This book is well done. It is easy to understand and the code and examples are great. Its starts off with a section on the fundamentals of using PHP in a web site. It has a great section on File I/O and the file system. The most useful part of the text for me was the section toward the end of the book on dynamic web sites (chapters covering forms and databases - specifically MySQL).
I have read and reviewed (for text adoption at the college I work at) a number of PHP/MySQL books in the past year and I found the Gilmore text (A Programmer's Introduciton to PHP 4.0) targeted to people who already understand HTML and static web development and some basic programming concepts. The text is full of solid code and clear explainations.
This text is geared for people who want to implement an open source PHP and MySQL or other database solution. Mr Gilmore gets right to the point quickly brings you up to speed. Many of my junior and senior level students also liked the book.
The curriculum I use in class (at the college) is well supported by this book. The following is a list of key elements I cover in my PHP/MySQL class (and is well supported by this book):
PHP Introduction - Server Environment (usernames/passwords) Server Side Includes, Redirects, Date Functions (1 week) Intermingling HTML and PHP, Variables, Form Processing, and E-mail Handling (1 week) Introduction to SQL and MySQL - working with tables and data (in and out) (3 weeks) Web-Based Registration Systems - forms to register, send data, get data, relational databases, etc. (2 weeks) PHP Fundamentals - More of Variables, Functions, Arrays, etc. (3 weeks) PHP File Management (1 week) PHP Searching and Sorting (1 week) PHP Security and .htaccess Security (1 week)