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on January 10, 2007
I'd worked with some PHP code in the past but I hadn't tied it into a database and was missing that part. However if you haven't touched PHP before this book makes it easy.

The author does a good job of maintaining focus throughout. He walks that fine line between giving out too much information and overwhelming the reader and not enough information which would leave the reader confused. He also tends to ensure the reader understands what the code is doing at a core level, it' not just about syntax. Once you've completed the book you'll have just enough understanding of programming ideals to help you better understand what PHP is about.

When it comes to syntax it's a pretty good reference as well covering most of the key concepts. The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is the last few chapters seem to lack the focus the first 8 or so chapters have. It's as though these chapters are meant as catch alls, a place to put all the ideas the author had but couldn't find how to integrate it into the earlier narrative.

The book also has a great companion website at with very active forums full or helpful PHP veterans that are only too happy to help with any question. Overall I've been very happy with this book and have bought more books from this publisher (sitepoint) on other topics based on the experience I had with this book.

Tip: to skip the part about installing PHP and MySQL download the Xampp service, you'll be glad you did. (just google xampp)
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on March 3, 2004
This book is the first tutorial that actually GOT me there. I was able to set up my G3 266 running OS X (that's right kids, 10.2.8) and get Apache set up right, MySQL installed, tested and working securely and PHP connected up. When I got my first test page working and pulled my first record up, I came to the realization that the instructions in the book worked. Exactly right. First time. Well-written, well-formatted and CLEAR. The Mac section had everything I needed. When I began doing the exercises, I began to dread typing in all the code - then I finally keyed on the CODE ARCHIVE!!!! No CDs to screw around with - just go to the site, punch in some numbers and BINGO, complete set of files, ready to use. Gotta love that. I'm confident now, having finally gotten over the 'hump' of setting up my system and UNDERSTANDING what I was doing, that I'll be able to build database-driven sites with good insight.
I strongly recommend this title.
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on July 8, 2004
If Marja (from Amsterdam) knew any thing about PHP or programming for that matter he or she would know that it is not nessecary to declare variables before calling them in PHP! Kevin's book is auwsome; I learned so much from it, infact I couldn't have built my last ten sites with out it.
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on June 6, 2004
Thank god the 1st 4 chapters of this book are free. As I need to build a website using mysql & php, I thought this book would be exactly what I needed. I already know sql & html and only needed to know php and how to connect the three. Unfortunately none of the code in the book actually works. Having programmed before I know you cannot call variables without declaring them first (quite a stupid mistake for someone who calls hiself a glorious leader). changing a method from get to post can't really be done that way either!!!
I would have expected Kevin to have at least checked his code before publising. All in all quite a useless book, specially for a beginner. Not worth 1 star but Amazon doesn't allw 0 stars.
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