Are both the books up to date? Not 100% up to date but, not entriely out of date? I was learning about magic_quotes* and it is being planned to be taken out because of security issues. As well as other things
I was so fustrated when I heard about everything I have been learning about it and how there are "better" ways and more "secure" ways now with newer version.
Although it may give you better results to learn the latest stuff its also good to know how things were done before, sometimes that can give you another perspective of what you are learning or doing which is nice. Anyways, if you are looking for some deep, real, advanced and solid foundations then Advanced PHP by George Schlossnagle is definitely up to date. But as i see it all depends on what you are focusing to learn, for me the latest techniques for things as critic and changeful as the ones related to security might be better to find in places like this forum, in blog articles, etc.
I basiclly just want to be well rounded with php in case I ever recieve a customer who needs a script done, I can just do it from my head and hand it to them without going crazy, or hassling over a script. It also lets me make more money and lets me expand my business to attract more customers.
As to how deep I want to go question. I want a book to go into detail for example:
If they are talking about functions. I want the author to do more than just "this is a function and this is how it looks like, ok next we talk about cookies" thats what I'm trying to avoid.
By the way, the Advanced PHP book, is that too advanced for me? Is it just the title of the book?
Ah go for it If you don't understand it now, I'm sure you will in the near future. It's definitely a book for the future as it'll open up lots of doorways! It mentions all sorts like handling PHP files over CVS and things, and so it's not going to be out-dated any time soon.
The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out.
The PHP5 and MySQL Bible is very good at listing some of the more advanced features, but in my opinion, it doesn't explain all of them too well. Also, I think it was last published in 2004? So, some of the things it talks about are slightly out dated. For example, they mention the 'new' mysqli funtion, but stick to the older mysql functions as mysqli was still in it's testing phase then. I might be wrong, but I haven't seen a new published version since 2004.
If you're looking for absolute beginners stuff, PHP & MySQL For Dummies, 3rd Edition offers a great grounding in the basics. I would definitely recommend it to anyone starting out in the language. But it does have it's limitations, as it offers no advanced coding, nor makes any mention of OOP.
Funny sometimes how I will go back to the most basic example to get something more complicated to work. As they say in sports, it's always good to work on the fundamentals of the sport.
I've not looked at the 'Advanced PHP Programming' book by Schlossnagle, and was looking over the reviews at Amazon. Please note, a second edition looks like it's coming out in a couple of months, if you can wait. I always get my books second hand whenever possible, you might be able to score a first edition for a low price (or free on bookmooch.com for that matter).