David Powers is an Adobe Community Expert for Dreamweaver and author of a series of highly successful books on PHP, including PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy (friends of ED, ISBN-13: 978-1-59059-731-6) and Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8 (friends of ED, ISBN-13: 978-1-59059-569-5). As a professional writer, he has been involved in electronic media for more than 30 years, first with BBC radio and television and more recently with the Internet. His clear writing style is valued not only in the English-speaking world; several of his books have been translated into Spanish and Polish.
What started as a mild interest in computing was transformed almost overnight into a passion, when David was posted to Japan in 1987 as BBC correspondent in Tokyo. With no corporate IT department just down the hallway, he was forced to learn how to fix everything himself. When not tinkering with the innards of his computer, he was reporting for BBC TV and radio on the rise and collapse of the Japanese bubble economy. Since leaving the BBC to work independently, he has built up an online bilingual database of economic and political analysis for Japanese clients of an international consultancy.
When not pounding the keyboard writing books or dreaming of new ways of using PHP and other programming languages, David enjoys nothing better than visiting his favorite sushi restaurant. He has also translated several plays from Japanese.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Wow, this book is good...Jan. 10 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
I already had a basic understanding of Dreamweaver in creating some basic web pages, but I had a hard time finding a good PHP book. This book shows you how to combine the cool new features of Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 and the scripting power of PHP. I had done some scripting before with ASP but not with PHP. This book takes you from the beginning in setting up the work environment of a web server (APACHE or IIS) and database (MYSQL), to explaining web design concepts and then integrating it all together in some useful and "real-world" projects. It also explains the differences in setup of MAC and Windows OS. I've never found a book that puts it all together like this one. A must buy!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A masterpiece.Aug. 2 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
David Powers has written a masterpiece in "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8."
This book is incredibly well conceived, well written, well edited, and well supported. The material is presented concisely yet completely and accurately. The detailed chapters on installation and configuration of Apache, PHP, and MySQL for both Windows and Macintosh are works of art in and of themselves, walking the reader through the complex process step by step, giving very clear instructions, explaining the reasons for the recommended configuration choices, and anticipating everything that might go wrong along the way.
Powers's writing style is formal and precise without being stuffy. His explanations and instructions are clear and complete without wasted words. (He is a former journalist.) Because Powers does not fill his book with needless repetitions, oversized figures, or other fluff, the book is thankfully thinner than other PHP/Dreamweaver books that cover the same (or less) material. The book's font and formating are easy on the eye, and intelligent use of bold text nearly (but not completely) makes up for the one-color printing. The figures are clear and accurate, and the examples are illustrative, easy to follow, and nicely supported by the downloadable companion files.
While most advanced computer books with lots of raw code have many typographic and technical errors, "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8" has very few. Most of the few errata are related to changes in versions of PHP, Dreamweaver, or MySQL that were released subsequent to the book's printing -- and the author catches those changes and posts comprehensive updates to his website very quickly and very frequently. As this is my first book from the "Friends of ED" publisher, I do not know whether the author or the editor is to thank for the small number of errors, but it is a very refreshing change to read a technical book that is as clean as this one.
The author takes an active role in the publisher's support forum, answering readers' questions and offering suggestions and tips. When Adobe released an update to Dreamweaver that broke several server behaviors, Powers quickly posted several explanations on his website and even updated the book's companion files to make them compatible with the new Dreamweaver behaviors. David Powers clearly knows the material; his name is well known in Dreamweaver development circles, where he is widely regarded as a leading expert.
I recommend this book whole-heartedly. Many computer books are not worth the cost of the paper they are printed on, but "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8" is one book that is well worth its retail price -- and more. David Powers and his publisher should be congratulated for such a fine piece of work.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Excellent intro to PHP/MySQL and many other ancillary subjectsMarch 7 2006
Michael A. Milauskas
- Published on Amazon.com
I don't know about anyone else, but I rarely look at the author's name on tutorial-type books like these. I just want the info and the author's name is one piece of info I skip over. David Powers is one exception. I read another book by David Powers (et. al) "PHP Dreamweaver MX 2004" prior to this one and loved it. This current book "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8" is also a great book. I felt almost euphoric with the things I could accomplish with PHP and Dreamweaver after reading the first book, however, if one doesn't immediately apply it, the info tends to leave the brain--mine, at least. Having upgraded to Dreamweaver 8 this latest book was a good refresher. That's not to say it's not complete by iteself. It is. What I like about Powers' books is that they are like Swiss Army knives that I can go back to, open up and take out the tool I need for a specific job. I may not remember the steps necessary to perform a certain function in PHP, but I can at least remember that I read it in one of these books. For me, who can only still barely scratch the surface of PHP, this book is a godsend. Why code when I can use Dreamweaver's built in server behaviors to do it for me?
I get several things out of this book. More web design skills, more familiarity with CSS, a good exposure to PHP (and MySQL) and Dreamweaver 8. There's also the parts about blogs and RSS feeds which were things that I thought were over my head (turns out I really didn't know anything about it and now I've created a blog AND an RSS feed).
I'm a graphic and web designer, but I don't consider myself a programmer. This is a great reference tool for me and I'm already applying the things I learned in the book to projects I'm taking on. In fact, Powers' book has given me the confidence to know I *can* handle database-driven projects (to a limited extent) which means I don't necessarily have to turn down work. What I like about this book is that the author goes through EVERY step (down to the very last button which needs clicking in Dreamweaver). If I have a problem while doing an exercise, it has usually meant that I missed one of the steps.
This is also a valuable learning tool for working with the newest versions of Dreamweaver. I've used Dreamweaver for years and working through the exercises in this book accomplishes multiple tasks at once. I get a good grounding in PHP and I get to learn what's new in Dreamweaver.
The way Powers builds the sample site using PHP and CSS is also a wonderful thing to have. I can refer to this book instead of having to keep several books at the ready. Yes, this isn't a complete CSS guide, but I can adapt the section on building a navigation system in CSS to whatever site I'm working on. Plus, I've got the PHP stuff there too.
Who is this book for? Well, me, for one. If you've got some HTML skills, know a little CSS and you're looking to dive into PHP and dynamic sites, this is an excellent resource. As I said, I'm not a programmer, so I like the fact that it's written in plain English. I think a lot of it made sense due to the fact that I had read some other books on PHP so it wasn't all that strange to me. That might help and I would recommend getting some other books that go into more detail, too. Of course, Powers gives lots of recommendations in the book for other books that do go into more depth.
Still, I am very excited that I am able to create databases, tie into them and display dynamic data on web pages. It's a lot of fun. Powers makes it easier than I ever thought it was. I still have a long way to go, but as I said I'm confident I can do a lot more than just build static-page sites. I highly recommend this book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Finally, real help with PHPFeb. 8 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
I have a stack of books to help me learn how to get around in the world of web development. This book is the ONLY one I have not had to close up and walk away from due to getting stuck because of my inability to understand the instructions. I never had to wait long to get resolution to fix my understanding, when I did have a problem, because David Powers himself helped me over the hurdles via forum support. For that reason alone, when I add to my library I will look first to see if there is anything out there with David Powers' name on it.
I struggled to get Apache, MySQL and PHP to work correctly on my computer and out of desperation finally went with a package. In fact, I loaded and unloaded three of them before I got it right. I about croaked when David Powers nixed packages. So again, I started over and because of his clear instruction finally got it right and perfect. He made what was a monster of a problem for me, very simple.
After working through Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8 I finally have hope that the day will come when I will get my arms around PHP and MySQL. Because of it I was able to go back to another book in my stack and at least know at what I was looking.
Thank you David Powers and Friends of Ed for writing and publishing a book for the clueless who really want to know! Because of this book I am able to give a new website client dynamic content that they can control themselves.
And thank you Mr. Powers for your patience.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Unlock Dreamweaver with PHP and THIS BOOK!!July 13 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
After reading 3 of 4 other PHP books, I found this one. While the others have been relegated to the shelf as references, this one is my learning tool.
There are many good reasons this book is an overall 5 star rated book.
If you want to unleash Dreamweaver as a PHP rapid application development tool, this is the book for you. If you want to learn to hand code PHP for hours on end, read the other ones.
If you want to set up your own localhost to test PHP and MySQL using Dreamweaver before publishing to the web, read this book. If you want to get incomplete installation instructions for Apache, PHPMyAdmin, PHP or MySQL, read the other ones.
I was familiar with PHP, and am an Oracle database programmer. As Oracle has become more and more expensive, I decided to take a serious look at my PHP hobby. Up until this book, I never saw PHP as a viable small application alternative because of the time required for building code line by line. This book changes all of that. Using Dreamweaver's extensive panels of PHP and application options and wizards, I have shown my co-workers how to quickly build and fine tune PHP using Dreamweaver.
I am also amazed to see an author so involved with his book after publication. His posts here should prove his belief in his product. Excellent book, sir. I will watch for your next one!