Learning PHP and MySQL
Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Database Driven Web Sites
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: June 2006
Pages: 384

The PHP scripting language and MySQL open source database are quite effective independently, but together they make a simply unbeatable team. When working hand-in-hand, they serve as the standard for the rapid development of dynamic, database-driven websites. This combination is so popular, in fact, that it's attracting many programming newbies who come from a web or graphic design background and whose first language is HTML. If you fall into this ever-expanding category, then this book is for you.

Learning PHP and MySQL starts with the very basics of the PHP language, including strings and arrays, pattern matching and a detailed discussion of the variances in different PHP versions. Next, it explains how to work with MySQL, covering information on SQL data access for language and data fundamentals like tables and statements. Finally, after it's sure that you've mastered these separate concepts, the book shows you how to put them together to generate dynamic content. In the process, you'll also learn about error handling, security, HTTP authentication, and more.

If you're a hobbyist who is intimidated by thick, complex computer books, then this guide definitely belongs on your shelf. Learning PHP and MySQL explains everything--from basic concepts to the nuts and bolts of performing specific tasks--in plain English.

Part of O'Reilly's bestselling Learning series, the book is an easy-to-use resource designed specifically for newcomers. It's also a launching pad for future learning, providing you with a solid foundation for more advanced development.

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oreillyLearning PHP and MySQL
 
1.3

(based on 21 reviews)

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  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

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  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (17)

25%

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Reviewed by 21 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

good book

By Anita H

from St. Louis

About Me Developer, Sys Admin

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

    this is a good informative book. i feel that most people leaving poor feedback to do not have enough experience.

    if your brain cannot work around typos stop reading books.

    everyone might want to do themselves a favor and get an ide like Aptana Studio or Eclipse that validates/debugs php as well

    anyone having issues installing a wamp stack with xampp should go to xampp's site for more information. its super simple. if you cant figure that out this book is not for you.

    mac users learn your OS before flaming. maybe get some books on unix and your os. you need to learn to walk before you run.

    another option, buy a domain name like a .info and get some cheap hosting somewhere. there are places that sell hosting packages for as little as 3.00 to 4.00 a month. this way you dont have to configure anything. all you have to do is use the shiny buttons in the control panel your hosting company gives you. that would be the easiest thing for most of you.

    php and mysql cannot really truly be covered in one book. this book is intended to show someone the simplest of php and mysql and thats about it.

    want to start simple? go to w3schools.com they have alot of basic informative information as well. remember your search engine is your best friend.

    (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    This book is not helpful

    By mike

    from arlington, VA

    Pros

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

        I cannot even get past chapter 2 in the book. The instructions for installing PHP and MYSQL on my computer are hard to follow.

        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Where is the packet that goes with book?

        By JustinTime

        from Raleigh, NC

        Pros

          Cons

          • Difficult to understand

          Best Uses

            Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

            Usually not a problem to find the material that is used with the book but I can't find it for this book.

            (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            Don't Judge a Book by its Publisher

            By Rhopr

            from Santa Clara, CA

            About Me Sys Admin

            Pros

              Cons

              • Too many errors

              Best Uses

                Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

                Adding my own $0.02 worth: This book set me back several days, as I tried to troubleshoot my installation of PHP, as I had followed the instructions in the book. I blame myself, for succumbing to the assumption that any book published by O'Reilly would be accurate, useful and pleasant to read. Three strikes, this book is OUT! Even after making the dozens of corrections in the errata page, the book reads as though written by someone who does not have an elementary grasp of English grammar. My advice to other newbies: Forget chapter 2, and install XAMPP. The installation went flawlessly on my Windows 7 box, and I wound up with Apache, PHP, and MySQL all installed and working together; with Filezilla and some other goodies thrown in for good measure. Lessons learned: a corrolary to the adage, "Dont judge a book by its cover", replacing the word "cover" with "publisher". Also to take with a grain of salt, "Media Praise", especially from these reviewers who actually praised this piece of garbage. [...]

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                New to PHP and MySQL

                By ToroDre

                from Undisclosed

                Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

                I have browsed several PHP books and found each lacking basic information. The other books assume understanding by the reader of some of the simple things. :: .$vvv. class extend even what is in the [ ] what that means What does [0] in a loop do? This book covers those really basic definitions and explanations. I did notice the code did not seem right and definitely is confusing. I recommend using more than one book at different levels to force feed yourself through exposure and validate code information oneself to gain a better handle on all the things that PHP can do. This book is good at verbal explanations not so good at first time code to try. Go to other references for the coding. Forums and the web. It is even mentioned, recommended in the beginning of this book. So, for the beginner trying to sort out definitions and simple code starts this is a good place to start.

                (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Geez... Did anyone edit this?

                By Matthew Hale

                from Undisclosed

                Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

                I'm trying to learn PHP and MYSQL, and I have loved every other O'Reilly book I've read, so I didn't hesitate to order Learning PHP & MySQL. I should have read the reviews. Although the structure and general strategy for teaching seems sound, there are SOOOOO many errors and awkward sentences it's unbelievable. When I started working my way through it I printed out the errata pages, and just today I got stuck on a page. After an hour or so of frustration I came back to the errata listing online, and there are NEW entries. So if you do buy this one, and get stuck, check back often!

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Very disappointing

                By joe_exp

                from Undisclosed

                Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

                Don't know where to begin; There's typos all over the place; PHP scripts don't work the way they are printed in the book; It's like know was proof-reading this book; Very frustrating experience. Wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy!

                 
                1.0

                Slogging through it

                By barry

                from Undisclosed

                Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

                I, too, have read and recommended the O'Reilly series as the best for all levels of novice and expert. However, this book is poorly written/edited, and I don't just mean technically. Aside from many code errors, the sentences themselves are often awkward and confusing. I've only read a few chapters so far, but I'm slogging through it because I want the information that the book promises, and there seem to be other readers who have gotten something out of it. Fortunately, I know enough to be able to tell when the book is being confusing. I would feel bad for a beginner to pick up the book and feel that the subject is too hard to understand, when it's really the language and organization of the information that is hard to understand. I compare it especially to the last O'Reilly book I just read, "Learning SQL", which was clear, concise, friendly, and moved along nicely from topic to topic. This current book seems to jump around from place to place, where each coding example doesn't follow from the one before it. I'm hoping that the book may be redeemed by some of its later chapters.

                 
                1.0

                Well below the usual O'Reilly good quality

                By rhicReader

                from Undisclosed

                Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

                I have bought many O'Reilly books in my time and generally find them to be good to excellent in quality. This is the first O'Reilly book which I would not recommend to a friend. The previous reviews have already pointed out the problems. As an example, I found this WWW site in the introduction (page xii) which indicated that there would be "listed errata, examples, ..." The errata are here, but where are the examples which would save one typing? So instead of reading about examples, I will write a review and possibly help some other Mac OS users who bought the book.

                As one reviewer has already remarked, the Mac OS user is poorly served by the meager instructions in the "tip" on page 23 about getting PHP to load in the Apache configuration file. I never did manage to find the httpd.conf file, not at least until I went to a PHP5 web site (http://www.entropy.ch/software/macosx/php/) which told me all I needed to know about installing the newer PHP5 and pointed out where the httpd.conf file is located (/etc/httpd/httpd.conf) for Apache in the Mac system. Turns out that this PHP5 installation, replacing PHP4, automatically sets up Apache for accepting php files, and it was better not to have modified that httpd.conf anyway.

                No point in recounting the errors, but I would advise users of the book to print out the error pages, to avoid unneeded head-scratching. My own favorite error is the Figure 3-3 on page 39 which attempts to illustrate the scoping idea (I already knew this concept as a C++ progammer) . The variable $age=30 is assigned, and then a "Birthday() function is schematically indicated with an $Age=1 assignment. Lastly there is an echo $Age command. Just two pages previously the text points out that variables in PHP (as in C/C++/Perl, but not Fortran for those who remember) are case sensitive. So these are two different variables, and scoping would not matter. The top pointing arrow in the figure ("Value of $age comes from here") is somewhat poorly aligned, but seems to refer to the $age variable, while the bottom arrow refers to the $Age variable. So the figure really doesn't make the point about scoping (two different variables) and has an error in the $echo of an undefined variable.

                Clearly O'Reilly's proof readers and editors were asleep when checking his book. If there is ever a second, improved edition, I would like a free copy.

                (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Couldn't get off the ground on a Mac.

                By Douglas Cleary

                from Undisclosed

                Comments about oreilly Learning PHP and MySQL:

                I am not a novice programmer, but I am trying to expand the areas of my knowledge. Upon recommendations of others, I have decided to learn PHP and especially how it integrates MySQL. On the shelf at Borders, this looked like an excellent choice. It seemed to be an easy introduction to PHP and promised to provide a balanced discussion of Win, Mac & Linux differences.

                Once home I pulled out my MacBook (2007) and went through chapter one and started chapter 2. The issue of installing Apache was simple. It comes pre-installed on Macs. Moving on to installing PHP I skimmed over the 3 pages on Win installation info until I got to this sentence:

                "If you are on Mac OS X, you have PHP preinstalled on your computer. You need to edit the Apache Configuration file to enable PHP in much the same way you edited the PC file." [p. 23, para. 4]

                That was the entire discussion of installation (or should I say activation) of PHP on a Mac. I flipped back the three pages and put on my rusty Win hat and read the section in detail. I tried to use Spotlight to find "httpd.conf" but to no avail. (Apparently this file is hidden from Spotlight, a small detail the author might have wished to include.) The suggestion that it is "typically found in C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache2\conf\" was not very help to a Mac user. I spent the next hour and a half looking for the right directories and files with no success. I then thought to look on the O'Reilly site to see if there was an errata sheet that might provide guidance. There was none! However, there were numerous reviews and they were all bad.

                I am not going to demand O'Reilly give me my money back. Instead, I'm heading back to Borders right now and return it. Maybe I'll buy one of three other titles that had good reviews (for those looking something else they are PHP Cookbook, Learning PHP5, & Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL.) Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll try one of the other publishers' book. However, the editor who approved this book should be fired.

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