Order (or just read more about) Core PHP Programming- Leon Atkinson
I should have paid more attention to my son in law.
Several years ago, he mentioned that he really liked PHP. Unfortunately, my mind was engaged with other things at the time, so I filed that comment away under "probably ought to look into this someday". That was a mistake.
You see, my son in law maintains web pages for his living. I maintain web pages because I'm too cheap and too much of a control freak to have someone else do it for me. So basically we're talking about the difference between a dilettante and a professional. Dilettantes should always pay attention to the casual murmerings of professionals.
PHP is a language designed, crafted and tuned for the web. It's very Perlish in syntax and language; any Perl programmer will be comfortable immediately. But PHP is web-page centric: it contains the functions you need for web design and maintenance.
As this is my first exposure to PHP, I can't entirely judge the quality of Leon's work (I wouldn't be able to spot any egregious errors immediately, for example), but I can say that I liked the author's style and that the coverage seems to be more than enough to get me started using PHP. The design is also as a reference, so I'm sure I will continue to use this as I get more experienced.
I definitely recommend that anyone doing web pages investigate PHP and Core PHP Programming seems to be a good place to start.
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