PHP 5 in Practice
PHP 5 in Practice

Author: Elliott White III & Jonathan D. Eisenhamer
Publisher: Sam’s Developer’s Library, 2006
Pages: 440
ISBN: 978-0672328886
Aimed at: Developers already familiar with PHP
Pros: A collection of useful cookbook recipes
Cons: No complete applications and light on theory
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

This is a PHP cookbook and as such you need to know some PHP to make any sense of it. There is a short, very short, introduction to some of the peculiarities of style but nowhere near enough to get you started with the language. You also won’t find any details of how to install and configure PHP – it is assumed that you have it all under control and indeed know what PHP is for and why you might want to use it. Most of the recipes are small, indeed each chapter begins with a set of micro examples that shows the basic of using the PHP facilities under discussion. We also encounter some longer examples but no complete applications. The approach to coding is also fairly basic in that generally functions are not used to organise blocks of code and similarly little use is made of objects outside of the chapter that deals specifically with them.


This is a book that solves smallish problems and leaves the integration into a whole system up to you. As long as this is what you are expecting then all well and good. Each example is presented as a listing with some comments a brief explanation of the general principles and specific comments. In some cases this is more than adequate when the example is fairly trivial – removing white space from a string, working out the mean etc. In other cases, building a web service client using SOAP, implementing an FTP client, uploading files and so on, a little more background is needed to fully understand what is going on. As a collection of recipes there are going to be many that you don’t need but any that you do need will inevitably save you time. A useful book.


Metaskills, Five Talents for the Robotic Age

Author: Marty Neumeier
Publisher: New Riders
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0321898678
Audience: General
Rating: 3.
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank

The back jacket of this book has the strapline “Help! A robot ate my job!”, and Neumeier’s idea that he wants to get across is that current employment problems aren’t  [ ... ]

The Art of Unit Testing

Author: Roy Osherove
Publisher: Manning
Pages: 296
ISBN: 9781617290893
Print: 1617290890

Audience: C# users and others using statically typed languages
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Alex Armstrong

If you don't already use unit testing, this book is a complete and clear guide to the idea and how to implemen [ ... ]

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