After reading the glowing reviews, I had great expectations for this book. It's been quite a letdown.
I'm halfway through it now and probably will set it aside and look for another.
The first major annoyance was trying to find the companion website... Searching the publisher's website was a waste of time as it provided no information other than an option to purchase the book. Finally by chance I happened to notice the correct web address listed in small print on the bottom of the back cover.
Next I've had to contend with typos and misinformation; obvious ones such as the list of "What's on the CD-ROM, Disk, and Website" (there is no CD-ROM or disk with this book). In a "Write the Code" example, I found "@@@COMP: Break line as shown.@@@" mixed in with the coding...could be confusing if someone didn't realize that snippet was intended for the book's paginator. And there are errors in the coding examples, such as occurrences of "=" instead of the correct "==" operator. Thank goodness for php forums and the generous people there who helped me realize why the code wasn't working as expected. As far as I can determine, there's no errata page available for this book on the Wiley website, which to me is inexcusable. This is the first book I've ever bought from Wiley Computer Publishing, and I can now say with certainty that it will be my last.
The book is organized basically with first stating a problem for the fictitious Mega Music Mart development team, then presenting page after page of learning material before showing the code to solve the problem. I always have to go back to the beginning of the chapter to refresh my memory of what the objectives of the development team are so that I know what they are trying to achieve in their code. A graphic of what the completed code looks like in a web page appears after the code. I would prefer have the explanatory material first (for example, what functions and variables are), then be presented with the task for the development team, immediately followed by an example of what the end result is, then the code. I have to do a lot of unnecessary page flipping the way it's laid out now.
The final straw is the lack of commenting in the code, which would be an immense help in understanding the "what" and "why" of the coding. In the "Write the Code" section of the chapter on Classes, there are approximately four pages of coding, yet not one bit of commenting. Odd coming from an author who states on p. 38 that "Comments are an integral part of any program...The comments of one developer help the others understand the logic of the code..." Yes, comments certainly would have helped me understand the author's logic and aided the learning process.