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MySQL Reference Manual

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: MySQL Reference
Comment: This is simply the printed version of the online documentation. This is very handy to have when you are not in front of your keyboard. I use the printed and online versions equally. The layout of the printed version is not the best by any means. Used in conjunction with the online documentation, you will find what you need though. This book should be on any PHP/MySQL programmer's shelf.

Customer Rating: 3
Summary: As stated earlier, complete but poorly organised...
Comment: This book is the printed version of the online documentation available through the MySQL site. It is the definitive version of documentation for MySQL, but it is also left wanting. The authors, two of the principle programmers of MySQL, provide comprehensive coverage of all aspects of MySQL.
That being said, one of the biggest problem with this book is not its subject coverage, but its organization. Most technical books begin with installation instructions, or a brief overview of the software's purpose and the need it addresses and then moves into technical subjects. This one spends the first 10% telling you why you should use MySQL, and only then does it start delving into technical matters.
Skipping past that, the book's other big shortcoming is that it's biased towards a Unix mindset. Granted, the software was developed on Unix and the largest portion of deployments are on *nix. However, as a long-time Windows user with little *nix familiarity, a lot of the material is over my head. If they want Windows users to use MySQL correctly, they're going to have to make it much easier for Windows users/admins to understand.
The one thing I found the book does really well is to teach you exactly how to use MySQL using SQL, and documenting well where MySQL diverges from ANSI SQL compliance. The portion of the book strictly dedicated to teaching the user how to use it is well-written and thorough, I wish the rest of the manual was written this well.

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: Complete, but poorly organized
Comment: A paper copy of the manual can be most useful, since I, like most people, find it hard to wade through an online manual.

But there is one area in which the online form is more useful: searching. By opening the MySQL manual in a text editor, one can search it, making the poor organization of the manual less of a problem.

The printed copy suffers from the same poor organization (indeed, it is the same as - or very, very close to - the online manual) but without the ameliorating factor of searchability. The index is not very good, but even if it was better, the scattering of information throughout the book would make for lengthy index entries.

Take security for example. What is the recommended process for securing a fresh MySQL installation? Start at the Table of Contents: Aha! 4.3 "MySQL User Account Management" Sounds promising. P. 249. GRANT and REVOKE Syntax? Not what I had in mind. I just want to know about the right way to secure the system and create new users. Back to the Contents. 2.4 "Post-Installation Setup and Testing" P.113. Nope, nothing there.

Last resort: The index. Security, against hackers, p.227. Nope. But that page is in section 4.2 "General Security Issues and the MySQL Access Privilege System." Now that sounds like it. Start reading section 4.2.1 on p. 224... "If you are able to connect successfully to the server without being asked for a password, you have problems! ... Review the MySQL installation instructions..." I thought I just did that. Now I know the secret is burried in the installation instructions. Back to Chapter 2. Still no dice.

Give up and install phpMyAdmin.

While I don't doubt that the answers to this and a myriad other questions are in there somewhere, the poor structure of the book makes it extremely hard to find anything.

A complete rewrite would do the trick.