This book is, to say the very least, the finest computer book I have read in a very, very long time. I have spent the last three months trying to learn how to use PHP and MySQL to build a website with a simple content management system, however, due to the grossly unethical practice that publishing companies have of releasing books that are filled with editing and other errors, along with authors who are completely unable to write even a simple complete sentence that may be understood by their readers, I had nearly given up. Specifically, I have already WASTED money on the following books:
Creating Interactive Websites with PHP and Web Services by Eric Rosebrock - this book crashes around page 100 - it COULD have been a good book but is filled with errors that make it unusable. The publisher, Sybex, refuses to publish a real errata sheet and the book is NOT supported on the author's web site. Isn't that nice?
PHP MySQL Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution by Chris Lea, Mike Buzzard, Jessey White-Cinis, and Dilip Thomas. Good luck if you can get past page 30! Considering this book has been out for some time, there is NO REAL support or errata sheet for it. The "sample site" that one is allegedly able to build by working through this book is filled with questions such as "Has anyone made it all the way to the end of this book?" Need I say more? What a joke.
MySQL/PHP Database Applications, SECOND EDITION. Gosh, considering this is the SECOND edition of this book, one might think an errata sheet and other help might be available. Forget that though - Wiley gets your money, you get plastered with errors so you can't get through the book.
PHP and MySQL Web Development by Luke Welling and Laura - Another USELESS second edition. Not only does the code in this book NOT WORK but the examples that you can download doesn't match what's in the book! Not only that but, as to be expected, there is no errata sheet and the authors web site that is allegedly there to "support" this book has nothing but an advertisement for it with the promise that the "site is under development." Wonder if it will ever be "developed."
As noted, ALL of the books above are USELESS. On a fluke, I decide to try one more - Larry Ullman's PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites by Peachpit Press. While a second edition is allegedly going to be released soon: I have the first edition. To be honest, I was ABSOLUTELY AMAZED that:
1. The code in this book WORKS!
2. The book is SUPPORTED by both the publisher and the author. The author's support site for the book actually contains an extensive list of errata for the very minor errors in it (unlike ALL of the books listed above which DON'T have an errata list). Furthermore, I haven't needed to check the errata because the errors in this book are so minor.
3. The author actually ANSWERS questions to problems on his site.
4. The author is capable of explaining everything, very clearly, and yet conveys a LOT of great information.
5. This book is CHEAPER than all of the ones listed above (and yet it is the ONLY one worth spending your money on).
I have been completely feed up with the incompetent and unethical practices of so many book publishers that I was beginning to wonder if there were ANY books that really taught you how to create a dynamic website. Well, there's one - Peachpit Press. No, I don't work for them and don't know the author - I'm merely a DISGUSTED customer who is tired of spending money on useless books.
RUN, don't walk to buy this book. You will be very, very glad you did.