The last couple of days I was reading the book „Professionelle Softwareentwicklung mit PHP5“ written by Sebastian Bergmann. Sebastian has a nice style of describing parts of software engineering with less words like other authors. Because of this the book has only 200 pages but it’s really cheap with 29 EUR for a technical literature.
The book has five main parts. The first part is about object oriented programming (OOP) with examples written in strict PHP5. The whole new object model is described very well and you have everything you want to know about it. Sebastian also writes about the magic methods like __autoload, __get, __set, __call and __toString. Some pages are about the Standard PHP Libary (SPL) and the Iterator interface.
The second part is about the theory with design patterns in PHP5. He talks about abstract factories, singleton and behavior patterns. The third part is about the new advantages of PHP5 and Sebastian described the new XML features including the SimpleXML extension and the new DOM XML features. He also took a look at XSLT and his PEAR project XML_Transformer. The new SOAP extension and the MySQLi extension by Georg Richter for MySQL 4.1 und 5.0 got also some lines.
In the fourth part Sebastian explains the usage of Creole, a database abstraction layer and Propel, a solution for object persistence and queries for PHP5. The last part of the book is about code documentation with phpDocumentator and the modelling with UML (Unified Modelling Language).
Finally I have to say I like the book although I’m a friend of the KISS principle. It describes all new features of the object model in PHP5 and the language is easy to understand. The book is not for PHP beginners but for developers who want to switch from PHP4 to PHP5. Sebastian announced a second edition and he will be adding some more examples for new extensions. I personally think he should release this second edition after the final release of PHP 5.1 with PDO, XML_Reader and Pierre’s datetime extension.