"PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide" (4th Edition) Reviews and Comments

You can find formal reviews of this book at Amazon.com, by searching online, or through any other site that sells my books. Over time I’ll add comments I personally received from other readers regarding this specific edition of this book.

After purchasing three previous books on PHP (Head First, Missing Manual and one other), yours is the best. Your clear, concise and understandable writing style is great. It’s one thing to know a subject but quite another to teach it. Thank you for making this a bit easier for this old brain…

I am a long time graphics designer and system admin. I know my way in great detail around *NIX, Windows, Mac OS, Photoshop, Illustrator, Cinema 4D, and more. Programming should be something I am able to learn. Many false starts later, with books on Python, C, Obj-C, Java, JavaScript, and PHP, I still don’t get it. At least I didn’t until your book, “PHP for the Web”.

In many of these other unnamed tomes, the author would spout functions and constructs with no real order. Exposing the reader to a great deal but keeping them from accomplishing anything. As the author, you are the guide. It is your job to understand the language, to preach good form and up-to-date syntax. Most importantly to assemble and narrate an important subset of the language which to teach. I think you have done this admirably. I feel as though I can use what has been shown in this book, reference other sources without fear, and move on to more sophisticated material.

Second, programming is about flow. Flow of data and control. This is not something I had pegged down until your book. The flow diagrams for constructs helped seal that understanding. One should almost get a notebook and draw their program out before they type any code at all. Once your program is mapped logically, the notation becomes very easy to fill in. Obviously it is hard to suggest that somebody do that, most people just want to write programs. I feel that your book emphasises the flow of data well, which is the key difference between programming parlour tricks and actual understanding.

I have this book and it is awesome. Definitely the best resource I have found to get you up and running with PHP quickly. The examples are very clear and easy to grasp. It’s like having a tutor walk you through the process, explaining each step of the way and pointing to effective areas of exploration. I’ve also skimmed some of your other books, and you seem to provide that valuable bridge to understanding the more “technical” information out there for newcomers. For example, I’m a little over halfway through this book, and I am finding myself comfortably referring to (and actually understanding) the online PHP manual, something that was very intimidating before due to its technical nature.

This is my first time with PHP and I’m so grateful having you as the author of this book. You really write in a very down-to-earth style which newbies like me really enjoy. Now, I’m no longer frustrated as what I felt with other books I’ve read.

just about 40% through the book, and I must say it is great! I have tried many overcomplicated “bibles” but this is just a great way to start.

I’m a complete stranger in the world of programming but that doesn’t stop me to learn just one language. It was just a case of curiosity that becomes an obsession. And recently, I purchase one of your book PHP Visual QuickStart Guide. I just want to thank you for your works, because it really help me a lot in understanding the workings of scripts in particular and PHP programming in general. Your book really inspires me to continue learning PHP. And now I’m recommending it to my friends.
Rynan M. (Philippines)