This is a great book for someone learning to use PHP and MySQL. It assumes the reader already knows basic HTML. The book is easy to read and understand. The topics it covers gives the reader a good grounding of the basics, enough to create a reasonably sophisticated web application. The stuff it leaves out is not essential to know, and can be left for when the reader steps up to more complicated applications. Information is well organised and easy to navigate. The two web application examples towards the back of the book are also excellent to learn from. They're very good at demonstrating techniques described in earlier chapters. One potential difficulty someone might have is with the explanation of relational database design. Someone without any past knowledge of relational databases might find the book's explanation a bit light. Designing relational databases isn't terribly complicated, but has its tricky bits. Another thing I liked about this book is how it helped me set up the appropriate software on my computer so it all worked cleanly together.
Starts good and gets lost in the middle2003/3/2
Had I written this review whilst reading the first chapters of the book I would have given it 5 stars. The steps how to install MySQL and the PHP installation went very smoothly following the book. I even found setup tips for MySQL that I had previously search for on the web/forums without results. I found I was leaning PHP & MySQL very quickly. The middle of the book has more general info using various examples, but nothing really useful to tryout. The book gets up to speed in chapter 11. I felt I was leaning something again. Learn you must, you need to know what you're doing so you can correct the mistakes in code. Chapter 12, even more mistakes. This time I took the lazy way and downloaded the corrected code from the author's site only to find it was still incorrect. Maybe the mistakes in the code have actually helped, whilst solving the errors I have found lots of useful info for PHP & MySQL. My roundup: The start of the book is good for a PHP beginner, with useful setup info. It's weak in the middle. The last part, the main reason to buy the book tends to go too quickly not explaining details that would help a beginner. It's a shame the book's wasn't checked a little better.
Great for beginners2002/11/2
When I bought this book I was looking to create dynamic web pages, and had begun using Perl/CGI. I happened to come across the PHP manual on the net, and was amazed. I did not know much about PHP, and had never used mySQL so I wanted an entry-level book, and was lucky enough to purchase this one. The authors did a wonderful job introducing me to both PHP and mySQL. The book takes you through building a members only site, and an e-commerce site. Unlike many books I have read all code is well commented, and uses only topics already introduced and explained, so it is never hard to follow. I recommend reading the PHP chapter before the mySQL chapter, even though it comes after, then going back to the database chapter. Anyway you read it though it is a perfect starting point for learning the two. After reading this you will probably want to read a more advanced book on PHP, and maybe one on mySQL, as many of he less common features of both are left out. But thanks to this book you will feel after 1 week like you could build your own amazon.com.
It's not ideal but suffice for beginner needs.2002/10/25
Good points: 1. Trained me into some of the mindset required. 2. Gave me actual instruction on the many basic database input/output tasks. Full marks. I was reading and writing to a database after reading chapter 8, dedicated to this very interest. 3. For the complex subject that PHP is, the author did fairly well at the task of simplifying it but could not fully succeed. I still don't understand some of the foundation PHP understandings. Bad points: 1. Insufficient explanation of the sample scripts. parts of many scripts were left unexplained. I looked at the scripts in detail. Not everything I saw was explained. But can they be?? 2. For slow learners, the book moves too quickly. 3. Doesn't ease me into the state of being (that I perceive) I need to be in for any development challenge - but is that what this book is for?? Once I knew what database site I wanted to make, I continually found myself getting stuck. In summary, I am pleased I got the book and it has helped me in the task of finding my feet with PHP. However, I now need a more advanced book.
Good Reading, Good Reference2004/11/28
Thomas D. Webster
Ms. Valade's book is a solid intro to the dynamic duo of PHP & MySQL, with an excellent running example throughout the book to bring it all together. Although it's difficult to write a book that's both readable cover-to-cover AND accessible for quick-lookup references when you need them, this one does well at both. After reading the book, I converted one of my web sites from static HTML to PHP and MySQL, and collapsed the number of pages from around 450 to under 50 ( [...] ).
I've read the other reviews of this book, and it's unfair to beat up on the book for Amazon's quirks. Make sure you order the current edition (the 2002 edition is, as you'd expect, woefully out of date, but Amazon will gladly sell it to you if you let them). And it's not Ms. Valade's fault if download of the e-book doesn't work.
It's been my experience that Ms. Valade is responsive to e-mails, so if you have a beef with Amazon, complain to Amazon. If you have questions about the book, Ms. Valade has a good track record for helpful responses.