PACKT Publishing publishes books on lots of open source topics. Often very specific and cutting edge topics. That specificity can make the audience for such a book smaller that the already relatively small market for software development books. So the price of the paper version might seem a bit high.
The Kindle version is only $18.49 (USD) and the hard copy version on Amazon is $45.99. Though I often read novels on my Kindle, for technical publications I generally opt for the paper.
This book is worth the price no matter which format you prefer.
People say that Zend Framework, especially version 2.0, has a steep learning curve.
I have to say that I’ve found this to be somewhat true, but I’m not sure it’s fair to say this is really an issue with the framework. I’ve been writing PHP for 10 years and a lot has changed in the language, and in programming best practices, in that time.
For me, moving to developing with Zend Framework 2 meant upgrading much of my PHP skill set, not just learning a new framework.
This book gave me a great “jump start”.
The book was published in July of 2013, so Zend Server and Zend Studio have both been updated since the book was released, but that only has a minor effect on working through the examples and only for the first chapter.
After you get PHP / MySQL / myphpadmin set up you jump right in to using Git and Composer to get the ZendSkeletonApplication.
I have to say that the book introduces you to an amazing number of concepts and practices in only 200+ pages.
I felt like I finished the book with enough knowledge to go about building a rich Zend Framework application from scratch. (A process that I embarked on immediately after reading this book.)
After an introduction to the Zend Framework 2 MVC mechanism and Zend Framework Modules you jump into building a user registration system complete with forms validation, database I/O and password hashing.
You learn to implement things like file uploads, group chat, using media, integrating 3rd party APIs (like YouTube), sending mail, search using Lucene, creating a store with PayPal checkout Mobile Apps, HTML5, and more.
Each section even has a “Pop Quiz” to check your retention.
I worked through the book doing all the hands on examples in just a few evenings after work.
I highly recommend “Zend Framework 2.0 by Example” for a jump start into Zend Framework and modern PHP application development.