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For 2023 - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Which books to choose ?

Posted by LarsL (LarsL), 12 July 2004
Hey there!

I have been looking to get a better inside on php, and try to learn a little OOP while I do, but thats not what i'm getting to firstly, first I want to have a little better understanding of PHP, and if it learns me OOP at the same time it would be even better.

For this I have been looking for some good books to read, to archive it. I have read these 2 books

Build Your Own Databse Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL, by Kevin Yank (ISBN: 0-9579218-0-2)
MySQL & PHP from scratch, by Wade Maxfield (ISBN: 0-7897-2440-5)

They didn't really give me the information that i wanted, so I'm looking for some other books that might give me some more.

Posted by Chris_Isaac (Chris Isaac), 12 July 2004

Here's a few books I have:

Programming PHP
PHP in Easy Steps
PHP & MySQL Web Development

TBH I've not read them cover to cover, I use the 1st 2 as reference points.  The 3rd I started and seems quite a good easy to follow book.  Also have the PHP Developers Guide and PHP Functions which are also useful to have standing by.

If you go to
that will give a few other options.

Hope this helps.


Posted by admin (Graham Ellis), 13 July 2004
I've found with PHP that none of the books is ideal ... but some are better than others. Do have a look at the link that Chris gave you (thanks, Chris), and if you pick out those marked as "whc favourites" it will tell you which I particularly like - which, however, does not mean they're suitable for you.

We have all of the books listed physically on our shelves here and you would be welcome to drop by / look through them - but I'm guessing you might not be from the UK (basing this only on your name!).

There are so many different technoologies that pull togther into PHP (Programming, HTML, Web stucture, application analysis, data management) that no one book could suit everyone, I guess; certainly, when I run PHP courses I'm always prepared to be filling people in on some of these other foundations.

Posted by LarsL (LarsL), 13 July 2004
You are right about that Graham, I'm not from the UK, But from Denmark. So dropping by would be a little diffucalt. The price for the books don't really matter to me, so i guess i will try some of those books that is marked with "whc favourites",  and see how they are... thanks for the help both of you... i must have missed the phpbooks in the resource section...

so once again thanks

I have quite a lot exprience with make-up language (html, xhtml 1.0 and 1.1, css) and i have some knowledge of how to design a site for useabliliti and such...

Posted by John_Moylan (jfp), 14 July 2004
I have and recommend:
Beginning PHP4  (WROX Press)
which I think is an excellent starting point for PHP (including a chapter on OOP in PHP) used in conjuction with:

The PHP Cookbook (O'Reilly)
which will give specific solutions to everyday problems followed by a discussion.

*Please* steer clear of "Core PHP Programming" its truly awful.

Note that PHP is changing, PHP5 which is imminent (though will probably not be widespread use for a good while) will change its OO behaviour. (for the better though)

[updated post to add links to books]

Posted by LarsL (LarsL), 15 July 2004
Yeah, PHP5 have just been released...

It will surely make it easier to have the knowledge of php4 and php5 when developing in both languages, or is it wrong to see them as two different languages... ?

well i'm gonna get those 2 books plus a few more...

Posted by admin (Graham Ellis), 15 July 2004
I wouldn't see PHP4 and PHP5 as different languages ... we run both PHP4 and PHP5 servers on our public courses and the same examples run pretty well on both.

Where PHP5 does make leaps forward is in it object handling; most PHP4 programs that uses PHP's objects will also work on PHP5 though there is one compatability issue, and of course you can do so much more with PHP5.    I think we have - what - 7 or 8 books that cover PHP5 so far and I'll be updating the database next week - we're adding in comments on books and some further categorisation.

Anyhow ... I had better not spend too long on this reply ... I'm gonna be out of the country for 4 days, then back on Tuesday to run a public PHP course.  There's no rest for the wicked!

Posted by phoggy (phoggy), 14 October 2004
You ever thought about writing your own book, Graham?
Just curious, cause you seem to have lot of passion for your chosen subject.

BTW: I don't see any of the php books in the above link marked as whc favourite??

Posted by admin (Graham Ellis), 15 October 2004
Hi, Phoggy ...

No - there *are* no favourite PHP books listed.  I don't really "rate" any of them.

I happen to be away this week, on a "GeekCruise" where Rasmus Lerdorf, author of the language, is amongst the speakers. He's fascinating to listen to and it's interesting to see that he, just as I do, recommends people to the on line documentation rather than recommending any particular book.

By contrast, the MySQL team here (both the founders present) recommend, it turns out, books similar to my recommendations.

Writing my own?  Yes, considered, but time lacks.  Plenty of material available from training notes, Horse's Mouth (have you seen solution centre at and here.

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