PHP Developer's Cookbook is a task-oriented book intended to offer solutions to the daily problems and goals the PHP developer faces.
In addition to a brief introduction to PHP, the main content of the book is presented in a problem and solution format, logically organized on a topic-by-topic basis. Each question specifies a goal, and the following text provides a detailed solution that achieves the stated goal along with any additional related information.
After a crash course in the basics, the PHP Developer's Cookbook covers more advanced development topics.
Sterling Hughes is a freelance Web developer, creating dynamic Web applications in PHP, C, and Perl for Fortune 500 companies. He is a coauthor of the PHP documentation and has written articles about PHP for Webreference, Zend.com, and Webtechniques. He currently writes a regular feature for Zend.com. He authored PHP's SWF, CURL, Sablotron (XSL), and BZip2 extensions, and coauthored the Sockets extension. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrei Zmievski is the lead development engineer and open source researcher at ispi, where he works on various e-commerce and Web publishing projects. He is a member of the PHP core development group and has contributed to several other open source projects. His other interests include piano and computer graphics. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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!
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.
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!