Author: Elliott White III & Jonathan D. Eisenhamer
Publisher: Sam’s Developer’s Library, 2006
Aimed at: Developers already familiar with PHP
Pros: A collection of useful cookbook recipes
Cons: No complete applications and light on theory
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
This is a PHP cookbook and as such you need to know some PHP to make any sense of it. There is a short, very short, introduction to some of the peculiarities of style but nowhere near enough to get you started with the language. You also won’t find any details of how to install and configure PHP – it is assumed that you have it all under control and indeed know what PHP is for and why you might want to use it. Most of the recipes are small, indeed each chapter begins with a set of micro examples that shows the basic of using the PHP facilities under discussion. We also encounter some longer examples but no complete applications. The approach to coding is also fairly basic in that generally functions are not used to organise blocks of code and similarly little use is made of objects outside of the chapter that deals specifically with them.
This is a book that solves smallish problems and leaves the integration into a whole system up to you. As long as this is what you are expecting then all well and good. Each example is presented as a listing with some comments a brief explanation of the general principles and specific comments. In some cases this is more than adequate when the example is fairly trivial – removing white space from a string, working out the mean etc. In other cases, building a web service client using SOAP, implementing an FTP client, uploading files and so on, a little more background is needed to fully understand what is going on. As a collection of recipes there are going to be many that you don’t need but any that you do need will inevitably save you time. A useful book.