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on August 22, 2000
This was the first book I bought on php. Medinets explains things very well, and it's clear he knows a lot of tricks for installing and making things work. The advantage of this book is its simplicity and attention to detail. Most of the steps worked in the installation, and he explains why he does things the way he does. The stuff on XML and SQL is pretty cursory, but it's enough to make you aware of how it works and how php could help with that kind of data.
He is clearly geared toward writing a tutorial and not a reference book. At one point, we're supposed to be establishing a mysql connection and after going through the steps, he says, "well, this doesn't work because..." (and then he explains what was missing). I appreciate this sort of method, but it might be confusing for some readers.
This book is to be a quick breezy read and intended for people who want to get their feet wet before getting seriously into the subject. I would mention that Professional PhP is an excellent book, much more comprehensive than this one and just as readable. Readers might seriously consider bypassing this book and reading the Wrox Professional PHp book. The Wrox book has excellent examples and gives switches and api's when trying to connect to other databases beside mysql.
In summary: an excellent straightforward introduction, but many readers might prefer to read a more comprehensive book like Professional PHP (by Wrox)
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on April 19, 2000
I've looked at a bunch of PHP books and this one is a good variable/basic primer. I was a bit daunted by the length of the Wrox book so I picked this one up to quickly learn the basics. I wasn't too disappointed.
However, there are several code typos (luckily, they can be found corrected on the author's web site). In addition, I found some of the comments about certain things vague. He talks about forms and cookies but fails to give a simple example to reinforce these subjects. His discussion on PHP objects left me with many questions. I also didn't like having PHP functions used without explaining them to me first (I had to hit php's web site to learn what they did). I suppose I could've used the function glossary in the back of the book, but that is pretty spartan (and consumes about 100 pages).
Overall, I recommend this book to seasoned programmers (a first-time programmer would be crushed) who want to know the basics of PHP quickly. Pick up the Wrox book as well for the details.
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on January 11, 2000
If you're like me, you like to dive right in and start coding immediately to see what can be done. To do that, one needs a good reference on the available functions, syntax, etc. That's not what you'll get with Medinets' book.
While it does have a lots of useful information for beginning programmers and developers using MySQL and XML, it lacks depth. The book tries to cover too much territory and as a result fails to deliver enough useful information to make PHP accessible to all programmers.
There are plenty of code examples but they often refer to code used in previous chapters. I like to use books such as this as a reference and having to constantly cross-reference to other snippets of code is time consuming. I guess if I sat and read the book cover to cover, this would be less of a problem. However, most of the book is so rudimentary for most experienced programmers you would probably skim through it to get to what you need to know.
The most frustrating part of trying to really 'use' this book is that there is no function reference. Just a list of the functions without any parameter references or anything. I end up going to the PHP web site and getting more useful information online than in the book.
If not for some of the information on pattern matching, SQL and PHP installation, this book would have little value for me.
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on April 1, 2000
Better than some. Good basic intro to PHP, for the most part. Sections on mySQL are muddled. The bits on table joins, a fairly important topic, are explained poorly + all too briefly. I had to turn to online tutorials to clear things up. Going back to the book, the author's descriptions on table joins still didn't make any sense. Thank god he wasn't my only source.
Entire chapter waster detailing app that's on the CD --- an app which is pretty much useless to you if you're not running your own server.
The index at the back of the book is fairly useless as well.
All + all, I wouldn't recommend this -- unless you're desperate for a PHP/mySQL book + are sick of waiting for O'Reilly + Associates to publish theirs (which is pretty much the reason why I bought this thing).
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on January 9, 2000
It's AMAZING! I'm *finally* understanding how this all goes together.
Every other PHP manual or tutorial I've seen just gave lists of commands and how to use them, but didn't really explain the thought-process behind making real working functions.
This one actually walks you through the creation-from-scratch showing first "goals" even for little tiny one-page projects, then follows through on making it happen. Very cool. This book even gives his 20-year-programmer's advice such as, "You could do it this way, but I recommend doing it this way instead."
It's nice to have more than "just the facts" - and that's why I've learned more from this book in the last 2 days than any other PHP tutorial I've done in the last 5 months.
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on November 29, 1999
I use PHP3 and mySQL extensively on my web site, but up until now, it has been hard to find a well rounded PHP3 book.
This book covers everything from installing PHP, understanding all aspects of PHP, connecting to databases (such as mySQL), pattern matching, working with CGI, XML, and many other goodies.
I am a fairly experienced PHP programmer, but this book has shown me several advanced tricks that I didn't know about, mostly due to lack of time to research these types of things on my own.
If you are a beginner, this book is perfect for you because the technical topics are covered in a straightforward, non-technical manner with lots of sample code to learn from.
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on December 10, 1999
I better understood how to use mySQL after reading this book since it focused on mySQL and XML (which I haven't bothered to read yet) separately from using PHP3 to program database applications. Good section on an existing application "phpMyAdmin". Found a good discussion on php datatypes, which as a programmer I seldom read. There's a chapter on regular expressions which is useful. But MOST of PHP3 isn't discussed at all. I was disappointed. Even the reference at the back gives only function names, not even the parameters.
Buy this book only if you must have a php3 book and also want to learn about mySQL.
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on March 4, 2000
As many of us have experienced, buying computer books is not necessarily easy. Sometimes you get books that are too hard, or too easy, and you have no patience to read though lots of stuff before getting down to coding (after all, we know basic programming right? just need to learn syntax!). This got me going pretty quickly. You also need to get the online PHP reference, and MySQL by DuBois, and a good ISP account. Then you're ready! (I assume you already know HTML and know what SQL is, although both books teach you basic SQL).
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on August 7, 2000
I bought this book because I had never used Php or MySQL and wanted to learn them both. I wanted one book not two. I also wanted a good introduction as far as getting started with Php. This book served me well. It contains a brief explanation and easy-to-follow examples to a variety of topics. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the basics of what Php can do. I would recommend more advanced readers to get a more specific book (i.e., Php or MySQL) based on the specific needs.
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on May 3, 2002
this book is the worst one i ever worked with. the author uses advanced implementations in the first few examples, without explaination; some statements are just simply wrong (type error?) and the peak are wrong working examples. e.g. page 84/85 a flag variable is used to track a break in a loop; but the flag is defined after the break - it never gets executed and in the end the script does the whole opposite!
rating this book 4 or 5 stars means didn't read it!
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