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Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional, Third Edition [Paperback]

W. Jason Gilmore

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Book Description

March 28 2008 1590598628 978-1590598627 3

Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional, Third Edition offers a comprehensive introduction to two of the most prominent open source technologies on the planet: the PHP scripting language and the MySQL database server. Updated to introduce the features found in MySQLs most significant release to date, readers learn how to take advantage of the latest features of both technologies to build powerful, manageable, and stable web applications.

Essentially three books in one, readers not only profit from extensive introductions to the core features of each technology, but also learn how to effectively integrate the two in order to build robust data-driven applications. Packed with practical examples and insight into the real-world challenges faced by developers based on author W. Jason Gilmore's 7 years of expertise working with these technologies, readers will repeatedly return to this book as both a valuable instructional tool and reference guide.

What you'll learn

  • The PHP language
  • How to back your web site with MySQL
  • Templating so that you can apply a consistent design across all pages on your site
  • How to authenticate your web site users
  • How to use cookies to maintain information (such as items in a shopping cart) while a user is browsing your site

Who is this book for?

This book is written for developers seeking to take advantage of the PHP language and MySQL database to create powerful web applications.

About the Apress Beginning Series

The Beginning series from Apress is the right choice to get the information you need to land that crucial entry-level job. These books will teach you a standard and important technology from the ground up because they are explicitly designed to take you from "novice to professional." Youll start your journey by seeing what you need to knowbut without needless theory and filler. Youll build your skill set by learning how to put together real-world projects step by step. So whether your goal is your next career challenge or a new learning opportunity, the Beginning series from Apress will take you thereit is your trusted guide through unfamiliar territory!

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From the reviews:

"A comprehensive introduction to … the scripting language PHP and the MySQL database server. This book will not only expose … core aspects of both technologies, but will provide valuable insight into how they are used in unison to create dynamic data-driven Web applications." (it-expert, Issue no. 48, 2004)

About the Author

W. Jason Gilmore has been steeply involved in PHP and MySQL Web application development for seven years, and has developed hundreds of applications using the LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) platform. His writings on Open Source technologies have been featured within many of the computing industry's leading publications, including Linux Magazine, O'Reillynet, Devshed, and, and have been adapted for educational initiatives led by many organizations, including the Ford Foundation and the United Nations. These days, Jason is's PHP contributor, and is a regular contributor to Linux Magazine. He spends his days (and many nights) running Apress' Open Source program. Jason graduated from The Ohio State University in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars [Third Edition Review] Broad coverage except in XML manipulation May 29 2008
By S. Tang - Published on
This book is written for someone who is familiar with other programming languages and databases and now wants to use PHP and MySQL. It is not written for somebody completely new to programming. For example, if you came from Perl or ASP, and you wanted to know how arrays, loops, and objects in PHP, this book will cover that.

The topic coverage is broad but not deep. The book has a feel of "semi-reference" in that each topic stands on its own. This is not a cookbook or "learn by example" book. There is enough information to get you started, but if you have a complex/niche problem, this book will not help you. For more information, you will have to consult books that specialize on the topic you are interested.

I have one major gripe with this book. There is not any significant coverage of XML manipulation or XSL/XSLT aspects of PHP. When you look at the table of contents or index, there is no mention of XSL/XSLT and only a brief mention of XML (and RSS) in the Web Services chapter. For a book that covers a lot of subjects, this is a weak area.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful reference and study text for progrmmers new to PHP May 26 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
This book is almost overwhelmingly thorough, which made it, in my experience, an extremely useful resource in preparing for the Zend PHP certification exam, as well as for learning and daily use. While it's incomplete where the test is concerned-you won't find a listing for "Reflection" in the index, for example-it's a useful reference for most of the material on the exam. All of the built-in string and array functions are described clearly and concisely, with examples of use. PHP installation and configuration settings are laid out in the kind of painful detail expected by the exam. There's an introduction to object-oriented programming, overview of regular expressions and a whole series of chapters detailing some of the most useful features of PHP and reviewing some of the most common problems (web services, user authentication, and secure programming, to name a few). And that's before we reach the second half of the book, providing the same kind of detail for MySQL, including PHPs several interfaces to it.

One limitation, from the perspective of an absolute beginner, is the lack of large-scale examples. Gilmore doesn't walk you through the development of a web application; the book is more of a reference text, using smaller examples to illustrate small, specific topics, with the expectation that the reader can assemble those ideas into usable examples. This was probably necessary to enable the chapters to function as individual units, which is one of the book's major strengths.

Books of this size can be daunting to a reader. Gilmore's friendly, readable prose goes a long way toward making this one approachable, as does the modularity, allowing a reader to digest only the chapters needed at any given moment.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bloated and wordy May 14 2009
By DavMin - Published on
I'm a sucker for a good price and I bought this book hoping that in the 1000+ pages I could start to learn PHP. I did - but I also quickly got frustrated and distracted by the author's complete refusal to explain ANYTHING with conciseness.

This is a reference book, not something you'd want to read cover to cover.

Boring examples, wordy discussions - the authors seems to have been more interested in boosting page count than anything else :(

Another bloated PHP book was Larry Ullman's Visual QuickPro. Are there any php tech authors who know how to write??
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference for any web designer! Oct. 12 2008
By D. Erhart - Published on
This is a great book for any web designer no matter what your experience level. It is a great reference and I was able to teach myself what was needed using this book!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth it for the price May 17 2011
By Ari - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not the typical Technical book lover. In fact I'm always dreading opening a book larger than my local Yellow Pages (...yes those still exist). This book, however, was different. True it is long and sometimes can be wordy but it is a nice read. The most important aspect that these technical books lack is personalization. Gilmore does a pretty good job identifying with real world problems and tasks. In addition he's kind of funny too.

The book's organization is alright. Coming from a background in quite a few languages (except C++ which PHP is most similar too) I found the first 5 chapters painfully redundant (i.e. what is an Array, the concept OOP, etc.). However, there were quite a few tidbits of information that were pretty useful. I recommend skimming through these chapters quickly if you have a good background in programming. The structure thereafter (with respect to PHP) is not the most intuitive, rather it is split up into modular components that don't necessarily build on each other. I would recommend you jump the chapters that most interest you. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the MySQL side because I only used the book for PHP development.

I originally viewed the PDF version through an online library but decided to purchase it because it was just so inexpensive. For the price, you really can't get much better. Even though I am giving it 5 start I would probably rate it somewhere between 4.5 and 4.75 just because I expected a little bit more flow between the chapters (though that didn't turn out to be a bad thing).

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