All About PHP

"Programming PHP" is a great overall reference for the fledgling dynamic Web developer.

"Programming PHP" is a great overall reference for the fledgling dynamic Web developer.

Since PHP—an HTML-embedded scripting language also known as PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor—was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in the mid-1990s, it has become part of the open-source phenomenon, and its use has grown on Web sites all over the world. PHP is now estimated to be in use on more than 8 million Web sites, and this number is growing at an astounding pace.

With all this hype and energy surrounding the PHP development language, its not surprising that there are many books on the market now that cover PHP. The overwhelming advantage that this book possesses is that it was co-authored by Lerdorf himself.

Lerdorf does not get bogged down in the nitty gritty of the PHP language although it will help the reader to have a general understanding of all aspects of PHP.

From the introduction of the language constructs to the integration of database access and extending PHP through add-on modules, "Programming PHP" covers all the hot topics. A reader could be productive with PHP in just a few hours using this book.

Even advanced topics like array handling, object-oriented development, Web security and XML integration are all given a good airing in this book.

The only slight disappointment in this title is that there are only a few pages devoted to a discussion of the use of cookies versus session state management. This is a topic that is part of a continuing debate on the best way to process data across multiple Web pages (like a multi-page Web survey), and it could have been given a little more attention here.

For the most part, however, if the reader wants to get more technical information on any topic, the authors do provide ample Web addresses and references to other books for further research and reading.

If you are just getting into the dynamic Web development world or you are considering migrating from another dynamic web product to PHP, "Programming PHP" is the book of choice to get you up, running and productive in a short time.

  • Title: Programming PHP
  • Authors: Rasmus Lerdorf and Kevin Tatroe
  • Publisher: OReilly and Associates Inc. (
  • Length: 469 pages
  • Price: $39.95

Peter MacIntyre is involved in custom software development, design and architecture. He lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Other reviews by Peter can be found at