As the title suggests this book is about advanced PHP related topics, being divided into 5 parts and 21 chapters. The title enunciates the book will cover many different aspects, but you'll get disappointed as soon as you perceive it's only about 300 pages.
First part starts with "OOP and Patterns" and will end up with PHP 6's new features. The Patterns chapter is the first one which disappoints you - you'll wish it was a little more verbose, covering some more patterns and being more than only 7 pages.
The next Part is about "Testing and Documentation", covering PHPDoc and DocBook in it's first chapter. In the next one about "Reflection API" - which I think is one of the best chapters - Kevin goes deep into two complete real world examples. But unfortunately then book disappoints you again, trying to cover some topics like "Development Environment", "Unit Testing", "Deployment" and "Continuous Integration" in just about 20 pages. Kevin just skims through introductory concepts of tools like Subversion, PHPUnit, Phing, Xinc and Xdebug.
The third part is all devoted to SPL. Kevin describes SPL from fundamentals to some advanced topics like "Array Overloading" and "Observer Pattern" in a way you wished that all of the book was written this way.
Part 4 covers another Pattern, MVC this time. Describing what it is, why it's good, and talking about criteria you may consider when choosing an MVC framework. Then it helps you to roll your own MVC framework by recommending to choose from one of the publicly available frameworks. The book also covers Zend Framework as one of those "publicly available frameworks" which meets the most criteria in his opinion.
And the final Part, and with no surprise it's titled "Web 2.0". In my opinion the first chapter of this part is the book's truly weakest chapter, it's about Ajax and JSON and it barely covers anything more than what you'll find in any of the beginner Ajax tutorials. But the rest chapters compensates, "Web Services" and "Certificate Authentication".
All in all I found the book a good one, a good next step if you are already familiar with PHP and looking for a book to extend your knowledge, then this one is a recommended one. But I by one would like to see some practical solutions applied to enterprise level when buying a book titled Pro.
Tuesday, May 20. 2008
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