Most helpful critical review
Don't bother - CODE DOESN'T WORK!
on February 2, 2004
I have now purchased just about EVERY book I can find on using PHP and NOT ONE of them is capable of being completed from beginning to end due the the HORRENDOUS editing errors in them. This book, the 2nd Edition, no less, was the last in my now enormous collection of miserable books on PHP and seemed to have some promise. I was impressed with the fact that the author or publisher included the complete set of files in order to be uploaded you a live web server and, after spending a half an hour uploading those 10 megs (REALLY!) worth of files to my server thought that I might actually be able to finally get some files to work - silly me.
So, after spending several hours trying to determine EXACTLY which files needed to be altered in order to connect to both the database (oh gosh, even the NAME of that database is kept hidden) and to change the appropriate variables contained in the huge number of files, and then trying to mess around with the bogus files that allegedly will install and make the appropriate changes to the files on the server, have just GIVEN UP. What a NIGHTMARE.
Why, oh WHY can't a publisher put out a book with the code (and easy to find and read INSTRUCTIONS) that actually WORKS?!?!?!? Spending a few billion dollars on every book ever published on PHP and not getting a single one of them to WORK is nothing less than an outrage.
No, I'm not a complete computer programming "newbie" and yes, I've spent the last several months wasting time writing to publishers regarding the ERRORS in their books (to which they ALWAYS confirm the errors but fail to post them on their non-existent errata sheets).
I've HAD it. DON'T BOTHER with this book until an errata sheet has been posted AND detailed instructions are provided on configuring the code to work on your server. It would be one thing if this and other PHP books were just a few dollars but, at a whooping $40 per book (or MORE), getting things to work should be REQUIRED! An ERRATA sheet also needs to be published AS SOON AS PROBLEMS ARE DISCOVERED.
And, as is so often the case, it appears as if this book COULD HAVE BEEN USEFUL - had the publisher had the decency to have just ONE PERSON sit down and work their way through the manuscript to find the obvious problems - that, however, is apparently asking too much.