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A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites
About the Author
Robin Nixon has worked with and written about computers since the early 1980s (his first computer was a Tandy TRS 80 Model 1 with a massive 4KB of RAM!). One of the web sites he developed presented the world's first radio station licensed by the music copyright holders. In order to enable people to continue to surf while listening, Robin also developed the first known pop-up windows. He has also worked full time for one of Britain's main IT magazine publishers, where he held several roles including editorial, promotions, and cover disc editing.
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Top Customer Reviews
It guides through some pretty good IDE tools to develop the PHP code. Though I have been using the NotePad++ for coding, but looks like other tools taught in this book are pretty good and well worth to explore them.
Overall, the book is worth every penny and more. What I call is: A Job done well.
Don't forget to go through You Tube videos for learning bits and pieces that might be missing in the book.
The book has a set of questions at the end of the chapters but they just ask about theory. They are not exercises.
Without ongoing exercises this book essentially expects you to read and just somehow remember everything. Exercises would have been particularly useful in the early chapters where the steepest learning curve exists.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Out of all of those books, this is the one book I bought.
Now, this is still a thick, dense book. The author tries his best to make the book enjoyable to read. He gives good examples, and immediately explains why he does things this way, how things might be different, what mistakes you might make, and how you would implement this new knowledge. It is this explanation that makes this book worth buying. Every other book will tell you something and move on. I assume that other authors take for granted that they know the why's and how's and such, that they do not want to waste time on details that seem tedious to them. This author really works hard to make the content as easy to understand as possible.
This means that there are parts I am familiar with and skip over. That is fine. For the parts I struggle with, I am very grateful to have all of the expounded information available.
I cannot speak about updates from the 1st edition, since I did not read it. I will most likely buy the next edition, if the changes/additions are substantial. I would like to see more on forms and cookies. There really is no good book about forms and cookies, and the two chapters here are very good. and I would like the "putting it all together" chapter at the end to be substantially longer. That ending chapter was my favorite part. I don't know what else he can add to this book other than a section on html 5.
All in all, this is a great book. Buy it.
When introducing a new language, the author tends to tell you A LOT about the syntax of the language before going into any detail about what you can do with it. The best way to read the book is to have a project in mind as you go through these chapters, and try to incorporate new concepts as they come up. Of course, this will probably make your project a mess by the time it's done, but in the end it's a learning exercise. The book is full of code snippets to demonstrate functionality, but a bit lacking in what I would call real-world examples (until the last chapter).
In conclusion, I may not buy another book on PHP and MySQL for a long time. This one is thorough enough that I can find my way around and find anything else I need with online reference guides. But I think, conceptually, the JS section falls down a bit. Still, after I pick up a more basic JS guide, I'll likely keep this one around because of level of detail it goes into.
The chapter on CSS3 was also a great way to get up to speed on the latest additions to that whole thing.
The explanations are quick and to the point and the author uses an informal tone which I like.
As a first book on all of the topics included the book will seem too short on explanations and therefore it's not for absolute beginners in web programming. As a refresher or complimentary reading the book is great.
If you are an absolute beginner I'd suggest Larry Ullman's books because the tempo and the learning curve are lower in his introductory books.
One last important thing - the last chapter of the book is devoted to the practical application of all the topics covered and a full working example of dynamic website creation is given.
The only section that worked for me was the section on MySQL. It was similarly cursory, but I didn't find that I needed more until much later.
I suppose that if you just want a website that only needs the most basic input and output, this book would suit you.
My only gripe is that it seems like the 2012 update only chapters on CSS.
This book still uses PHP's (I believe) deprecated procedural mysql_connect() instead of teaching the object oriented MySQL improved mysqli or or the PDO ORM.
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