I want to get into web stuff, and thought of going with PHP+MySQL. I have experience in C#, C++, desktop graphics, but no web stuff besides HTML, CSS which I started learning 2 months ago.

On SO PHP-book question, the highest rated book is "PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice". However, I'm not sure if it's a book to start PHP with... or is it? Most of the books mentioned in that SO question seem to be for those who already know PHP.

I considered "PHP & MySQL Web Development, 4th Ed.", but someone mentioned that "it uses the mysql_* functions which are almost deprecated."


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PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice is an excellent book, but you are correct in assuming is not for begginers. It's main objective is to help you understand design patterns in PHP.

PHP & MySQL Web Development, 4th Ed. is a little bit outdated, it's not just the use of mysql_* functions, but that alone is enough.

Two beginner oriented books that focus on PHP 5.3 are:

As for online resources:

  • The PHP manual is the authoritative source on all things PHP. Just ignore user comments, they are usually crap. There are some true gems in the comments, but as a beginner it won't be easy to identify them, so just ignore them.
  • PHP - The right way is a well written introduction to the language.
  • phpmaster.com articles are (usually) extremely well written and very thorough. If they feel a bit too much, don't worry they have a beginners section.
  • The manual? I've seen that said many times online, but I guess I'd like an intro to MySQL, db stuff too... that first book you linked seems alright – ForeverLearnNeverMaster Nov 8 '11 at 8:12
  • How is the "Head First PHP & MySql" book compared to the ones you posted? Is that outdated as well? – ForeverLearnNeverMaster Nov 8 '11 at 8:20
  • @ForeverLearnNeverMaster Amazon says it was published in 2008 so it's probably not so up to date. The book site says it supports PHP 6, but back then that was the name for the proposal that became version 5.3, and proposals tend to change a lot so some of the book's information may be irrelevant. Regardless, the Head First series is a very well written series and if you have access to the book, go for it. But if you don't and need to buy one you should choose a more recent one. – yannis Nov 8 '11 at 9:22
  • Okay, thank you. I'll just get the Novice to Pro book. – ForeverLearnNeverMaster Nov 8 '11 at 12:08
  • PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice might not be an introductory text, but it doesn't start at too high a level (considering that the Objects section is essentially a rewrite of that part of the PHP manual). – HorusKol Nov 8 '11 at 23:49

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