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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist perpetual_dream's Avatar
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    best PHP book for a beginner?

    Hey,
    I'd like to ask what is the best php beginner bok available? one with a lot of practical examples and which helps building a CMS. I'm not a total newbie when it comes to coding I have a little experience when it comes to asp but i want 2start with php? what about sitepoint book? what else do u recommend for a beginner after which one can feel confident... ?
    Thanks
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard Pedro Monteiro's Avatar
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    Strongly recommend "Sams - PHP and MySQL Web Development".

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist perpetual_dream's Avatar
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    I read that a long time ago and i wasn't impressed
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Pedro Monteiro's Avatar
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    Mmmm I quite enjoyed it. I would safely say Sitepoint must have quality literature on the subject.

  5. #5
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    http://www.sitepoint.com/books/phpant1/ - sitepoints php books, they seems ok, but i can't say for sure because i havn't read them.

    I'd advise just looking around for tutorials and example, and then start making small projects to help you learn.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I read that a long time ago and i wasn't impressed
    Sam's books can change a lot from year to year. I've paged through the current Sam's "PHP and MySQL Web Development", which appears to be designed to NOT look like a Sam's book, e.g. the typical "Learn this Computer Language in 24 hours", and it seemed quite good. In fact, I didn't even know it was a Sam's book or else I never would have picked it up.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast sarahG's Avatar
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    For a beginner I wouldn't recommend the PHP Anthology from Sitepoint as this assumes you already have a good knowledge of PHP. Try Kevin Yank's PHP/MySQL book, there's 4 free chapters available for you to look through first and make your mind up before buying. It is for the complete beginner, even tells you how to get mysql/apache/php running on your local machine.

    Personally I learnt from a version of the Sams book mentioned however it was already out of date when I bought it (assumed registered globals on for example) back in 2002. The SitePoint books are much better written in my opinion, I own 2, about to get another 2 in the post. The free chapters are enough to give you a good idea too.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict caddyfixr's Avatar
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    The book I read to get started was Kevin Yanks 'Database Driven Website' and it is a Sitepoint book. It walks you through the process.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot oivaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hash
    Absolutely the best book for a beginner!!

    I remember to have read the articles for Database Driven Websites by Kevin Yank. I think his book is based on those articles. Those helped me a lot so I assume the book would be a wise choice too.

    Quote Originally Posted by perpetual_dream
    ...which helps building a CMS.
    This is not beginner stuff

    Once I feelt confident about my "basic" php skills I started reading code and doing quick tests with that code.

  11. #11
    Always learning kigoobe's Avatar
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    Kevin's book is good. Try it if you are buying your first php book. I started with this one.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member CharliePHP's Avatar
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    Good Books on PHP

    Kevin Yank's PHP/MySQL book is an excellent choice.
    I would also recommend Spring Into PHP 5 by Steven Holzner.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Evangelist perpetual_dream's Avatar
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    thank u all guys I think am going to buy sitepoint book but it's a little expensive here composed to amazon but i think they have the latest editioon here
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by perpetual_dream
    Hey,
    I'd like to ask what is the best php beginner bok available? one with a lot of practical examples and which helps building a CMS. I'm not a total newbie when it comes to coding I have a little experience when it comes to asp but i want 2start with php? what about sitepoint book? what else do u recommend for a beginner after which one can feel confident... ?
    Thanks
    pd,

    it is going to depend. i think wrox puts out good books. apex press (i think?) may also put out some decent books - they bought some of wrox's books.

    in any case, i don't think you *need* books at all, although, they may help you - especially if that is the way you are wired to learn.

    i learn by doing, hitting a wall, and then scouring the web for answers. this includes here... php.net... google... google groups... postgresql's mailing list... all have a wealth of information. you can even ask specific quuestions right here.

    i have several php books and, frankly, only one ever gets cracked open, and it isn't cracked open too much, either.

    in fact, my postgresql book hasn't been opend in months. it might get opened when i start to look for tuning and security information, though. or it might not. i might find all the info i need on the web.

    also, mysql isn't you only choice of db. postgresql is a great alternative. i'm not putting down mysql, rather, i'm just letting you know their is an alternative that is very good and, for my purposes, has an acceptable license (mysql's license isn't acceptable to me for developing commercial applications).

    get a project that is a need or that just interests you. start working on it. visit here with questions.

    i have a couple suggestions, though.

    1. cross browser css compatibility is the worst thing you will face. spend some time over at sitepoint's css forum and get to know Paul. Paul *is* your friend. he has some neat templates, which i would've *never* figured out on my own, that i customize for my needs. this will save you weeks and weeks and weeks of heartache.

    2. learn to require_once() all your repeating page elements (header, navigation bar(s), footer, etc. if you don't, you will be updating many, many, many pages in order to make a site wide change. it is much easier to update one page and then go get a hot chocolate to celebrate your require_once() brilliance.

    3. i use a forms class by Manuel Lemos that can be found at phpclasses.org. i *highly* recommend it. it has client side and server side validation, it allows simple to implement regex validation, it allows for linked select boxes, he has a date input class, there is a calendar date selector plugin, and lots, lots, lots more.

    4. i use the adodb db abstraction layer and find it quite nice.

    i think i've covered the lowest hanging fruit here.

    good luck.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Evangelist perpetual_dream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeeterbug
    pd,

    it is going to depend. i think wrox puts out good books. apex press (i think?) may also put out some decent books - they bought some of wrox's books.

    in any case, i don't think you *need* books at all, although, they may help you - especially if that is the way you are wired to learn.

    i learn by doing, hitting a wall, and then scouring the web for answers. this includes here... php.net... google... google groups... postgresql's mailing list... all have a wealth of information. you can even ask specific quuestions right here.

    i have several php books and, frankly, only one ever gets cracked open, and it isn't cracked open too much, either.

    in fact, my postgresql book hasn't been opend in months. it might get opened when i start to look for tuning and security information, though. or it might not. i might find all the info i need on the web.

    also, mysql isn't you only choice of db. postgresql is a great alternative. i'm not putting down mysql, rather, i'm just letting you know their is an alternative that is very good and, for my purposes, has an acceptable license (mysql's license isn't acceptable to me for developing commercial applications).

    get a project that is a need or that just interests you. start working on it. visit here with questions.

    i have a couple suggestions, though.

    1. cross browser css compatibility is the worst thing you will face. spend some time over at sitepoint's css forum and get to know Paul. Paul *is* your friend. he has some neat templates, which i would've *never* figured out on my own, that i customize for my needs. this will save you weeks and weeks and weeks of heartache.

    2. learn to require_once() all your repeating page elements (header, navigation bar(s), footer, etc. if you don't, you will be updating many, many, many pages in order to make a site wide change. it is much easier to update one page and then go get a hot chocolate to celebrate your require_once() brilliance.

    3. i use a forms class by Manuel Lemos that can be found at phpclasses.org. i *highly* recommend it. it has client side and server side validation, it allows simple to implement regex validation, it allows for linked select boxes, he has a date input class, there is a calendar date selector plugin, and lots, lots, lots more.

    4. i use the adodb db abstraction layer and find it quite nice.

    i think i've covered the lowest hanging fruit here.

    good luck.
    Thanks a lot for the advices
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  16. #16
    Obey the Purebreed trib4lmaniac's Avatar
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    The php.net documentation and these forums

  17. #17
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    I'd agree with what skeeterbug said. You don't really need a book to learn PHP. php.net is a great place to learn PHP and it covers all the functions PHP has really well. There are also LOADS of tutorials over at Pixel 2 Life. Though be careful when following tutorials posted on there, a lot of people leave out security measures in their code.

    If however you want some structure in your learning to make it a step-by-step process then you probably will need a book.

    I've read Kevin Yanks book from cover to cover and like others have said so far itís a great place to start. You definitely won't go wrong if you get this book, I learned a huge amount through that book and chapter 6 shows you how to make a simple CMS which will guide you towards making a more complex one later on. It really is a brilliant book to start out with.

    I can also highly recommend Beginning PHP 5 and MYSQL from Novice to Professional by W.Jason Gilmore. Its more of a reference book, so its not really meant to be read from chapter to chapter like Kevinís book is though it can be if you want. I personally tried to read it from chapter to chapter and found it too much. For that reason I would only get this after you are familiar with either Kevins book or the basics of PHP though another learning medium.

    Iíve found that flicking through this book when you have a problem and finding a solution is the best way to read it. This method worked best of me anyway.

    After I moved on from Kevin Yanks book the only book out of the 5 PHP books I have that has yet to collect dust on my shelf is the Apress book I mentioned just now. I'm always flicking through it and getting info out of it. It doesn't cover everything but it has helped me 9 times out of 10 when I need help.

    The main thing though is to just learn something new everyday (or every other day) either through a book or php.net. You'll soon build up a wealth of knowledge.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Member
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    Why don't you try google? That's the way i've learnt everything i know about programming
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  19. #19
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    "PHP 5 - Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server side content"
    It's a "Visual" book filled with step by step screen shots. The ISBN is 0-7645-8332-8

  20. #20
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    I would not recommend using the php documentation if you are truly a beginner. It is so overwhelming and written for technical people of which I am not. Eventually, it will be useful and necessary. I used PeachPit Press books by Larry Ullman. Highly recommended. He also wrote a book on MySQL and one on PHP/MySQL. Great way to start. Also, I ditto the comment suggesting that you "do" more than "read"...as painful as that may be

  21. #21
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    look at this link u can find PDF copies of PHP4 and PHP5 http://www.abcphp.com/showthread.php?t=83

  22. #22
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    I will suggest the book of kevin yank because I got it free, even before it went to press-I mean online.... that was very kind of him as usual. But you will need to add the articles here and that of phpbuilder if you want to do things like error pages, pdf with php etc. The book of julie meloni is not half bad?-this is the word of the author.......
    fash

  23. #23
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    I learned with Kevin Yanks - database driven website. its a good book thats for the beginer. I am know coding websites i never dreamed possible!

  24. #24
    SitePoint Evangelist perpetual_dream's Avatar
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    Do u think the third edition of Kevin Yanks book differs greatly 4rm the 2nd. It's less by 14$ on amazon.
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  25. #25
    SitePoint Zealot capnhud's Avatar
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    For an online beginner reference I would recommend Practical PHP
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