Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site Using PHP & MySQL Paperback – Jun 29 2009
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About the Author
Kevin Yank is a world-renowned leader in web development. When not writing best sellers, Kevin is the Technical Director of sitepoint.com and editor of the popular SitePoint Tech Times newsletter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Those interested in this book would do well to read this post from the author on sitepoint itself. [...]
Of particular note, please see my comment on this post that details a very real SQL injection attack that would, if anyone has used the code, allow an attack to log in as any user without even the slightest worry about passwords.
This is a surprising black mark on sitepoint's otherwise decent reputation. For Shame.
Sorry, I mostly gave it 3 stars because I really like Kevin, but if anyone wants to get a book on php and mysql this is not it.
Sitepoint books lately have been bad. I'm starting to think they have a cookie cutter method of writing. I'm still a fan of the forum, but their books are not what they use to be.
Please be aware that the Kindle version of this book, on both the iPad and Mac, suffers from a formatting issue which displays every word in bold text. I discovered a workaround: if you use the scroll bar to go ahead a page or two and then go back, the problem will go away, as long as you don't go back to the first page of any chapter. Once you scroll back to the first page of a chapter, the Kindle app goes into "bold everything" mode again. I noticed this complaint on other Sitepoint books, so they and Amazon need to work together to correct the problem.
While some people may find the absence of CSS in the book a drawback I find it very helpful, the authors goal is not to teach you CSS it was to instruct you in the art of mixing PHP and a MYSQL database to create functional webpages with data. What author does is creates a focus on the code and does not spend time elaborating example code, that will in all most all cases, never be used. A better approach to css is to pick up another of Sitepoint books such as The CSS Anthology where you will learn css that you can use to create your own webpage designs.
I hope this review will make you consider looking at the sitepoint website, and another great thing about sitepoint is they offer large previews of their books so you can see what you are getting into.
I have just finished my first read through Kevin Yank's Build Your Own Database-Driven Web Site with PHP and MySQL. I can tell you that it will not be my last read through it, by any means. While there are a few places it glosses over and a few rather shocking omissions in the name of simplicity, it was (and I can rarely say this with a computer book) exactly what I was looking for.
Using simple, easy-to-understand tutorials, Yank takes you through the development of a very simple website that has a database as its back end. This should not surprise you, given the title of the book. Impressively, it neither manages to talk down to its reader (assuming a complete newb) nor spirals off into overly technical jargon (assuming a MySQL-certified reader). Granted, if you've been a database developer for ten years (that would be me) some of this will be redundant, but it's a good refresher course for basic database concepts and a perfect way to immerse yourself in MySQL if you're coming from a different DBMS. That said, my main problem with the book was Yank's breezy passing by the idea of using the InnoDB engine and letting your code handle foreign key constraints. That's workable (though very, very iffy) for the four-table database Yank builds here, but any real-life (read: complex) solution will quickly get unmanageable; any minor change to the table structure, depending on how many tables it relates to, could require hours of hunting and changing code. As any programmer learns within the first ten minutes of starting his first programming course, that is a recipe for bugs.
My other problem with it, though this is far more minor, is that (I think) content management systems like this usually store site settings in the database as well, and Yank doesn't address this at all beyond logins and passwords, choosing to refer the user to learning CSS. I thought CSS was dead, or close to it. I'd have expected that in a book written in 2004, but in 2009? But my inexperience with web apps--I've always been a back-end developer--may be more at fault than Yank's writing, so I'll defer judgment on that to those who actually know what they're doing with this stuff, who will hopefully get round to reviewing the book eventually. In any case, the stuff that's actually here, the parts on data access and getting your data from database to website, are clear as well as being very easy to understand and implement, and that's a rare thing in computer books. Highly recommended, though you'll need other books to cover the places where this is lacking. ****
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