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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best self help books I've ever seen!
I'm the author of the best-selling guide to graduate school, so I know what I'm talking about when I rate a self-help book. Meloni's book is amazing! Clear, concise, everything a self-help book should be.
After unsuccessful struggles with other PHP and MySQL books, which caused me to fear I would never learn, thank God I found "Fast and Easy Web...
Published on April 2 2002 by Robert Peters

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Only for beginners
This book is useful if you are unexperienced with PHP and need to learn but not for go beyond. I found some sintax mistakes in the examples and the order of every chapter is not so logical, but anyway I think this is a book with good concepts for any PHP Programmer.
Published on April 14 2003 by Fernando Barraza A.


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4.0 out of 5 stars Good For VERY Beginners, April 18 2003
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
If you are experience in ANY programmig this is not for you... However if you are brand new to programming and to PHP this will walk you through the basics.
Pluses:
Easy reading, easy to follow, simple theory, and multiple examples of the same thing with different changes.
Minuses: Simple Theory, BAD logic in code.. there is no OOP and to many examples of the same thing.
again i have to stress... this will walk you through the very basics of php/mysql.. if you already know ASP or another language get a more advanced book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Only for beginners, April 14 2003
By 
Fernando Barraza A. (Cali, Valle Colombia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
This book is useful if you are unexperienced with PHP and need to learn but not for go beyond. I found some sintax mistakes in the examples and the order of every chapter is not so logical, but anyway I think this is a book with good concepts for any PHP Programmer.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Worthless for any level of reader, Jan. 10 2003
By 
Kyle A. Wright (San Diego, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
I got this book because not only was it on sale, but I had just been assigned a PHP project at work. Having read the book, though, I must say that it's the worst computer book I've ever come across.
First, for someone who is already a programmer such as myself (having used C, Perl, Lisp, etc. for years) the book is much too basic. I don't like to see the same 10-line example repeated half a dozen times with only minor changes. At many points, the author basically tells the reader "do it this way and don't ask questions." I don't like that, especially when the author seems to have contradicted herself. As a programmer, I was also shocked by the inaccurate presentation of sprintf() and other functions - turning them into special purpose functions. There were many other things badly done as well. Also, the language reference in the appendix is pretty lame.
Secondly, this book I believe would be bad for those beginning to program. Maybe if you think that you can whip out a webpage with PHP and get rich fast this book would be a good buy. But for all others - stay away! The book doesn't teach programming. Functions are not covered. Control structures are basically ignored. The presentation of variables is badly done. This is very bothersome to me indeed.
Finally, the scope of this book. I thought this was a book on PHP. So why do I have to wade through: how to install Apache & other web servers, a pathetic HTML "refresher", a discussion on database "theory", an SQL lesson, etc.? Another chapter filled with incomplete coverage of the functions for connectivity to 7-8 different databases. Then a chapter that's source code for some bloated e-commerce example.
All things considered, a worthless book. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or if you have lots of experience - please don't waste your time and money here.
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2.0 out of 5 stars complete beginners only, July 6 2002
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
This book is a poor introduction to php / mysql.
The way to programming proficiency is to understand small and simple scripts and use the lessons learnt to build your own programs. This book however gives pages of ready built scripts that take an age to work through and are too long to see easily (and I've built commercial sized php sites.)
However, far worse than that is the omission of functions. It is simply impossible to ever progress at programming without understanding functions and this book doesn't even mention them.
Get "PHP and MySQL Web Development -- by Luke Welling, Laura Thomson" instead. This is an excellent book, even if you are a beginner - it will give you a solid foundation in php and mysql as well as teach you sound programming techniques.
Beginners may find it useful, but only on the understanding that you'll soon need another book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best self help books I've ever seen!, April 2 2002
By 
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
I'm the author of the best-selling guide to graduate school, so I know what I'm talking about when I rate a self-help book. Meloni's book is amazing! Clear, concise, everything a self-help book should be.
After unsuccessful struggles with other PHP and MySQL books, which caused me to fear I would never learn, thank God I found "Fast and Easy Web Development." Within a day I was writing code and I worked through the entire book in 4 days. After that I never looked back. A year later I have created a highly complex, database intensive site that includes an onsite email system, shopping cart, and all the other staples of an e-commerce site. Make no mistake, her book is introductory, and I quickly moved on to Professional PHP and other more advanced books (I now own 9 PHP books and 4 MySQL books). Nonetheless, I would never have understood them were it not for Meloni. Her book is at just the right level for a beginner. The examples are clear, and nearly every time I was just thinking "but what about....", she answered my question. Even better, her examples were FUN to work through! Some of the other books I've got are valuable, but fun? I think not.
I don't think the negative reviews of her book are fair. Her book is for beginners. So why are advanced programmers who found her book inadequate giving it 1 or 2 stars? That's like a medical doctor criticizing a book on first aid because it doesn't explain how to do heart surgery. People also bitched about typos in the book. But Meloni has a comprehensive listing of all typos on her web site at thickbook.com. So the first thing I did when I got her book was go to the site and correct the typos (there were actually very few). Also, when I was getting started, Meloni answered several emails I sent her to ask for help on problems when I was stuck. That's clearly above the call of duty.
In short, if you're a beginning programmer, go with Meloni.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I found this book very helpful..., Feb. 26 2002
By 
Anthony J. Robertson "zensmile" (Lansdowne, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
I am a PHP and programming newbie. I found this book to be a very solid and thorough introduction to PHP and database connectivity. Julie seems to focus on PHP and MySQL; but there are sections on using other databases.
This book starts out with simple structure and goes into file management, databases, and session management. While not the most complex and detailed book, it gives the reader a primer on the basics and more advanced topics. From there, you will need to find a more advanced book on PHP.
An excellent book! BUY IT!
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4.0 out of 5 stars anybody can follow this book, Jan. 28 2002
By 
Jonathan Robinson (Hawthorne, NV United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
if you have no confidence about breaking into programming and want a _lot_ of hand holding, this is the book for you.. but I thought I was that sort of person and even still got tired of the pointless repetition of stated procedure.
i give it a 4 because you Will have a basic shopping cart built by the end of the book, along with some forms. the most important thing you'll learn is that accomplishing that is a lot simpler and easier than you had expected.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book for beginners, Nov. 19 2001
By 
"ya_ira" (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
for the internet development beginner, this book is ideal. it opens with a historical background of php, a tutorial on developing a php server and then a review of html. such a beginning is unpretencious and informative for the inexperienced developer.
the php tutorial is informative, clear and covers all of the basics in a well approached progression. i was able to go through the lessons in the book quickly. meloni's explinations and examples were fantastic. the author always answered my questions during in her explinations. this is a great book for someone, like myself, who has minimal experience in web development.
i'd recommend this to anyone who is at the beginning of their web development career or education, working with developers using php or have any interest in learning the basics of web developement for personal or professional use.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent First PHP Book, Oct. 14 2001
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
Either of Julie Meloni's PHP books (PHP Essentials and PHP Fast and Easy) are great books to begin with for those who want to learn about PHP and MySQL.
Julie teaches by example with simple scripts that build upon what was learned in those before it. The accompanying web site is very good, which I find essential for any programming book as there are likely to be bug fixes needed and updates posted.
While her two books cover much of the same territory they use (mostly) different script examples so I found both of them to be worth having. The more examples I can see of working code, the better I can understand it.
I will buy any other books that Julie writes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars PHP From Beginners to Programmers, Aug. 28 2001
This review is from: PHP Essentials (Paperback)
This book is just what you need if you want to know PHP and you just don't know where to begin, the begin would be here, with this book you can introduce yourself to the PHP Enviroment and so on to the gratest world of Programming, this book covers from basics to advanced programming, but what this book also has is that the content is not based on nothing, wich means that the book is 100% based on life projects just as Encryption of data used in E-Commerce, useful USER TRACKIN' and many other things.
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