/.ed … again

Lightning strikes twice. To save having to actually read the comments, just head to Neil Blender’s summary – only 6 fuecks jokes – I’m surprised ;) You should see the warm (hysterical in fact) welcome I always get from ground staff at JFK, on those few occasions I’ve been to New York. Thanks to Mathew for the favorable reviews.

One post that’s actually on topic is here – how does the PHP Anthology compare with George’s Advanced PHP Programming?

In general I’d say the Anthology is “Intermediate PHP Programming” rather than advanced. The styles of the books are distinct, the Anthology taking a Q&A approach aimed at solving common problems which Advanced PHP Programming is more narrative. There is some cross over at the end of PHP Anth II, where it get’s into stuff like API documentation, unit testing and design patterns but aims to be more introductory, for readers who haven’t run into the concepts before. Certainly stuff like performance issues gets a far more thorough handling in Advanced PHP Programming. Personally think you could own both without wasting your money. That said if you’re a PHP veteran (e.g. you fully understand how references work in PHP4) the PHP Anthology probably isn’t for you.

While I’m on the subject, thinks there’s a whole section of books in PHP that no one has really written yet, focused on PHP application design (“strategy”) vs. “tactics” which is well covered today. Back in June 2003 another /. post asked for Elegant PHP Architectures?;

I am left with the feeling that all of the sites I have created are 50% elegance, and 50% nasty kludge.

In discussing PHP “tactics” it’s easy to give “absolute” answers, which is I guess what people expect from a book. Talking about design “strategy” is an entirely different matter and I would essentially require the author to admit upfront that “I could be wrong” or “I’m not sure but here’s what worked for me”. Was very concious of this while writing the PHP Anth and veered well clear of subjects like frameworks (and even templates).

The problem is also opinions different wildly on what actually works. Ask Rasmus and Marcus to write books on this subject (good if they good) and you’d get two very different results, both likely to be equally valid.

Before anyone leaps on this as fuel for anti-PHP flames, think this is actually a problem afflicting all web development, whether you’re working with PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails, .NET, J2EE or whatever – see Web Applications: still no ideal architecture.

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  • http://blog.casey-sweat.us/ sweatje

    The slashdot comments seem to be pretty thin on anything related to PHP or the Anthology.

    Regarding the targeted level of Anthology, I had a copy purchased for work because it allows me to plunk down a book on a new coders desk and say “do it like this” from a trusted source. I personally am having a great time reading through Advanced PHP, but it is not the first thing I want someone new to PHP reading.

  • http://www.hostetler-family.net/mike/ escape164

    Perhaps we should start a wiki of sorts that attempt to catalogue “Elegant PHP Architectures”. When I wrote that post to “Ask Slashdot” last year, I didn’t really have a clue. Now, a year later, (and hopefully wiser) I am starting to get the hang of things almost to the point that I have discoverd MY optimal architecture.

    Based upon experience, I know that MY optimal architecture is different from Harry’s or Jason’s. To give everyone a fair shake, I think we should catalog all of them and then let visitors decide, pick and choose and then document their own.

  • http://www.phppatterns.com HarryF

    Perhaps we should start a wiki of sorts that attempt to catalogue “Elegant PHP Architectures”.

    Definately. Perhaps this is something to run by phpcommunity.org . Another angle could be Havards new Wiki http://www.wiki.cc/php/. A third that I somehow prefer would be running something like that on Sourceforge.

  • http://www.lastcraft.com/ lastcraft

    Is that a nag I here? I’ll get back to it after SimpleTest I promise ;).

    yours, Marcus

  • http://blog.casey-sweat.us/ sweatje

    All this talk of slashdotting is well and good, but how is the UML going? ;)

  • http://gwild.net/ Krieger

    I own both “Anthology” and “Advanced php Programming”. I’m a php newcomer (and had NEVER done any OOP). I agree that the Anthology was more tractable for me at this point. I have read a significant bit of Advanced, but I’m not smary like Harry and George so it’s a little over my head.

  • http://www.phppatterns.com HarryF

    I’ll get back to it after SimpleTest I promise ;).

    The question still remains what to write with I guess. docbook is nice in theory but there seems to be no free WYSIWYG editor. Perhaps it’s worth investigating Latex?

    All this talk of slashdotting is well and good, but how is the UML going?

    The next installment is coming as soon as I have a chance to do some more. Actually not too sure what’s going in it – might end up being not much more than another guide to Redhat.

  • Matt C

    >A third that I somehow prefer would be running something like that on Sourceforge.

    You mean a wiki at sourceforge? I wasn’t aware that you could do that… tell me what you want and I can probably set it up somewhere.

    For publicity type reasons, I’d like to use my site — lamp5.net. But it’s entirely up to you.