Good books for beginning php
April 5, 2005 2:26 PM   Subscribe

i've got to learn php for my work. can anyone recommend a good, not too expensive or obscure, book i can order to help me make a start? I'm in Belgium and there's only one bookshop that sells english language books so I can't go and browse to see what I would like.
posted by quarsan to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: PHP and MySQL Web Development, Second Edition
by Luke Welling, Laura Thomson

It's not cheap new, but it's reasonable used.
posted by safetyfork at 2:34 PM on April 5, 2005

I don't know how much access to the Internet you have but, generally, I found that the sites like the site and just googling for info have been providing almost as much info as what you could get in a book.
posted by TNLNYC at 2:36 PM on April 5, 2005

Response by poster: safetyfork, thanks for that recommendation, it looks great.
TNLNYC, there is a lot of good stuff online, but i find having a book to read and thunb through much better than staring at a screen, but i have bookmarked the php online manual
posted by quarsan at 3:08 PM on April 5, 2005

I second safetyfork's recommendation.
posted by the_W at 3:43 PM on April 5, 2005

I used two references to learn php. An Orielly Pocket Reference, and an 1800+ page PDF. The combination was brilliant.
posted by krisjohn at 3:48 PM on April 5, 2005

You asked for a book, and I'll third it, though for my own personal learning style, it was almost useless (no reflection on the book... i just do better digging into code examples and searching newsgroups and bulletin boards for people with similar problems). Everybody has their own way, and if you learn from books, that's a good one.
posted by socratic at 3:52 PM on April 5, 2005

Advanced PHP Programming by George Schlossnagle would be a good followup to the previously mentioned title. I learned PHP before there were any books, reasonable or otherwise, and picked that one up recently on the recommendation of someone who'd learned PHP the same way.

We both got a lot out of it and tend to work on completely different types of projects. If you're at all comfortable programming you might even be able to get by with a few online tutorials and then diving straight into that...
posted by togdon at 4:59 PM on April 5, 2005

Best answer: This is the pocket reference. The PDF file I think was from and doesn't appear to be available anymore. I've put it up on my site in a .7z archive.

There's no point in a big huge book if you can't find anything in it. Grossly oversized references have to be electronic. Paper references need to be as small and simple as possible.

Note that both of these references are raw function references. X does Y. Not "So you're wanting to create Z..." type of books. Your learning style may vary.
posted by krisjohn at 5:17 PM on April 5, 2005

Advanced PHP Programming and PHP and MySQL Web Development, Second Edition (already mentioned) are awesome books.

If you're new stick with O'Rielly's "Learning.." books like Learning PHP 5 is a great reference as well. I hit that all the time when i am programming
posted by joshgray at 6:18 PM on April 5, 2005

Response by poster: thanks everyone. i like to play with code as i go, but i like to take time away from the screen and read, then put into practice what i've read. a pocket reference sounds essential and is an incredible resource.
posted by quarsan at 9:27 PM on April 5, 2005

I think the "PHP 4 Bible" was the best book I found when I was learning, and the one I learned from. I would stay away from O'Reilly books unless you're the kind of person who can sit down and read a whole book cover to cover... I, personally, can not.
posted by SpecialK at 11:25 PM on April 5, 2005

The Tizag Tutorial site has been very helpful to me when used along with reference handbooks.
posted by yoga at 5:59 AM on April 6, 2005

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