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  1. #1
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    May 2002
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    7

    Books and Reviews (PHP - MySQL)

    Today I picked up a copy of PHP - Black Book. I'm skimming it now and I'll add a review later.

    I like the Black Book series, and the "Using ___" series from Que. Lots of information, clearly presented with nice examples.

    How about your reviews, recomendations and suggestions?

    Let's do our part to build up this board/forum/site!!!

    Pete

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    28
    My first PHP book was "PHP For The WWW", Larry Ullman... Since then, I've purchased "Advanced PHP For The WWW", by the same author, as well as Sitepoint's book "Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL", by Kevin Yank.

    I haven't started reading Kevin Yank's book, and I'm towards the end of the first PHP series by Ullman... Overall, a good book for those beginning with PHP, or any scripting language in general. He explains everything from arrays to conditions, to regular expressions, and much more!


    Any others?


    ...Frank

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Great White North
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    Ok what book/books would you guys recommend for a beginner? I had purchased one about a year ago called Core PHP programming but ended up returning it. I have very little scripting experience (non-existent) but have learned some basic JavaScript syntax with Beginning JavaScript by Paul Wilton. Hopefully there are some similarities between the two lanuages?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    7
    I'm a big fan of the "Beginning PHP" and "Professional PHP" books by WROX press. The support forums are good and a few of the regulars are fantastic at helping out newbies.

    "PHP Fast and easy" by Julie Meloni was one of my first PHP books and I still have it. It will get you up and running quickly.

    The biggest problem I have with Beginning books is that they don't emphasize proper technique as throughly as they could.

    What, I believe you're asking, is how to learn to program, not just to use PHP.

    All computer/scripting languages have certain things in common:
    variables, constants,control structures. What makes a language different is its syntax and what it is designed for.

    Personally, I think PHP, Python, VB and Javascript are great languages to learn programming. The main thing is to really try and master the basics first. Believe me, it will save you hours, if not days of frustration.

    The BIG problem with loosely typed languages ( meaning no declaration of variables with types, the language scripting engine does it for you) is that they allow you write loose code. Need a variable, well just plop it in the middle of your script and there, you have a new variable. It's easy to become very relaxed about your design, which is all well and good when prototyping, but bad in the long run. Just go back to some code 6 months from now and see if you can make head or tails of it on first glance!

    So, to sum up I can recommend:
    WROX Press' PHP books,
    Also the Meloni book, "PHP Fast and Easy", and while I don't have it I hear Kevin Yanks' book is excellent.
    "PHP Black Book" looks good so far, but it labels itself for intermediate to advanced..

    If after learning PHP you find you want to learn more robust language(s), then move on to JAVA and really have some fun!!!

    Good luck!

    Pete
    Last edited by phpPete; 05-06-2002 at 05:19 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Great White North
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    Thanks for the info Pete. I'll definitely look into some of those titles. My biggest problem is after getting past the first few chapters of a programming book and feeling good about my progress I get frustrated and discouraged when the material starts to get more complex. Maybe I'm just not cut out for code but I'm willing to learn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    28
    Pete,

    I've heard good things about Kevin's book as well... I'll start reading it this weekend... Once I get far enough into the book, I'll let you know what the read is like.

    I've experimented somewhat with PHP, however, still trying to learn the basics. I'm moving onto Databases right now, which I understand is really the CORE of PHP programming...

    How long have you been programming w/ PHP?


    ...Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    28
    Draz,

    Trust me... I've gone through my fair share of feeling the same way. I've been studying Java for the past year in school... and there are days where you are frustrated out of your mind... and then there are days where everything flows.

    Believe me, stick to it, and everything will become much more clear.


    ...Frank

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    7
    Frankie: I've been programming about 3 years now...one thing about this work...there's always someone who knows more so there's always more to learn...kinda like being on a treadmill.

    ...there are days where you are frustrated out of your mind... and then there are days where everything flows...
    Truer words were never spoken!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    28
    Originally posted by phpPete
    Frankie: I've been programming about 3 years now...one thing about this work...there's always someone who knows more so there's always more to learn...kinda like being on a treadmill.

    That's so true... Just when you think you've learned all there is to it, you find that there's NEVER knowing enough! What languages do you program in?


    Truer words were never spoken!!! [/B]

    Thank you! I find myself to be inspiring at the moment!


    ...Frank
    Last edited by Frankie Shakes; 05-08-2002 at 05:10 PM.

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