Apress sent me a copy of “PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice (second edition)” by Matt Zandstra to review.
As hinted in the title, this near 500 page tome is split into three parts: objects, patterns and [best] practice.
The section on objects covers the basics and then the advanced features of object oriented facilities in PHP and tools such as namespaces, autoloading and the reflection classes along with design basics, class scope, encapsulation, polymorphism and some UML.
The patterns section is obviously inspired by “The Gang of Four” (Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides) and covers what design patterns are, enterprise patterns, database patterns and also the basic patterns such as the factory, fascade, decorator and composite patterns along with a few more. This section is far from comprehensive, but is a good start. (If Patterns do interest you, and they should, have a look at patternsforphp.com)
The last section, focuses on PEAR (including writing your own packages and setting up your own PEAR channel), phpDocumentor, unit testing with phpUnit, version control with CVS (which struck me as a bit odd – I had expected subversion to be covered either instead of or along with CVS) and setting up automated builds with phing.
While being an easy read, this is a well written, serious book and is aimed squarely at enterprise-level developers and software engineers who make their living through the development and architecture of solutions developed in PHP.
Any PHP developer wishing to improve his skills should get a copy.