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Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL Paperback – January 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0957921818 ISBN-10: 0957921810

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sitepoint (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957921810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957921818
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,585,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 131 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am an absolute beginner when it comes to php/mysql, so my review should be helpful to the majority of people considering this book. I decided to buy it after reading the positive reviews here, and while I don't wholefully regret buying it, I can certainly tell you it's not worth the $35 cost.
Very first thing you should know about this book is that it's incredibly thin and small- about the size of your printer's manual, if you have one of those. So small in fact, I wasn't sure it was the book when I first received it (thought it was a booklet that came with the book). The 230 page count doesn't do this book's minute size justice.
The book is written completely in a top-bottom, tutorial fashion. It builds on a single example for the most part, first telling you how to view and define your database, then slowly populate and manipulate the tables inside. Such a style means that it's hard to get left behind, even if you're the absolute beginner and non-geek. Bottom line, I did learn how to create a database and add to it dummy values using PHP through this book. If that's your stumbling block- the absolute first step- this book will help you overcome it. The book's top-bottom/single example style is its allure, though ultimately, its fatal flaw too.
Now to elaborate on the reasons why "Build your own database driven site (php/mysql)" isn't all that great, and not worth the $[money]:
1) From the get-go, you can obviously tell it wasn't put together in a professional setting- lots of spelling mistakes, unprofessional font (for the example codes). "Not a big deal" I told myself as I worked my way through. However, I quickly realized the book doesn't even contain an INDEX at the end!
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on November 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'd like to recommend this book because there is a lot going for it. The text is readable. The illustrations and screenshots are well done. And the book presents a nice learning curve from beginner to reasonably high level concepts. But the book has some technical flaws that other beginning PHP books do not. An example is the authors use of SQL, a primary feature of this type of book, which is implemented using string concatenation. This type of SQL is not only inefficient, it's also prone to SQL injection attacks which means that any code based on this book will have serious security issues.

There are some very good parts, however. The chapter that introduces relational databases is very well done.

I recommend O'Reilly's Learning PHP 5 as an alternative to this book.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Meryl K. Evans on February 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is for those who like step-by-step directions accompanied by explanations of how things work. I learned many things using this approach. This book is a stepping stone to creating dynamic Web sites.

Yank does a fine job covering a little of everything without overpowering the reader with too much. Anyone who has experimented with Perl, PHP, ASP.NET, MySQl, Access, some of them or all of them will like the book. Those who can write PHP and MySQL with little help need to find a more advanced book (don't have suggestions, but I am sure others do).

I rarely ran into problems while following the examples. I've worked with other technical books and hit a brick wall at times requiring a call for help or serious research. While working with this book, I only got stuck once and immediately figured out the problem with a little research.

Yank uses visual aids and avoids jargon when explaining the process of laying out the database tables. A reviewer commented that Yank missed important concepts regarding databases. This book is not meant to go into such details. There are other books for that.

This book is well-rounded in covering all the necessary components of building a Web site using a database. While adding data, viewing tables, and querying the database, you're learning tasks that will come in handy for future projects.

Not only do you get instructions for PHP and MySQL, but also advice on structuring code so that it's used effectively.

If you've never installed Apache, PHP, or MySQL or can't recall how to do it, the steps for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X are in the first chapter. Since the latest edition covers PHP 5, the author addresses the differences in PHP 4.3.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Kerry DeMatteis on September 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Author Kevin Yank states up front that this book is intended for intermediate- to advanced-level Web designers. I think this is an appropriate designation, as a beginner would quickly become overwhelmed at the rate with which Yank introduces such heady topics as Relational Database Design (Chapter 5) and Regular Expressions (Chapter 7). It's important to note that this book is an introduction to server-side technologies, not web site design; therefore, I recommend that the reader have experience with creating web sites and with client-side coding (HTML, JavaScript). Consider the pace: Chapters 1-3 of the book cover installation, your first MySQL database, and your first PHP page. Then by Chapter 6, the reader is coding a (admittedly rudimentary) content-management system!

Is this book for you? Consider that for the price, you get a basic introduction to a broad number of topics: 1) PHP installation, 2) MySQL installation, 3) relational database design, 4) using server-side programming to reduce client-side coding, 5) database administration, 6) writing effective SQL queries, 7) structured programming techniques, such as using includes, and 8) implementing cookies and sessions. If you are already comfortable with at least half of the topics in this list, then you are probably ready to graduate to a more in-depth book than this one. If much of this sounds new to you, then you will find Yank's book an excellent introduction. Yank writes as if he was a friendly tour guide, at each step of the way walking you through what he has done and why he chose to do it that way. Because the style is so conversational, it's easy to go back and re-read a chapter, which many readers might find themselves doing.
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