By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Manage your Cookies Settings.
435,426 Members | 3,118 Online
Bytes IT Community
+ Ask a Question
Need help? Post your question and get tips & solutions from a community of 435,426 IT Pros & Developers. It's quick & easy.

Looking for a good book to begin learning PHP

P: n/a
Just like the subject says, I'm interested in taking up PHP and would
like to know if anyone knows of any books that are a must have. I know
there are tons of books out there on every language, but I'm sure some
are much better than others. I'm mainly looking for a beginners book
that also had advanced content too, but if that doesn't exist, then
just an excellent beginners book would be fine too. Thanks in advance
for any information you can give!

Apr 14 '07 #1
Share this Question
Share on Google+
6 Replies


P: n/a
On 14 Apr, 07:23, "WJRutledge" <WJRutle...@gmail.comwrote:
Just like the subject says, I'm interested in taking up PHP and would
like to know if anyone knows of any books that are a must have. I know
there are tons of books out there on every language, but I'm sure some
are much better than others. I'm mainly looking for a beginners book
that also had advanced content too, but if that doesn't exist, then
just an excellent beginners book would be fine too. Thanks in advance
for any information you can give!
I'm presuming you mean PHP AND MySQL (database) rather than just PHP
itself? is so >>

My first book (some 3-4 years ago) was "PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web
Sites (Visual QuickPro Guides)" it was a great intro and I referenced
it many times whilst trying to learn about arrays, loops, and much
more.
It is EASY READING and it also has good visuals, unlike the second
book I brought, which was a huge SOLID text book and didnt explain
things very well.

If you have no experience of PHP AND little or no experience of
programming in general then I would 100% recommend this book as it's
not very big but covers everything you need to start programming in
PHP and MySQL. There is also code supplied (CD or online
downloadable).

Otherwise there are other books by this publisher such as "PHP for the
World Wide Web: Visual Quickstart Guide (Visual QuickStart Guides)"
which I beleive just concentrate on PHP - however I havent read this
so I really can't comment.

Also, PHP.NET (the offical PHP website) is the NUMBER ONE resource for
finding out about PHP's built in functions - in my words it is the PHP
bible. (Sorry for such a long post, Im a real chatterbox!)

Apr 14 '07 #2

P: n/a
<comp.lang.php>
<WJRutledge>
<13 Apr 2007 23:23:28 -0700>
<11**********************@w1g2000hsg.googlegroups. com>
Just like the subject says, I'm interested in taking up PHP and would
like to know if anyone knows of any books that are a must have. I know
there are tons of books out there on every language, but I'm sure some
are much better than others. I'm mainly looking for a beginners book
that also had advanced content too, but if that doesn't exist, then
just an excellent beginners book would be fine too. Thanks in advance
for any information you can give!
Every php book that i've seen has been written by people who have long
forgotten what it was like to be a php newbie .

As such - they dont tell the php newbie what they need to know in order
to get started with php .

More often than not the first few chapters of most php books tend to
concentrate on telling you things that you will never really use like
how to convert a string to a number etc .

One php book i bought even thanked the lord jesus christ for allowing
him to write his php book and needless to that particular page got
ripped out and chucked in the bin .

The point of that is - most authors who write php beginner books are
more interested in their own petty reasons why they wrote the book and
trying to convince you to use their style of scripting .

Putting all the above aside , The actual php.net website is as much use
as a chocolate teapot in the sahara desert when you first start out
learning php as its a geek reference manual rather than a tutorial .

But its not all bad as once you do get up and running with php and once
you learn the syntax that php uses - most commands can be learnt quite
quickly with the minimum of fuss .

In short and to sum up - php is a real cunt to learn because it takes a
couple of months tinkering around to learn all the basics and to be able
to start writing things at will .
But dont let me put you off old chap :-))
Apr 14 '07 #3

P: n/a
I got PHP5 and MySQL for dummies a while back, and I found that book
to be pretty good.

I also got Teach yourself PHP in 24 hours.

The first is more of a beginners book, and the second has some
beginner stuff, and a lot of intermediate, and some advanced content.

Apr 15 '07 #4

P: n/a
WJRutledge wrote:
Just like the subject says, I'm interested in taking up PHP and would
like to know if anyone knows of any books that are a must have. I know
there are tons of books out there on every language, but I'm sure some
are much better than others. I'm mainly looking for a beginners book
that also had advanced content too, but if that doesn't exist, then
just an excellent beginners book would be fine too. Thanks in advance
for any information you can give!
This is such a subjective matter I'd be tempted to say: browse a few in
a store (or try a sample online, or download an ebook (and be good and
pay for the one you choose to really work with) or just pick one of the
lot and start having fun. The time spent on shortlisting the 'good' ones
first may be time wasted.

If you care, I like the O'Reilly series (in general, and their PHP
collection in this case), but others have said they found it horrible.
My experience with a few Wiley books are the exact opposite, and you'll
find fans of those as well. Same goes for the XXX for Dummies series.

Online there is a LOT of free material as well, varying from very
complete collections of tuts and scripts ranging from simple to guru, to
utterly useless ego-ridden sets of PHP excrement.

I think for me my 'self-education' in C and C++ have helped me a lot at
first, since PHP's syntax has striking similarities.

Compared to many, PHP is a rather 'forgiving' language, which makes it
easy to get something working fast, at the same time it may lead to
sloppy coding practices that bite you in the belly later.

GL and welcome to PHP

Sh
Apr 15 '07 #5

P: n/a
On Apr 14, 4:23 pm, "WJRutledge" <WJRutle...@gmail.comwrote:
Just like the subject says, I'm interested in taking up PHP and would
like to know if anyone knows of any books that are a must have. I know
there are tons of books out there on every language, but I'm sure some
are much better than others. I'm mainly looking for a beginners book
that also had advanced content too, but if that doesn't exist, then
just an excellent beginners book would be fine too. Thanks in advance
for any information you can give!
If you're complete programming newbie, the book mentioned in the first
reply, "PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites (Visual QuickPro Guides)",
has some good reviews on Amazon.

I've got a little programming experience so I ended up buying
"Beginning PHP and MySQL 5: From Novice to Professional" and I think
it's great. Very well-written, easy to read and thorough enough to
cover all but the most advanced features of PHP/MySQL.

Whichever book you choose, I would recommend getting one that is
written specifically for PHP5 rather than earlier versions of PHP. The
newer approach to object-oriented programming in PHP5 encourages much
better programming practices and will make it much easier to move to
other languages like Java later on if you so choose.

Good luck,
Daz.

Apr 15 '07 #6

P: n/a
WJRutledge wrote:
Just like the subject says, I'm interested in taking up PHP and would
like to know if anyone knows of any books that are a must have. I know
there are tons of books out there on every language, but I'm sure some
are much better than others. I'm mainly looking for a beginners book
that also had advanced content too, but if that doesn't exist, then
just an excellent beginners book would be fine too. Thanks in advance
for any information you can give!
The book I use the most is the documentation itself.
It cost me a whole week of tending my color inkjet printer, but
I printed out and bound up all of the online documentation -
including user submitted comments.

I keep thumbing through other PHP books, thinking that I should
maybe buy one of 'em. But everything in the books out there
seems to already be in the user comments.

(If anyone wants to Paypal me $200, I'll print out a copy for
you, too!)
Apr 16 '07 #7

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.