Delivering the best of PHP
PHP The Good Parts is a quite a small looking book, which either means it’s very concise or there is just not a lot of information in it. But what the author has done is just what the book says – taken the best bits, or should I say the most important parts of PHP and put them in this book.
The book begins by taking you through the basics of the PHP language and the main functions of PHP you need to know in order to get programming, with lots of example with each function. These include arrays, string functions, constants, includes and more. There is then a chapter on using objects within PHP. You are now about half way through the book.
There is then information on accessing databases with PHP, including using the newer MySQLi object interface. Here you will learn about creating, selecting, deleting, inserting and updating tables. There is also information on writing and reading from flat text files.
There is an interesting chapter entitled ‘PHP and Friends’ this chapter tells you about free PHP add-ons, such as PHPMailer for sending emails and SMS messages via PHP. fPDF is also discussed, this allows you to create PDF documents with PHP. Finally PHPGraph which creates a huge range of different graphs in a browser using PHP is covered, all with examples.
The PHP Security chapter covers data validation, SQL injection and more. The final chapter discusses some of the new functionality within PHP v5.3 – like namespaces, closures, nowdoc, goto operator and datetimezone classes.
If you’re a new PHP programmer then PHP The Good Parts is a great read, as it’s not too heavy (in content, not in weight!) and only tells you what you need to know. If you are someone who only occasionally uses PHP then this book would make a great reference book.
Overall, I really liked PHP The Good Parts.