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  1. #1
    lean mean coding machine cosmo's Avatar
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    Advanced PHP books

    I am looking to buy a book on advanced PHP to take my skills to the next level. I browsed through amazon and came across these two books: Professional PHP Web Services and Professional PHP4 XML

    Was wondering which you guys would recommend?
    Luthfur R. - Web Developer
    PHP Lite.com - Professional PHP Scripts and Web Applications
    Calendar Express 2 - Web Based Calendar and Event Publishing System

  2. #2
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    following the leader

    If you want to take the advice of voostind, instead of buying a book on PHP to advance your skills you should buy a book which deals with program design. If you are skilled at programming: designs, patterns the only book you need on any given language is the manual. The rest is program independent.

    Read Martin Fowler.

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    I have read Martin Fowler's book on-line when it was still up at www.martinfowler.com and from what I could read, it talks about patterns, but not about how you should code properly (object oriented).

    It really depends on what you want to learn:
    - better software architecture design in general: get a book about OOP or the Design Patterns book.
    - 'cool' techniques such as XML and web services which, IMHO, are mostly hyped and may not even be around in 10 years anymore: get one of those books.

  4. #4
    lean mean coding machine cosmo's Avatar
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    Well I've actually got a pretty good grasp of program design fundamentals.

    What I wanted to do was learn ways to use PHP to work with web services and xml. At the moment I can only buy one book, so I was wondering which one I should get.
    Luthfur R. - Web Developer
    PHP Lite.com - Professional PHP Scripts and Web Applications
    Calendar Express 2 - Web Based Calendar and Event Publishing System

  5. #5
    lean mean coding machine cosmo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Captain Proton

    'cool' techniques such as XML and web services which, IMHO, are mostly hyped and may not even be around in 10 years anymore: get one of those books.
    Well, I cannot predict the future but, all so far I have been reading articles saying web service and xml are the next step in distributed computing. An article at cnet tells that web services use is finally picking up. So I thought I might add it to my skill list as well.
    Luthfur R. - Web Developer
    PHP Lite.com - Professional PHP Scripts and Web Applications
    Calendar Express 2 - Web Based Calendar and Event Publishing System

  6. #6
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    XML is (hopefully) not going to have the future, at least not for data storage. If you want to know why, read the articles about XML on this site: http://www.dbdebunk.com/ XML itself is not that interesting anyway.

    So if you have to choose between those two books, I'd recommend the book about web services. I believe that web services are something that will stay in the future and since web services use XML mostly, you will learn about XML at the same time.

    Just my 2 cents

  7. #7
    lean mean coding machine cosmo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Captain Proton
    XML is (hopefully) not going to have the future, at least not for data storage. If you want to know why, read the articles about XML on this site: http://www.dbdebunk.com/ XML itself is not that interesting anyway.

    So if you have to choose between those two books, I'd recommend the book about web services. I believe that web services are something that will stay in the future and since web services use XML mostly, you will learn about XML at the same time.


    That was my analysis as well. I'll be going for web services then. Thanks for the advice.
    Luthfur R. - Web Developer
    PHP Lite.com - Professional PHP Scripts and Web Applications
    Calendar Express 2 - Web Based Calendar and Event Publishing System

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    SitePoint Addict chiefmonkey's Avatar
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    Re: following the leader

    Originally posted by mojavelinux
    If you want to take the advice of voostind, instead of buying a book on PHP to advance your skills you should buy a book which deals with program design. If you are skilled at programming: designs, patterns the only book you need on any given language is the manual. The rest is program independent.

    Read Martin Fowler.
    I have to agree, I would say my PHP code has improved greatly since I started learning Java (although this wasn't through choice but compulsary in my Software Engineering degree). Certainly a lot more than it would have by reading a book. Only problem is I look back at some of the Classes I have written and I am far from happy with them.


    George
    Got Sig!

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    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophy
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    Guess I should throw in my 2 cents at the risk you'll hold me accountable for the Web Services book.

    In general I don't think there is a book discussing what would be truly advanced concepts of software development with PHP. Certainly if you're looking for discussion of OOP, right now the best bet is to look at Java books (PHP's object model is pretty similar)

    Wrox's Professional PHP 4 is really an intermediate book, covering alot of ground and examining lesser known aspects of what PHP can do. They make an introductory discussion of OOP but many of the chapters then use procedural code in examples. I've got it and occasionally refer to it for how to use elements of PHP which I don't use regularily. In other words it's much like a collection of online articles, covering subjects no one else has done.

    Professional PHP4 XML is a good book IMO. They make more use of OOP (though not all the time). The first half of the book covers core XML technologies and how they relate to PHP - there's some solid material covering SAX and DOM parsing / XML generation, which makes useful reference material. There's even discussion of using a Flyweight pattern in conjunction with parsing an XML document. Think the quality of this book is mainly down to Luis Argerich, who's written various articles on phpBuilder and elsewhere and runs http://phpxmlclasses.sourceforge.net . The second half of the book looks at some more "off the beaten track" aspects of PHP and XML, including SVG, XML-RPC & SOAP and XML data storage. Most of this is introductory in nature but interesting none the less.

    Professional PHP Web Services I worked on myself (it was released 5 days ago so you're ahead of the game). Because of the rules on these forums (and my own rules) about self promotion have to watch what I say. If it's counts for anything, I'm happy with it. If you want to know more, best drop me a PM.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict MarekS's Avatar
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    Read Martin Flower
    Is this the book you recommend?

    Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture

    I it has nothing to do with PHP but it is still worth/reccomended to read - right?

    I want to take full advantage of PHP5. I think that the PHP5 will only boost up design/pattens usage in PHP - right? I'm not no OOP guru either - will this book help me to get the better grasp?

    Think I'll go for it too.

    The more I read the stuff here and from the books - the more I realize that I really do not know Jack Sh>it.

    But in contrast - I found only little help from the "Proffessional PHP 4" (Reprinted April 2002) by Wrox Press. I just did not need it often. At first I red and I red but... at some point I kinda felt like... how to put it... not giving me much. Later I took this book as a second opinion. Usually I found/find the solutions/answers from somewhere else and just for the shake of completeness - I took/take a peek at the book. I'd reccomend it for beginners. Then again - I am a beginner. Damn - I stuck again

    So... Martin Flower?

    Ehh... gotta read it anyway - or else I don't undestand what you are talking about. That's one reason.

    Still XMas after all... HarryF ?

    "... and a Happy New Year!"

    Thanks,

    - MarekS -
    Last edited by MarekS; Feb 5, 2003 at 05:14.

  11. #11
    Sidewalking anode's Avatar
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    I got a lot of mileage out of Web Application Development with PPHP from New Riders. Some of the stuff was way too advanced for me, but it really gives some interesting perspectives on practical issues. It was written by the people who began the phpMyAdmin and phpAds(New) projects among others.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict MarekS's Avatar
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    Thnx anode,

    The book really looks/sounds impressive.

    Gonna have to convince my bosses now to buy it.

    - MarekS -
    Last edited by MarekS; Feb 5, 2003 at 05:34.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Addict richard_h's Avatar
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    I want to take full advantage of PHP5. I think that the PHP5 will only boost up design/pattens usage in PHP - right? I'm not no OOP guru either - will this book help me to get the better grasp?
    I'd say no, I bought this book but it's really (as the title suggests) for persons developing Enterprise Applications and will assume OOP skills.

    If you are looking for a book that teaches you OOP using PHP I have yet to find one but hopefully with the realise of PHP5 this might change.

    There is an abundance of information on these forums (well worth doing several searches) and I'm sure if all this info was compiled into one thread you'd have 3/4 of a book on OOP in PHP.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict MarekS's Avatar
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    Currently the only PHP 5 related book seems to be SAMS PHP 5 (by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson). But the twist is > This item will be released on March 4, 2003

    I wonder, if it's good book? And I wonder, how can they release a book before the PHP 5 itself is released?

    However, the price is not so high (24.49$)

    Well see,

    - MarekS -
    Last edited by MarekS; Feb 5, 2003 at 07:26.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict MarekS's Avatar
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    Anyway - it's the Laura that got my attention. It's a SHE. Female. Woman. There ain't many woman programmers here in Estonia. RESPECT

    Google gives 3,520 results - not bad.

    - MarekS -
    Last edited by MarekS; Feb 5, 2003 at 08:06.

  16. #16
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    hehe, indeed I doubt that book is going to have a lot of buyers.

    I also believe it's going to be another year before PHP 5 is released. A long time ago, the expected release date for PHP 5 was about now, a few months agp, the expected release date was quarter 3 of this year, according to the zend newsletter it's now set at Q3/Q4 of the year. So if they keep postponing this date, it will be somewhere around this time next year

    Edit: whoops, before I get flamed for being anti-feministic (which I'm not at all), the 'hehe, indeed' was referring to this
    This item will be released on March 4, 2003 [..] And I wonder, how can they release a book before the PHP 5 itself is released?
    Last edited by Captain Proton; Feb 5, 2003 at 07:35.

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    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophy
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    My guess is they've been working with the Zend 2 engine (which has been available from a while now with PHP 4.2 & 3).

    BTW: apparently the PHP 5 release process has begun: http://www.phpdeveloper.org/index.php?id=1228 - looking at the snaps, a dev version of PHP 5 is now available. There was an interesting comment in last months php|arch from Zend's CEO - turns out they're development practices have been a little disorganised (whatever that means) which is something they've been working to improve - he remarked if they were better organised, they would have had PHP 5 out end of last year - problems seem to be of the project management type.

  18. #18
    lean mean coding machine cosmo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by anode
    I got a lot of mileage out of Web Application Development with PPHP from New Riders. Some of the stuff was way too advanced for me, but it really gives some interesting perspectives on practical issues. It was written by the people who began the phpMyAdmin and phpAds(New) projects among others.

    I took a look at that book and it seems OK, but it is really old and PHP has changed quite a bit since 4.0.


    Originally posted by HarryF
    Professional PHP Web Services I worked on myself (it was released 5 days ago so you're ahead of the game).
    Yeah thats one of the reason I expect that to be a good book.

    I've downloaded the sample chapters and I think it is the right one for me.
    Luthfur R. - Web Developer
    PHP Lite.com - Professional PHP Scripts and Web Applications
    Calendar Express 2 - Web Based Calendar and Event Publishing System

  19. #19
    Sidewalking anode's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cosmo
    I took a look at that book and it seems OK, but it is really old and PHP has changed quite a bit since 4.0.
    Not really an issue with that one IMHO. It deals less with direct code and more with application architecture and coding practices in a PHP specific setting. When 5.0 comes out , it will inded be irrelevant, but from this book's perspectice, the changes from 4.0 to 4.3 are trivial.

  20. #20
    Mlle. Ledoyen silver trophy seanf's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MarekS
    Anyway - it's the Laura that got my attention. It's a SHE. Female. Woman. There ain't many woman programmers here in Estonia. RESPECT
    They'll be voting next j/k. Laura Thomson is quite a famous PHPer. In-fact, there's a book she worked on sat behind me right now

    http://php-con.com/2003/east/sessions.php
    http://php-con.com/2003/east/speakers.php#Thomson

    Sean
    Harry Potter

    -- You lived inside my world so softly
    -- Protected only by the kindness of your nature

  21. #21
    SitePoint Addict MarekS's Avatar
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    Does anyone happen to know if this (Professional PHP Web Services) book deals also with the new DOM?

    So far I have only heard that the DOM before PHP 4.3.0 was a bit crappy/buggy - pretty much useless. It had leaks and stuff... as I heard

    It is a new book - it is possible that they have covered/included the overhauled DOM extension bit more? Maybe not so big deal but still. Anyone?

    Thanks,

    - MarekS -

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophy
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    Does anyone happen to know if this (Professional PHP Web Services) book deals also with the new DOM?
    I wrote a short piece demonstrating DOM for that book (code written for PHP 4.2.3) for chapter 2 but in general, the specifics of XML parsing / generation not something that directly concerns web services. That may sound strange but for web services, unless you're particularily dying to write your own implementation (instead of using PEAR::SOAP / NuSOAP / whatever), you'll never need to care about what happens with XML "in the background" - the implementation will take care of all this for you.

    Having played with DOM-XML in PHP 4.3.0, it's certainly improved - the memory leak is long gone I believe and since 4.2 it was more about adding missing pieces. There's still some things which need to get better, such as how it deals with namespaces, but it's certainly good enough general XML parsing / creation.

    They're talking about a complete overhaul for PHP 5 (personally I think they'd be better off porting Xerces to PHP) but that's another story...

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophy
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    One tip off: two of the (perhaps most interesting) chapters for the PHP Web Services book missed their deadline (I was a good boy and got all mine in on time) and for the first edition are available online right here. Those along with the sample chapter (for which I'm guilty) hopefully make a nice "freebie".


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