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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply my bible for PHP and MySQL!
A job well done by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson! I purchased this job after going through Amazon User Reviews. I had some knowledge in Perl-CGI and worked on ODBC connectivity to databases. I just wanted to get started with PHP and since this book addressed the added issue of database connectivity (in this case MySQL), I thought of giving it a try.
Some of the best...
Published on March 7 2004

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars This book versus the new O'Reilly one
I bought this a few months back and I found it useful getting started with PHP and MySQL. The problem, though, is that it doesn't go far enough: the material on PDF doesn't actually show you how to write a report from a database or get anything installed, there's almost nothing on advanced MySQL, and just 10 pages on OO programming. I also found the code hard to get going...
Published on June 7 2004


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3.0 out of 5 stars This book versus the new O'Reilly one, June 7 2004
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
I bought this a few months back and I found it useful getting started with PHP and MySQL. The problem, though, is that it doesn't go far enough: the material on PDF doesn't actually show you how to write a report from a database or get anything installed, there's almost nothing on advanced MySQL, and just 10 pages on OO programming. I also found the code hard to get going and a bit buggy. The 2nd edition seems to not really have moved with the pace of the area and it left me unsatisfied. In the end, I went in search of another book.
Williams and Lane's new 2nd edition of "Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL" (O'Reilly, 2004) has done it for me. It weighs in at almost 800 pages, a few hundred more than its 1st edition, and it looks like an almost complete rewrite. It covers PDF reporting in depth, installation on Windows and Mac OS X, and has chapters towards the end on PEAR, advanced MySQL, and PHP55 OO features. By the time I bought it, I guess wasn't really a newbie, but I still think it is gentle enough if you're still getting the basics (the first 200 pages or so introduce PHP and MySQL). It's a pretty awesome book, and shows again why O'Reilly are a safe bet (though perhaps it's wise to wait for the 2nd editions, judging by the bugs in the 1st edition of this one).
I reckon both books are worth the money, but if you just want one, then O'Reilly's new book is better.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fine overview, not the best code, April 27 2004
By 
Jack D. Herrington "engineer and author" (Silicon Valley, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
Overall this is a fine, if physically weighty, introduction to PHP. It will take a developer who understands web application flow reasonably well from knowing nothing about PHP to understanding how to build complex web sites.
The first 150 pages or so are on the syntax of PHP. The last 20 of those are on Object Oriented PHP (version 4), and about 10 of those are on the basics of OO programming. So I wouldn't try and learn OO PHP from this book (see Advanced PHP Programming for that.)
Section two, on database programming, starts with an introduction to the basics of database design, moves onto the mechanics of MySQL and it's interaction with PHP. It finishes with a very brief section on PEAR. This is the part that caused me to give the book only three stars. First, the database access uses string concatenation, which is error prone and insecure. Even worse, the section on PEAR, which supports the '?' operator in SQL statements, fails to mention that feature or it's advantages. Since most PHP programming is about putting a face on a database, teaching how to do databases the right way is extremely important. For a lesson in how to do database access in PHP right see another SAMS PHP book; Advanced PHP Programming.
Up to chapter twenty-four the book progresses by talking about each technology (e.g. authentication, date manipulation, regular expressions, etc.) as a sort of stove pipe. The chapters are generally short, and are well written and consistent. Graphics are used sparingly, which is appreciated.
With chapter twenty-four and beyond the author presents common tasks (e.g. login pages, shopping carts, etc.) with example applications. This is an effective technique as most of these problems involve bringing together several PHP technologies and understanding how to use them as a whole.
Overall I liked this book. I did take exception to the SQL problems in section two and I marked my review down because database access is so important to PHP web development. WIth the caveat that the reader should look elsewhere for advice on proper PHP database development I would recommend this book to anyone with some web experience who wants to develop dynamic sites with PHP.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book, but you can do better!, April 13 2004
By 
Patrick Paul "patthephpguy" (Mountain View, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
I purchased this book in '03 hoping to get a complete over of MySQL as an addition to the already familiar PHP. I was hoping to see a lot of focus on MySQL and what I could do to fully understand it's integration. What I got wasn't exactly what I was hoping for...
This book focuses on PHP alone and MySQL alone, leaving the integration for it's projects starting about half way through the book. I was dissapointed also on the length of MySQL query language. The section skimmed over MANY of the operators, only explaining about 1/3 of them, and leaving the other 2/3 to learn from months of trial and error. I was thoroughly dissapointed that they even kept things such as joining tables to perhaps 1 sample query and a 2 paragraphs at most. I was hoping to see beyond "SELECT * from table WHERE ID > 5 ORDER by title DESC", but that is about as far as most of this book will take you...
I also found that the coding techniques used are a bit too "orthodox" and not very present day. I say this because they use far too many lines/functions than needed. I've probably learned more from re-writing their code to my style than reading their code in general.
There are only about 1 or 2 coding mistakes (which I've found, however I guess that was a learning experience) that plague this book, so I have to definitely say the integrity is excellent.
If you are looking to start PHP and MySQL I'd reccomend this as a reference book, keep the core learning seperate. I'd reccomend the PHP Bible (which touches on MySQL integration nearly as much as this does..), but I have not yet found THE MySQL book. I'd reccomend the MySQL Bible but it goes far beyond PHP and not into queries as much as it could...
In summary: Learning book? Eh.. Reference book? Sound's more like it..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply my bible for PHP and MySQL!, March 7 2004
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
A job well done by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson! I purchased this job after going through Amazon User Reviews. I had some knowledge in Perl-CGI and worked on ODBC connectivity to databases. I just wanted to get started with PHP and since this book addressed the added issue of database connectivity (in this case MySQL), I thought of giving it a try.
Some of the best features of this book include:
* Manual Installation of the PHP Engine, installation of MySQL Engine on Windows Platform. It also deals with UNIX platform.
* Crispy introduction to setting up database, tables in MySQL.
* All you need to know about Sessions, Shopping Cart etc.
The authors also try to discuss the newer functions in the current versions of PHP(at the time of writing the book) and point out the deprecated functions at right places in the book.
If you have some knowledge of Server side Scripting and how the Server folder setup is.. then definitely go for this book.
Hats Off to the authors on such a wonderful effort. No where in the book i feel the authors digress from the subject. All the subjects handled, are of definite practical interest.
Thank you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars For the beginning web developer, Jan. 8 2004
By 
Brian Maula "Brian" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
The book starts off in a hurried description of the PHP syntax and automatically dives the reader into a project. The first project, obviously is creating your first PHP program.
The source code in the book is functional, with no errors (at least from what I've encountered). The few issues I have thus far are in the later chapters of the book. For the experienced developer, some of the material in the text is verbose and verbatim, it repeats things that are common to developers (security and whatnot), but it's perfect for the beginner. The book goes onto cover basic authentication in Chapter 14, and then details it in a much later chapter. The things I love about the book is that it covers PHP sessions, working with the file system directly (Windows AND UNIX), FTP uploads, and it even shows you how to make your own WebMail page using PHP.
MySQL is aptly covered, the book does not go into detail with SQL, it covers the basic commands such as create database, use database, create table, insert commands, and some basic authentication stuff. It even has a small Apache tutorial in the Appendix.
It's a good book for the beginner, I bought it because I like the format of the book and the examples.
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3.0 out of 5 stars So much going for it. . .BUT, Dec 14 2003
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
Oh, this book seems to have so much going for it. At first, I was going to say that this was one of the most comprehensible computer books I've read in a long time (why, oh why can't computer people write in a manner that is clearly understood to their readers?) - the authors seem to have the rare knack of explaining things clearly. Then, however, I discovered that there are errors in the book and the examples in the book DO NOT match those on the CD. The book also isn't clear on what needs to be entered, precisely, in order for the examples to match those on the CD. I finally ended up comparing the two in order to make sense of things - this wasted a LOT of my time. Fortunately, my background is such that, so far, I've been able to figure things out.
When the problems started, I looked for an errata sheet - both on the publisher's site (Sam's Publishing) and on the site provided in the book ([...] Nothing on Sam's, at all, and the other site is nothing more than an advertisement for the book. Ugh!
This book had so much promise - had a better job been done with editing, it could have easily earned FIVE STARS.
At this point, I'm still able to figure things out and, compared to all of the other books I've tried, so far, on PHP and MySQL, this one still makes some sense. Oh well...
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you need a book on PHP - this is the one., Nov. 24 2003
By 
Alexander L. Belikoff (NY, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
Recently, I had to extend a popular PHP-based application, so I embarked on a quest to learn PHP as fast as I could to become productive. While there are plenty of easy to follow tutorials on the Net, as well as an extremely high-quality PHP manual, I decided to go the book route. After browsing the bookshelf with dozens of PHP books (ranging from such reputable houses as Prentice Hall and Addison-Wesley down to the toxic waste of "for dummies, complete idiots in 24 hours" series), I ended up with the book above. It seemed to provide a coverage broad enough without subjecting me to the slow torture of starting up from the very basics.
There is a lot to like about this book:
- It covers both core PHP as well as a nice set of add-on modules. After you have read the book, you will hardly need anything beyond the PHP library reference to start producing full-featured apps (no, the book will not turn you into great programmer).
- Unlike a lot of books in this fast-paced world, it is not a book on PHP 3 that was hastily re-branded for PHP 4 by adding a bunch of footnotes describing changes. This is a book about PHP 4 and it describes and uses PHP 4 features.
- The example projects are realistic enough in size and usefullness yet not overwhelming. I liked a lot the discussion on website roll-out and maintenance - something most of the books on web programming omit. This section will beinvaluable for those who start using PHP for home projects.
As usual, the book is not perfect. There is not much to complain and the issues are not too bad (other books are worse).
- There is very little space devoted to serious issues like PHP and MySQL security - about 3 pages all in all. MySQL optimization and performance analysis get same treatment. Yes, both subjects are quite broad and each of them requires a book on its own. Still, providing checklists and useful tips on both subjects would help raising awareness of the issues, especially for people who don't have any background in web server or database configuration.
- While the book has a lot of information on authentication, it is still unclear after reading it, how one would use basic authentication from PHP. The only half-page example is far from obvious and ther is not much commentary on it.
- When checking for existance of a presumably unique record in a database, authors consistently check whether the number of rows returned is bigger than zero. This is not what I call defensive programming - if they expect the record to be unique, they should check that it is unique indeed.
These tiny issues notwithstanding, I consider it the best "not for Dummies" book on the subject. Not only that, this book immediately fell into the category of the books that I keep, so it now proudly stands on my shelf. Great job, Luke and Laura!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Read Me to know what to expect of this book, Oct. 17 2003
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
I agree with quite a number of reviews that i have read here.
For me, I give this book a 3 stars rating.
i) It kick off well enough if you have fundamentals in programming and html.
ii) Onwards, it talks about MySQL database and other web security issues..... great explanations without doubts.
iii) And the best thing about this book is after everything, it includes a project sections whereby a lot of interesting web
applications are introduced.
There are also recommendation on how to extend the project further and the authors also intro to you an existing open
source application of that web app type.
I would say this is marvelous not many programming books out there actually have so many different features.
2 thumbs up for these effort.
However, what i dislike about the book is also in the project section. Why did i say that?
First of all, the style of explaning the coding is already in the wrong direction.
Take for example, the authors like to include common functions from other files.
This is a good practice but should be used sparingly.
But what frustrated me most is that instead of explaining page by page, the authors chooose to explained them function by function.
Now, these functions are all over those included files.
You have to jump here and there from files to files to find those functions.
Worst still, in the book there is no printed page of those included files.
The authors assume you will go and search for them in the CD itself.
So, you now know how hard it is to actually search and learned at the same time whats going on in the project.
*ONE IMPORTANT THING*
To address someone's mentioned problem on the shopping cart example....
I see that you can't get any categories to display after querying the database.
Possible reason for the cause might be... you haven't change the password connecting to your mysql database.
Here's the solution:
1) In db_fns.php, there's a db_connect() function
2) Look for this line:
$result = @mysql_pconnect("localhost", "book_sc", "password");
3) Now, remembered in the earlier page of this chapt. the author mentioned that you should changed the mysql database password for this user.
4) Go ahead and edit that line by changing the password String to the password you set earlier for the user.
5) Now, your php script should display the categories.
The reason why this happens is because the authors never bother or forgot to explain this function in the book
and remind you to change the password again.
(remember they are skipping all over the functions)
Overall, this is a good book for beginner to intermediate if you do not mind debugging the codes and the typos.
However, do not expect great aftersales support from the publisher and authors.
BTW, the errata for 1st edition is at [...]
and its not really updated if you asked me.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Great book if you are looking to learn how to debug code...., Sept. 26 2003
By 
"aaronatcon-mandotnet" (Rosemount, MN United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
I actaully really like this book. It is easy to read and gives some pretty good coding examples. There are also so many coding errors that you dive right in and start learning how to debug code. I like learning this way. I am almost done reading it and have run into a roadblock. There is a section of code in the book that does not work (well this section in particular - there are tons of code examples that don't work) and I cannot figure out why. Great - no problem - I will just go take a look-see at the errata and that should get me going again. NOT. There is no errata. What the blueberries is up with that!
Another thing that irked me about this book is the fact that the writer did not bother to tell you everything you should compile into PHP in the appendix. Instead you set it up as per the appendix and start reading. Then find out you need to reconfigure to add support for something. Reconfigure, recompile, retest - ok start reading again. Doh! Have to reconfigure again to add support for something else. Blah Blah - this happens about 4-5 times. Great.
Arggggg - OK - I have a headache from reading this book. I would not recommend it unless they come up with an errata or a third edition with fixed code and the correct install instructions for PHP.
Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, some errors, Aug. 20 2003
By 
Ce commentaire est de: PHP and MySQL Web Development (Paperback)
I found this book to be worth its weight in gold. There are some code errors such as list 1.3 on page 47, however this does not detract from the overall quality of the book. This book assumes that you understand html and if you don't you would not realize that the missing <html> tag and improper use of double quotes (improperly escaped) would result in the error. While an error free book would be nice, I realize that errors do happen. It would be nice if SAMS would have a place on their site for submitting spotted typos for an online errata (at least this wasn't obvious when browsing their site).
As a professional developer, I found that the book offers good advice for the beginner, explains best practices very well, and takes you to the next level. The first 11 chapters may be redundant for some, and may progress too quickly for less experienced coders, however, I feel that the book covers it's bases well.
On a positive note (concerning coding errors), if you get the code to work then you have really accomplished two tasks. Learning PHP and debugging :-) Five stars minus one star for those pesky 6 legged critters that keep popping up! Anyone with previous programming experience won't have any trouble coping with the bugs.
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