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WHat is the best PHP guidebook?

There are so many PHP books out these in the market. If anyone of you guys have used any of them and feel that it's really awesome, it'll be great if you can let me know. Thanks a million! Smile
I own "Creating Interactive websites with PHP and Web Services" by Eric Rosebrock. It's not to bad but pretty specialized as the title suggests. No general PHP for Dummy stuff in there.

I also own"PHP for Dreamweaver 8" by David Powers. This is a great book, but only useful if you use Dreamweaver.
I like "Sam's teach yourself PHP in 24 hours". IT's a very good introduction to the language. I find, though, that I am beginning to need more advanced PHP which, then I would go to

Of course, I need more information on the interaction of PHP with SQL.
Buy the two book set (Scroll down to the bottom-middle of the page where it shows the two books together). That's where I got all my PHP coding material. It's very user friendly. All the codes are pretty much explained.
IF u are a newbie then go for 'Learning PHP and Mysql' from OReially.
If u are well versed with some elementary PHP go for Professional PHP by Wrox publishers.
Also try these online video tutorials. They are really really good:
Why don't you try (Apache, MySQL, and PHP for Dummies by Jeff Cogswell)? its a great book. easy to understand and easy to learn. I'm still using this book. Although I've been using PHP for quiet a while now, this book is still my favorite among any other. Try it! hehe.

When it comes to books that will help you formulate your solutions in PHP, try using PHP Developers' Cookbook by Sterling Hughes. Well, I'm not yet reading it. But as what I saw from its pages, it states PHP problems, and its solutions.

The best way is for you to download the PHP source code at

Its free!
I used a number of sites and books but one of my first was MySQL/PHP Database Applications by Jay Greenspan it covers Apache as well so it gives a more practical view of using PHP. Its written in plain simple english so its easier to get on with coding and covers a wide range of topics as far as creating a good useful site.

The teach yourself books are also very good when learning how to program
I don't think books are good enough to do it. Think of it: a book is released and cannot be updated. You just pay for it and it's over. You get PHP 4 but you can't know what changed in PHP 5. As simple as it gets, i prefer online tutorials and the like. My opinion, though.

Now, about the best PHP book. I think there was a great book my teacher referred to as the PHP bible. HIS bible! I think any book should be good enough for anyone but begginner's might want to try something light without all the 3k+ functions.
The best guide ot php is a book called PHP 5 UNLEASHED by John Coggeshall. The book is about 800 pages long and very detailed. Despite the length, it is not boring and quite informative with plenty of code examples. The book includes topics like:

    Basic PHP Development
    Regular Expressions
    Working with Forms in PHP
    Advanced Form Techniques
    Persistent Data Using Sessions and Cookies
    Using Templates
    XSLT and Other XML Concerns
    Debugging and Optimization
    User Authentication
    Data Encrption
    Object-Oriented Programming in PHP
    Error Handling
    Working with HTML/XHTML Using Tidy
    Writing Email in PHP
    Using PHP for Console Scripting
    SOAP and PHP
    Building WAP-Enabled Websites
    Working with the File System
    Network I/O
    Accessing the Underlying OS from PHP
    Introduction to Databases
    Using MySQL with PHP
    Using SQLite with PHP
    PHP's dba Functions
    Working with Images
    Printable Document Generation
    Installing PHP5 and MySQL
    HTTP Reference
    Migrating Applications from PHP4 to PHP5
    Good Programing Techniques and Performance Issues
    Resources and Mailing Lists
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