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Ask HN: Learning PHP Suggest Book
6 points by vicks711 on Apr 4, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 8 comments
I am learning PHP. This is practically my first programming language but I am not a newbie at programming. I have done C programming during graduation. Please suggest a good book. I purchased Programming PHP 3rd Edition O'Reilly. The book is crap and does nothing for clarifying core concepts of PHP. The book looks to me nothing more than an edited version of online PHP manual.

Please suggest a book which clarifies core fundamentals and concepts.




I fond the first part of Programming PHP good as it went over the commands really well and gave some nice examples of use.

I started with Visual Quickstart Guide to PHP (current ed: http://www.amazon.com/PHP-Web-Visual-QuickStart-Edition/dp/0... ) It covers a lot of ground on the basics, and was very happy with it.

Once you get going php.net's on-line manual is a super reference, has the command, how to use it and a followup discussion that usually well covers any bugs, alternatives and gotchas. I usually search in it via google.

I guess the main thing is like most languages there are many many ways to do the same thing... So, one book showing building a sample bookstore app may do it one way and an other book will do it completely different. When you get to that type of tutorial you just got to check the sample sections on each one till you find a method you're comfortable with.


I don't have a good book to recommend but I've always thought that PHP has some of the best online documentation of any languages/frameworks that I work with.

PHP Manual: http://www.php.net/manual/en/index.php

[Edit] Derp I just noticed that you mention the manual at the end of your initial post.


One of the nice things about php is how convenient it is to find function details and examples: http://php.net/<function_name>;

The left-hand sidebar also lists all related functions.


When I learnt PHP I didn't really needed a book. What I put on my pipeline was like 'build a small blog cms'. I then figured out how to do it, applying also my previous C language knowledge and digging the manual for syntax and functions specs.

After having it working in a very "procedural" way I started to make it OOO compliant (it was PHP4) and then I refined it for some times.

I have a question, btw... How could it be that you are not a newbie to programming but PHP is your FIRST programming language?


That last part made me laugh out loud


I liked the looks of http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596804381.do when I browsed it in a bookstore. But I got my start with the book citizenkeys recommends, and largely I get by with the on-line documentation.


http://www.amazon.com/dp/0672329166

This is "the" php book that everybody uses to learn php and mysql. It's also the book I used years ago. It covers both php and mysql, which is good because both are consistently used together.


I had a php book from apress and all it did is confuse me. To tell you the truth I learned php from lynda.com (structure of a small project ) and from php.net (the most amazing documentation) the rest comes when you work on real life projects




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