Most helpful positive review
not as bad as other reviewers make it sound
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)