Overview: this book is absolutely jam-packed with information useful to the medium-advanced PHP coder. SPL is described over a few chapters, and a quick intro to Zend’s MVC framework is provided. Of particular interest to me were the final chapters, to do with certificate-based authentication, and a chapter near the beginning describing the upcoming features of PHP6. Great book – I really enjoyed it.
Technically, this book is hard to fault. Kevin is very knowledgeable about his stuff and puts across that knowledge easily. It was a real pleasure to read. There were a lot of things in the book that I had only the vaguest idea about before hand – like Phing and Xinc – I will definitely be sitting down to read more about those techs when I get the time.
Kevin states at the beginning that this book was written for advanced PHP developers. I would posit that the book should be given to moderate developers who are looking to develop their project management skills – a lot of pages were devoted to tools and methods that are very useful for managing medium to large projects (continuous integration, MVC).
It is very hard to find fault with this book, but I’ll do my best!
While the title of the book mentions “frameworks”, only the Zend Framework is actually looked at. Not a single other framework was named, although it was mentioned that they exist. I think this is just not on – at the least, Kevin should have provided a few reasons why he chose to describe Zend over everything else. I was looking forward to reading more about such things as Cake, Symfony, et al.
The testing and continuous development sections were not long enough – the author practically raced through the description of continuous integration and did not spend much time on it. I was hoping for some discussion on such issues as keeping databases uptodate throughout development. In a book with this much information, it’s hard to focus on everything, but I think more time should have been spent on this crucial problem in development.
SOAP was covered in the WebServices section, but not much mention is given of XML-RPC, REST, etc. It’s also not mentioned that JSON (my favourite object representation, described elsewhere in the book) can be used as a transport language for WebServices as well. This appears to be the same problem as the Zend section – Kevin chose a single tech to describe, without giving a good reason why he chose that or even what the alternatives are.
Forgetting about those minor details, I’d have to admit that that was a damned fine read. I would buy the book, and if you’re a serious PHP developer, so would you too.