UNLIKE ANY OTHER PHP BOOK. I write that in all caps because I can't emphasize this enough: this is NOT a typical "let's show you PHP" book. There is no walk-from-beginning-to-end introduction.
PHP Developer's Cookbook is for INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED users that have already had their introduction, already used PHP for a while, and find themselves, while working on a project, saying, "How do you validate an email address?" or "How do we save sessions in a database?"
This is a book of PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS, broken into little categories for easy reference. (Look at the table of contents.) Of course you could go through it from start to finish and learn quite a bit, even if you're not working on a big project yet.
All that being said, THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE PHP BOOKS I'VE EVER SEEN, and I've seen them all. It's the only one I'm going to keep on my desk now as I work. It's exactly what I was looking for. (I work on PHP projects all day, and am constantly searching the mailing lists to remember how to create drop-down-menus, how to process individual words in a text file, etc. This book has it all!)
Combine this with the new feature on [...] that lets you type "[...] to immediately look up the manual page for every PHP function, and you're all set!
I stumpled upon this book by accident, and only after 10 minutes of reading, I just had to get it. The book is targeting at experienced php programmers, and assumes good grasp of php and its functionalities. Unless you are have gone through at least one other book (like Wrox's PHP programming) and have had some serious project, you may not fully understand the need for some of these techniques.
For example, php has specific functions written for each database. This cause portability problem of the code when switching databases. We all know a databases API is badly needed, and quite a few books have touched on this topic, but none which actually go through the code and explain in detail how they work, how database wrappers are created and used. Another example is the session handlers. Almost every php book includes a chapter on session, and briefly mentions how we can write our own session handlers, but they read more like a reference book. PHP developer's cookbook, again, actually take you through the steps of create them and how to incoporate them into your scripts. Other examples in this book include: how to interface with other programs and languages(sockets, COM, Java methods and classes). How to work with php images functions, php XML functions, ZEND API.
Again, I wish I have found this book ealier, it would have saved me a bunch of headache and time. I truely suggest this book to any experienced PHP programmers out there.
Have any of you done Perl and worn the Perl Cookbook cover off? Then this is your book.
The layout and general concept of this book is very similar to that other beloved cookbook. Some entries are nearly identical. One feature I adore in particular is multiple recipes for one task, stating which is faster/more efficient, and then telling you why.
I have been scripting PHP for 2 years, mostly professionally, but many fun, personal projects as well. Not only do I wish I had this book, but I am gald that I have it now. I have been reading this thing randomly but voraciously, and I have found little gems even under the elementary topics.
I will be working on 2 major projects soon, the development stage of one has just begun. One is a massive intranet site, (authentication, sessions, customization, etc.) and the other is an ecommerce site/application. I will be using this book continuously as a: 1) code reminder 2) how-to resource 3) code-refiner 4) style-refiner.
I've already used it several times for custom classes - don't pass this one up!
Bill W. Cunningham
The table of contents is misleading. When I saw, "Working with Strings", "Dates and Times", "Arrays", etc., I was sure I'd wasted my money. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I thought I was pretty good at PHP until I read this book. It was a bit humbling.
In PHP, it's easy to connect to a database, pull out some data, and throw it up on the screen. This can lead to complacency and perhaps cause one to put issues of efficiency and security on the back burner (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...).
The material here makes the difference between "knowing" PHP and being truly good and professional at it. Wrox's "Professional PHP Programming" is the cake, this book is the icing.
This is the most useful "second" PHP book available. I say "second" because it's geared towards those that understand a bit already but still, it'll even help the complete newbie as it's easy to read and will make sense to most anyone. Excellent tips, short-cuts, examples, etc. Curious about shortening, optimizing and streamlining your PHP code? This book will help. Includes uses of various PEAR classes too (PEAR being similar to Perls CPAN). This cookbook WILL suit your PHP hunger, we need more books like this.