Of Hypertext and Preprocessing

Okay people, here’s the deal: I’ve got an urge to learn PHP, and it’s not going to go away any time soon.
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The solution? I’m gonna read up on the language and make an attempt to learn it. That’s where you come in. I’m looking for some books that might help me on my grand quest for programming knowledge, and if you know of any such books that you think would help, please feel free to mention them in the comments.
Most beginner-level book would really help me get off the ground (although I’m not a total novice. I have, at times, managed to hack together some if/else code of dubious quality). I’m thinking about buying this book from Amazon. Any suggestions?

12 replies on “Of Hypertext and Preprocessing”

Wrox (which isn’t around anymore…I don’t think) put out some GREAT PHP books. I’ve got quite a few of them (as well as other subject matter), and I have never been disappointed.

I don’t know if I’d recommend learning both SQL and PHP at the same time… Although much of what you’ll want to do with PHP will involve a SQL database, unless you have prior experience programming, it might be best to learn PHP fairly well before you tackle interacting with (let alone designing) a database. It might make your life easier in the long run.

And I also vote for Wrox– I haven’t seen their PHP books but every book I have seen from them has been very useful.

Peachpit Press has a good book on intro to PHP and mySQL that I’m using right now. It’s very clear and provides a lot of examples. If you’re not interested in mySQL, they also have an edition that’s just PHP.

as long as you’re diving into something completely new I would say skip straight to learning Ruby on Rails- this book is excellent (i’m about half-way through it):

As far as learning MySQL… the nice thing about Ruby, with Active Record, you can think less about the machinery involved in talking with a database and focus more the objects you’re working with. If you need the low-level, granular database access it’s still there for you but just not mandatory.

Hey Sean, I concure about Ruby. It’s probably the best thing to go and learn right now. There’s the buzz factor plus everything I hear it’s easy and fast. Which all adds up to extra market value for that skill.

But it wasn’t me asking, it was Andrew.

But if I were to learn something new it’d be either php or ruby. Just I don’t have the time right now. But if you’re a Ruby developer (open question to anybody) I might want to talk to you so email me.


I’ve been seeing a lot about ruby on rails lately. I think that would be the way to go. I think pennyarcade just redid their sight using ruby on rails.

I’d also recommend the Peachpit Press: Visual Quickstart range but why not go buy the [url=]basic[/url] and the [url=]advanced[/url] books at the same time. by the time youve finished reading the first book you’ll already be wanting to do things that are only covered in the second. they both cover MYSQL enough to get you going – though the recommendation by Beth above may be a better – i’m not sure how it compares to the two i have mentioned.

like all the visual quickstart books (consider this a general recommendation for all sorts of software and tech tutorials) they easy to follow and clever evolution of learning through worked examples and they do work as a handy reference to go back to even when youve been at it a few years – like me

incidentally: if you have a mac i would also recommend an app called [url=]PHP Function Index[/url] which is basically the php manual in an app as it can be a bind to go to the website everytime your need to check the syntax of a command.

Might be too late on this one, but can tell you the best one to get a hold of after playing with a few:

“PHP and MySQL Web Development” 3rd Edition, Welling & Thomson

You will not regret it.

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