Core PHP Programming: Using PHP to Build Dynamic Web Sites

Product Description
Core PHP Programming, Second Edition is the first complete, practical guide to PHP 4 for experienced Web developers. Fully updated to reflect PHP 4.0’s breakthrough features and performance, it covers every technique you need to build robust, fast Web applications. Leading PHP developer Leon Atkinson starts with a high-level overview of PHP: how it evolved, and how it appears to the developer. Next, Atkinson reviews the key building blocks of PHP scripts, including … More >>

Core PHP Programming: Using PHP to Build Dynamic Web Sites


  1. This book does a solid job of listing the basic functions and descriptions and is aimed more at the beginner, so I would recommend it to someone who is just starting out with PhP and/or who may not want to be online all the time to get reference help. Experienced PhP programmers probably won’t find enough in this book to warrant it’s cost, but the beginner should definitely consider buying it.

    This book is a nice reference but doesn’t really have much beyond what you can find online. (which you can also download for free). In fact I find the online manual more helpful because of the annotations which make it a work in progress. It’s a philosophical issue – do you like having a real book in your hands to browse through or do you not mind using a web browser?
    Rating: 4 / 5

  2. This is a wonderful book! I’ve had this nagging background need to learn PHP for some time and have been putting it off as one of those extra little tasks I could do without. After reading just a little of this book I couldn’t wait to get started!

    Leon Atkinson aims his book at both beginner and advanced users and his writing style manages to score a direct hit! The basics are covered in sufficient detail to allow the intelligent beginner to follow along and learn useful stuff pretty quickly. This is achieved without talking down to advanced users, or bogging them down in masses of simple things. The organisation and layout of the book is good enough to allow most readers to jump straight into the sections that interest them most, so if you just want to use this book for reference, rather than have it act as a tutor, you can. Lots of references to more elementary programming texts are provided for anyone who does find themself struggling with the concepts, but I can’t really imagine anyone needing them.

    Coverage is very comprehensive too, so you never find yourself left in the lurch just as things are about to get really interesting, as I’ve had happen in many books aimed at beginners. So far, this book has provided good solid instruction of every PHP task I’ve needed or fancied (although a better index wouldn’t go amiss!) and has frequently provided me with a coded solution all ready to plug in and use! I can see that this volume will have a place alongside my computer for some time!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. This book was the first of five I now own on the topic, and while many of the criticisms written previously here are accurate (especially the irritating example code which doesn’t show you the resulting output), I still find myself pulling this one off the shelf because of some of its virtues :

    1) It’s a decent introduction to PHP, because it won’t overwhelm the first-time web programmer, and pretty much assumes you don’t know much of anything

    2) Despite the amazingly disorgranized approach to the topic, certain sections are quite useful : regular expressions, various sorting methods, generating graphics on the fly, and basic approaches to integrating HTML & PHP are well covered.

    3) Even though it’s an apparent ploy to boost the page count of a book of somewhat shallow content depth, the fact that the type is larger than average with huge bold headlines for each function really helps if you’re just flipping through looking for something specific.

    4) The cover is actually attractive, unlike the usual monstrosity of a cover of Professional PHP Programming (why does WROX think we acutally want the faces of the authors staring up at you all the time ? ). OF course, Professional PHP Programming is far and away the best book on this topic if you have any programming experience.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  4. Fluff, fluff, and more fluff. Unless you have some sort of vested interest in this book I think you too will agree it is hardly even worth one star. It is full of white space, one can see it has been printed with a view towards making as many pages as possible – big text, spread out paragraphs, etc – like we used to do in high school when we needed a ten page paper but had very little worth while to present to the reader. This is bad enough and certainly would make any programming book suspect when such tricks are resorted to. But flipping through the book I also came upon a number of errors in the code and text and there must be many more I missed (since I did not purchase the book and use valuable time attempting to learn from it). There is little of anything new here that can not be seen, almost word for word, in the main PHP website in the manual. It seems the author basically copied and pasted this material from the net (and added his errors to round it out) to make a book. Save your money, wait for the movie.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  5. I was fairly warned by Amazon reviewers that this book issimply a print version of the PHP functions found on [the internet], but I went ahead and bought it anyway. I figured that the author must have added something to the online documentation. As it turns out, the author’s additions consist mostly of typos and grammatical errors. I wouldn’t mind it so much if Atkinson had at least added a useful topical index. Instead, the index is largely a listing a PHP’s functions. Why bother? Considering PHP’s power and elegance, I wouldn’t be surprised if Core PHP Programming turns out to be an act of sabotage hatched by the Microsoft folks. Fortunately, the language not only survived this attack, but has flourished.
    Rating: 1 / 5

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