I started looking at the PHP Developer’s Cookbook, and it’ll probably be more useful to me that the other PHP book I tried to read. I think one problem with the other book is that they presented completely invalid HTML throughout the book, which really bothered me. It was also too much of a beginners book, and while I might be a beginner of PHP, I’m not a beginner programmer. The Developer’s Cookbook is more like the Perl Cookbook which is an incredibly useful reference.
Beyond all that, I need to get away from the fact that so much PHP I see is poorly done. There’s a lot of poorly done perl out there as well. It’s not the fault of the language. Still, when I look at how things are done in PHP I can’t help but think, “it takes all that code to do that? I could do that in one line of perl!” And the fact that so many PHP programmers tend to mix HTML and logic rather than use a templating system doesn’t help. I don’t even like to consider writing something web-based in perl nowadays without using something like HTML::Template.
I think the biggest strength of a system like Movable Type is that the templating system is so powerful and easy to use. Is there any PHP based CMS/weblogging tool that uses templates in a way even close to how Movable Type does?