Good reference manual?

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Alright, I'm a graduate student who's been put in charge of developing
a Drupal based solution for a class project. Delving into Drupal, I
learned that it's based on the WAMP stack. I have very little previous
experience with AMP, and have found myself getting annoyed having to
run through .htaccess files and .conf files, then looking at $someBS-
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book...and I spent 40 minutes at the local bookstore mulling over my
options, so I'm wondering what kind of advice people have.

I'm an experienced programmer who has worked in C++, Java, Python, and
ASP.NET I don't need a book that spends 10 pages teaching
me what a for loop and if statement are. I have found myself
bamboozled by the setup and administration process of these
technologies (MS, for better or worse, knows how to make life fairly
simpler for the programmer), so I'm not claiming to be brilliant. I
need a good book that walks through basics of use *while* giving
enough depth to be useful for more advanced topics and as a reference,
and I really don't have the money to get separate advanced books on
the stack. Besides, the first time I read Programming Python it blew
my mind, so I'm a little leery of books targeted at programming

I checked out these titles at the bookstore (meaning I mainly read the
introduction and tried to compare their layouts), and would welcome
feedback on them (or other possibilities):

PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide
(Paperback) by Larry Ullman (Author)
- Seemed accessible and useful, but after discovering that he
considered OOP an "advanced" topic I was a bit turned off.

PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Developer's Library)
(Hardcover)by Luke Welling (Author), Laura Thomson (Author)
- Seemed to have a little more meat, but surprisingly covered things
like array_walk() and not foreach(). Probably a little nit-picky on my
part, but again I didn't go into real depth and wonder how well it
stacks up versus others.

PHP5 and MySQL Bible (Paperback) by Tim Converse (Author), Joyce Park
(Author), Clark Morgan (Author)
 - Seems a little garrulous and long winded at over 1000 pages, put
also seems subsequently packed with information. I was impressed that
it looks to touch on rather unique topics like PHP for people with C/
Java experience, PHP & Javascript, and graphics (wtf!)...seems like a
good reference material, but the intro didn't exactly instill me with
confidence in its pedantry

Beginning PHP5, Apache, and MySQL Web Development (Programmer to
Programmer) (Paperback)
by Elizabeth Naramore (Author), Jason Gerner (Author), Yann Le
Scouarnec (Author), Jeremy Stolz (Author), Michael K. Glass (Author)
- Seemed to have a good intro guiding through the set up and
installation process and playing with the toys, but also seemed very
focused on the specific examples it gives, and had surprisingly little
reference information for Linux (though most of my development is in
Windows, if I'm going to *buy* something I'd like it to be more

Thoughts on these and other titles would be appreciated! Moo moo moo
moo moo

Re: Good reference manual?

I've never buyed a PHP book and at least I've been able to create (during
the years) a big CMS (php/mysql) by myself.
Just learn from the various tutorials on the web, use as
reference for anything
think about the fact that is really impressive for the solution of
your common problems
just write and the name of a function
to get the informations related to the fopen function
to have all the informations to use the arrays

Read source code from other scripts to learn how other persons are writing
code and have different manners to create something
(Read and learn doesn't mean copy and paste).


Re: Good reference manual?

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Start at - the standard documentation is very good.


Re: Good reference manual?

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It sounds to me that you are avoiding much, especially such things
that don't comply to your taste or preunderstanding of programming. I
know there is a barrier to overcome when books constantly repeat
basics and intros. The next step for me was to read papers and info on
Internet. Then of cause, it helps having an inspiration of mind in
going into an exploration attitude towards advanced programming.
Without that basic interest, the only way into it is by the help of a
teacher as most people prefer.

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