book explains how important it is to carefully plan things out ahead of time. By now, the book is outdated anyway (mentions PHP 3 in several places). I'd explain in more about the contents of the book just for review sake, but I just don't feel it's worth it.
The most important lesson I learned from this book: shop more carefully.
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