Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Excellent book - poor publishing (1st & 2nd edition)
on May 7, 2003
* Note: I refer here to both the first and second edition *
This is the book I purchased to get started on server-side scripting; it probably says "user-level intermediate-advanced" to avoid lawsuits; I had no prior knowledge of server-side programming, and no trouble understanding.
It is divided in four logical parts:
(1) PHP tutorial
(2) MySQL tutorial
(3) General discussion on server-side scripting & e-commerce (very interesting)
This book does an excellent job at explaining PHP & MySQL to the beginner, and goes much beyond the frustrating "intermediate" level where similar books often stop. It assumes a working knowledge of HTML, which everyone interested in this book already has in all likelihood.
It is cleverly written, clear and concise. The authors share their extensive experience with the reader, notably in the third part where common pitfalls are discussed.
The index is well done, which makes this book an excellent desktop reference in addition to being a good tutorial.
The CD contains all the code for the examples, the complete book in searchable PDF, and other goodies like the Apache Server and PHP.
My recommendation: go to phpide.de and download PHPTriad to install & configure Apache/PHP/MySQL on your PC, or have someone knowledgeable do it manually for you to avoid headaches.
The only reason I can't give five stars to the first or second edition is the number of mistakes/typos in the code examples. The upload code doesn't work, PDF generation uses obsolete functions even in the second edition, etc.
Although most of the code supplied as example functions properly, it is annoying to know that a book written to teach you to program contains errors in the programming examples.
The second edition adds a chapter about XML and removes outdated URLs. Otherwise, it is the same book (including code typos).
Combined with the PHP & MySQL manuals available for download from their respective sites, allow a week or two of reading and you should have everything needed to start working.
All things considered, I strongly recommend this book.
PS: if your heart balances between ASP & PHP for server-side, consider that more servers are PHP-enabled, since it is cheaper (free).
If you want to stay in known terrain and use JScript, than go for ASP.