Most books, I've read are written by full-time authors, rather than contractors (i.e. practitioners) ... and it shows ... in the "hello world", foo-bar examples ... for lack of immagination. This author has, clearly, been developing websites - for years; it's so evident throughout. Moreover, the author is VERY well read and aware of the latest development theories, practices, principles and design patterns. He writes with the wisdom of someone who has lived through long wars of website development and, more importantly to the reader, has found most practical ways to weave current design theory into guidelines for getting things done with PHP.
How many books have you finished and asked yourself, "ok, now, where do I start?". This is NOT one of those books. This, more than any other, answers the "How ...?" providing a whole process for starting, being sure of incremental progress, handling inevitable complexity and, ultimately, maintainability.
I've read over a dozen PHP books, usually picked based on Amazon recommendations (when available). This book stands head and shoulders ABOVE ANYthing I've found to date ... for its pragmatic blend of theory and practice. On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, this is at least an 11 (or better)! If you don't study this book, CAREFULLY, you're in for far more miserable coding experiences than necessary.
When I took the scenic boat ride through Oslo harbor, I had no idea that such a blend of PHP techniques and advanced coding theory was evolving in Norway! <G> It's such a beautiful ride ... try it.