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PHP and MySQL Web Development, Second Edition

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List Price: $49.99
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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 3.84

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Highly Recommended
Comment: I have used various programming books in the past and this one is the best. It is easy to read and understand, but is advanced enough to allow the reader to develop some powerful online applications.

Unlike many other PHP books, this book doesn't waste time listing every single possible PHP command. Instead, the reader becomes immediately involved in tutorials which allow him/her to practice new concepts and figure some stuff out of his/her own.

The most vaulable part of the book is Section V. Here, the authors have developed projects which solve typical scenerios to which a programmer may be charged. They methodically establish the problem, develop a flow-chart-aided plan, and produce all of the code necessary to implement the solution. Projects include a user authentication system, a shopping cart, and a content management system.

Personally, I was hired to create a website with dynamically generated content stored on a database. Having no database experience and little programming experience, I found this book both accessible and advanced enough for my needs.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Best book on PHP/MySQL for beginners - intermed
Comment: This book is simply great. I read the first edition about 10 months ago when I was a total beginner to PHP and MySQL (although I had taken a database course and knew some Java). This book basically got me up to speed on how to program in PHP. What's better, my database skills were packed with a lot of theory and not too much practical application and this book had a chapter that gave an excellent overview of general database concepts.

The first half of the book--basically teaching you PHP and MySQL--is great on its own. But then the 2nd half is excellent, too. They have tutorials on how to program the most common web applications: a shopping cart, a message board system, a content management system. I used this book as my primary referecne when developing my first versions of a content management system and e-commerce system and the results turned out quite well.

It's a shame that no one has reviewed the 2nd edition of this book because if you look at the entry for the first edition, you'll see it received over 100 reviews giving it 4.5 stars.

One word of caution about this book: they seem to forget to mention the concept of superglobals, but just look it up through Google and you'll easily get up to speed. Also, for advanced users, this book might be a decent reference but is probably a little too elementary. Maybe Professional PHP4 might be better for advanced users, although that book has some problems of its own.

Customer Rating: 3
Summary: This book versus the new O'Reilly one
Comment: I bought this a few months back and I found it useful getting started with PHP and MySQL. The problem, though, is that it doesn't go far enough: the material on PDF doesn't actually show you how to write a report from a database or get anything installed, there's almost nothing on advanced MySQL, and just 10 pages on OO programming. I also found the code hard to get going and a bit buggy. The 2nd edition seems to not really have moved with the pace of the area and it left me unsatisfied. In the end, I went in search of another book.

Williams and Lane's new 2nd edition of "Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL" (O'Reilly, 2004) has done it for me. It weighs in at almost 800 pages, a few hundred more than its 1st edition, and it looks like an almost complete rewrite. It covers PDF reporting in depth, installation on Windows and Mac OS X, and has chapters towards the end on PEAR, advanced MySQL, and PHP55 OO features. By the time I bought it, I guess wasn't really a newbie, but I still think it is gentle enough if you're still getting the basics (the first 200 pages or so introduce PHP and MySQL). It's a pretty awesome book, and shows again why O'Reilly are a safe bet (though perhaps it's wise to wait for the 2nd editions, judging by the bugs in the 1st edition of this one).

I reckon both books are worth the money, but if you just want one, then O'Reilly's new book is better.