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Learning PHP and MySQL Paperback – Jun 12 2006

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Product Description

Book Description

Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Database Driven Web Sites

About the Author

Michele Davis, a career writer since she was eight years old, has owned a technical writing and software training company since 1988. Michele contributed to the "HTML Bible 4.0" (Wiley).

Jon Phillips is a software developer who works with Oracle 9i, Oracle Financials and HRMS. Jon creates the backend of web sites that Michele designs and writes. Jon uses PHP and MySQL for numerous clients that want a database or web site interaction, such as forms. Both Michele and Jon are members of a PHP list serve.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 25 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
The Very Book for the Very Beginner June 29 2006
By Brett Merkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book will take you from a basic understanding of creating static HTML to an elementary but quite nifty practical knowledge of serving up dynamic Web pages on your own.

Chapters 1-6 take you through basic orientation, the installation of Apache, PHP and MySQL, followed by an intro to PHP statements.

Chapters 7-9 introduce database concepts and step you through getting PHP to talk to MySQL.

Chapters 10-17 begin the process of creating forms and other components of Web sites and applications following all the way through to integrating some sample applications.

Each step and procedure has ample code printouts, logic diagrams and output screenshots. Review of knowledge was done well. One feature of this book you should take advantage of is the question section at the end of each chapter. I usually find these irritating and skip them because often the questions don't reinforce learning and no answers are provided. The questions in this book *are* well constructed and the answers *are* provided.

Quibbles: Be prepared for a bit of keyboarding. O'Reilly provides a site for the book but the example code is not available for download. Your first bout of keying code may end in failure because the authors forget that in the first examples (the most important ones for an absolute beginner!) they need to recall being a beginner. They ask you to write out and save "a simple HTML document." I did that. The example did not work on the server. I checked this, I checked that, I re-typed the code, I typed other examples. No luck. Then I stumbled onto changing the extension of my .html file to .php and all was well. See my point?
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Reurned for a refund Dec 17 2006
By Burak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There are two problems with this book. First of all it's filled with typos, both in the text and in the sample codes. The typos in the text made me laugh (its vs. it's type stuff), those in the codes made me cry. There are entire lines in some codes or screen ouputs that clearly do not belong there (take a look at page 126, about a third of the way into the page there's a line that goes --> ,"Aaron Weber"); <-- . Clearly, this line serves no purpose on its own and it was accidentally cut and paste from the end of the following line. Just too many typos, within 10 pages I had lost my confidence in this book. Secondly (and more importantly), this is NOT a beginner's book. It attempts to educate the reader on PHP and MySQL, and fails at both. For instance, the book never once mentions something as basic as the difference between echo and print in PHP. Then there's the instructions on installing phpMyAdmin on page 140, specifically item 6. I know nothing about MySQL so I have no idea how to "set the hostname, etc. of my database in the config.inc.php file". Thanks for nothing. In summary, if you're a beginner, you may think you've learned PHP and MySQL upon reading this book, and in fact you'll just be confused, and if you already know them, then why on earth would you use this simplistic book? I've returned my copy for a refund. By the way, I saw that one of the positive reviews below was posted on the book's blog site. Let's see if mine makes it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Wrong book for me, right book for some April 26 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I knew I had picked up the wrong book when, in the first or second chapter, the authors said that variable types didn't matter and that they wouldn't bother covering them until late in the book. Admittedly, I can see their point, but the way the statement was written made it apparent that they were aiming this at HTML authors and other people with little to no real programming experience. If you want to pick up the PHP language and already have experience with a real programming language or two, you'd be better off picking up something else. If not, this book actually would be a good way to get started.

Update: Now that I've chewed through a little more of the book, I would no longer recommend this book to even a beginner. Uncommented, and hard to read examples that make poor use of whitespace dominate later chapters. The examples aren't the 3-4 page long beasts you find in some C or Java books, but nonetheless, this book does not demonstrate good coding practices, and should not be used by a new programmer to pick up the ropes.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Poorly Edited Sept. 15 2006
By Dave Slayton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book forms a decent introduction to the topic, but it's annoying when you have to figure out what the authors MEANT to say when code examples don't work as advertised. The worst case I've seen is on page 183, where the code is so far off from what they meant it to be, if you run it, it produces a blank page. There's no output. I managed to figure out what they MEANT to say, and to make it work, but I shouldn't have to do that. There are plenty of other spots where I've been scratching my head trying to figure out what they meant, where things were not sufficiently explained, or where things didn't work as described. It's frustrating and time-consuming for a beginner to the topic like me.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Some of the foundation is good, but with problematic gaps Oct. 17 2006
By mattrweaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am a newbie to MySQL/PHP. Truly. Many reviews of the O'Reilly series clearly have extensive backgrounds in programming. I do not: I had a little HTML under my belt, that's it.

The book does do an excellent job explaining what Apache, MySQL, and PHP are and how they interact. The author does a good job explaining PHP syntax and MYSQL as well. But, if you pick this book up as a beginner with a specific project in mind, you may have trouble figuring out how what your are learning relates to what you want to do. That's the joy of being a newbie. Using this book along with something like the Nutshell books, which are reference books, will speed things along.

The installation section in this book--for the true beginner--was a huge let down. This section assumes knowledge that many people who are diving headlong into this may not know. If your Apache installation goes wrong (and mine did), the author simply tells you to redo the section. I quintuple checked my configuration instructions: everything was as instructed. And you get PHP and MySQL to work if Apache isn't working.

Ultimately, I tried both of the all-in-one installations of AMP: XAMPP and wampserver, which preserved my ability to proceed forward.