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on May 9, 2004
If you want an interactive database-based web site without spending hours and hours wading through dozens of books to figure out how to do it, then you will want "Open Source Web Development with LAMP". The book starts with the very basics and proceeds step by step so you can get your web site up as quickly as possible and with a minimum of problems. So what exactly is LAMP? It stands for the four components of a LAMP server - Linux operating system, Apache web server, MySQL database server, and the Perl programming language.
The book is divided into four distinct parts and organized in an unexpected way. Instead of giving each part of LAMP its own section the four sections focus on structure (getting them all up and working together), static web pages (creating and using them), dynamic web pages (getting the pages to do something via Perl and MySQL), and embedded programs (to make the whole system run quicker). Each section covers all the components of LAMP as applied to that section. For example, the structural section examines installation, configuration, security, and basic usage of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Perl. For Perl it includes a discussion of variables, arrays, operators, flow-control, regular expressions, functions, and file input/output. For MySQL it includes working with tables, insert, select, update, and similar basic commands. This is a very well done section and gives all the basic information necessary to get each of the components up and working with each other. The section on static web pages mainly covers the use of Website META Language (WML) to generate a consistent look and feel across all the web pages on the server. The part on dynamic web pages covers CGI and mod-perl so you can process information submitted by an html page or other CGI script. It also includes information on using Perl to access the MySQL server and generate dynamic information. The final section examines embedded programs such as Server Side Includes (SSI), embedded Perl, MASON, and PHP and how they are used to make a faster dynamic web site.
I have to say that I really liked this structure. Once a system is set up it is rare to have to refer to the installation information again. If it were organized by Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl then I would have to flip to what I assume is the appropriate section turn past the installation portion and try to locate what I am looking for. This way, since it is organized by the various stages of getting the system up and running it is easier to find what I want.
The text includes lots of example coding so you can actually write and test it right away. This is a great way to learn the basics. It is not a thorough course in any of the four components but it does give you enough of a background to do most of what you might need to do. Of course, what makes it really valuable is the fact that it covers how to get each of the components to work together without problems. There are good books on each of these components but it is rare to find one that focuses on the interrelationships between them. "Open Source Web Development with LAMP" is highly recommended for anyone who wants to set up a LAMP server or needing to work with one.
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on January 2, 2003
Open Source Development with LAMP (hereafter "OSWB") is the perfect book to learn a wide variety of server technologies that will have you writing useful, clean, fast, and productive websites before you finish reading.
I was one of the technical editors of this book, and was able to watch it evolve as they wrote. The authors have made a huge effort to make the book appropriate for multiple Linux distributions, and they have achieved the highest degree of technical accuracy.
OSWB covers many different technologies, some complementary, some discreet. By showing you many of the possible tools, this book lets you decide which is best for the job at hand.
The theory behind OSWB is that knowledge of 20% of a tool's capabilities will let you accomplish 80% of the tasks you face. OSWB does a superb job of giving the user a sizable introduction to webserver technologies that will be sufficient for most rojects, and tells you where you can get information for advanced needs...This is the first book I know of that has written their website with the exact same tools they teach you in the book, and they offer the entire source of their website for download for your investigation and reference.
The gold in this book is not just the descriptions of how the languages work, but how you can use them singly or together to create interactive websites. Their are many sample projects which let you see how everything fits together, and much of the ode can be adapted immediately to your needs. The book is extremely well integrated and organized.
I have used some of the languages described in this book, while others were completely new to me. I am definitely not a web design person, preferring to write back-end server software. owever while reading OSWB, I was charged with creating a MySQL database with a customizable web interface for my alumni organization. Using only this book and a few perldoc commands, I was able to create an interactive mod_perl website in a few days.
This book offers something to everyone, even advanced web designers. If you are starting out in Web technologies, or are curious about other ways you can get the job done, this is the book for you.
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on February 5, 2003
Open Source Web Development with LAMP is a very long title, but an absolutely killer book. LAMP is Linux (OS), Apache (web server) MySQL (database), Perl and PHP (scripting). This book also includes many languages not covered in other titles. I was particularly glad to see WML (Website Meta Language) which is useful for generating static pages through a robust programming construct. Static pages load faster and without any security concerns that you have with dynamic scripting languages like perl, php, embperl, or mason, all of which are covered extreemly well in this book.
I've been doing web development for about 8 years, which probably makes me pretty old in the business. I've seen the dynamic web content languages from infancy, but I've never seen a good way of learning them until now. OSWD w/ LAMP is absolutely fabulous.
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