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Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites [Kindle Edition]

Robin Nixon
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

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  • Print ISBN-10: 1449319262
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-1449319267
  • Edition: 2
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Book Description

Learn how to build interactive, data-driven websites—even if you don’t have any previous programming experience. If you know how to build static sites with HTML, this popular guide will help you tackle dynamic web programming. You’ll get a thorough grounding in today’s core open source technologies: PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS.

Explore each technology separately, learn how to combine them, and pick up valuable web programming concepts along the way, including objects, XHTML, cookies, and session management. This book provides review questions in each chapter to help you apply what you’ve learned.

  • Learn PHP essentials and the basics of object-oriented programming
  • Master MySQL, from database structure to complex queries
  • Create web pages with PHP and MySQL by integrating forms and other HTML features
  • Learn JavaScript fundamentals, from functions and event handling to accessing the Document Object Model
  • Pick up CSS basics for formatting and styling your web pages
  • Turn your website into a highly dynamic environment with Ajax calls
  • Upload and manipulate files and images, validate user input, and secure your applications
  • Explore a working example that brings all of the ingredients together


Editorial Reviews

Review

From the 1st edition:
  • Just get this book... [it] will work like a miracle for you - Abdul Khan, Amazon
  • Excellent! Easy to read, straightforward guide. Already learned several very useful things - Holly, Good Reads
  • Finally a comprehensive resource for HTML users who want to move to the next level - Michael L. Kleper, The Kleper Report

Book Description

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites

Product Details

  • File Size: 7013 KB
  • Print Length: 586 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (August 13, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008XCFLTM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,219 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for absolute beginners, but very good September 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very good resource for learning these topics. It is not for absolute beginners. You need to have a working knowledge of html and how websites work. I suggest that you should have coded a website, and reached a point where you want to do something specific, but cannot figure out how.

I have been checking out every book I can find from my library that covers PHP/MySQL, JavaScript, and HTML/CSS. My wife balked at how many books I had. It was a stack of thick dull texts LITERALLY 5 feet tall. They were all dense, boring, and assumed that I knew things that only a web developer would know. I would read a chapter or two in each before I could go no further.

Out of all of those books, this is the one book I bought.

Now, this is still a thick, dense book. The author tries his best to make the book enjoyable to read. He gives good examples, and immediately explains why he does things this way, how things might be different, what mistakes you might make, and how you would implement this new knowledge. It is this explanation that makes this book worth buying. Every other book will tell you something and move on. I assume that other authors take for granted that they know the why's and how's and such, that they do not want to waste time on details that seem tedious to them. This author really works hard to make the content as easy to understand as possible.

This means that there are parts I am familiar with and skip over. That is fine. For the parts I struggle with, I am very grateful to have all of the expounded information available.

I cannot speak about updates from the 1st edition, since I did not read it. I will most likely buy the next edition, if the changes/additions are substantial. I would like to see more on forms and cookies.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough but accessible introductory book December 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I have been building static websites with HTML/CSS for a while and wanted to see if I could take this skill to the next level. I think this book brought me a long way towards that aim. I would recommend it to anyone who knows AT LEAST basic HTML and preferably has some programming experience as well. You don't have to be a wiz, but it helps if you know the concepts of loops and objects in other languages.

When introducing a new language, the author tends to tell you A LOT about the syntax of the language before going into any detail about what you can do with it. The best way to read the book is to have a project in mind as you go through these chapters, and try to incorporate new concepts as they come up. Of course, this will probably make your project a mess by the time it's done, but in the end it's a learning exercise. The book is full of code snippets to demonstrate functionality, but a bit lacking in what I would call real-world examples (until the last chapter).

The place where this really became a problem, for me at least, was the section on JavaScript. We first spend two chapters going through the JS syntax: loops, variables, arrays, objects, if/else, on and on and on, including things you won't necessarily need for a while like object prototypes (JS and PHP share some common ancestry and so a lot of this feels repeated). The author throws out the concept of the Document Object Model but we don't come back to it for quite a while.

By the time we get a real-world example of where JavaScript is used in actual webpages, it's in the context of form validation. In spite of the lengthly introduction to the language, the code presented is at first incomprehensible.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious improvement from the first edition October 4, 2012
Format:Paperback
I read the first edition of this book and at that time I didn't like it much. Then a week ago I decided to give the second edition a try and I was pleasantly surprised to find the book much better written and much useful.
The explanations are quick and to the point and the author uses an informal tone which I like.

As a first book on all of the topics included the book will seem too short on explanations and therefore it's not for absolute beginners in web programming. As a refresher or complimentary reading the book is great.

If you are an absolute beginner I'd suggest Larry Ullman's books because the tempo and the learning curve are lower in his introductory books.

One last important thing - the last chapter of the book is devoted to the practical application of all the topics covered and a full working example of dynamic website creation is given.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The coverage is spread too thin December 11, 2012
Format:Paperback
This isn't a bad book. It's readable at a level that I could handle when I was just getting started, and it teaches you something about each topic. But I can't help but think that anyone would be better off reading two books, one dedicated to PHP, one dedicated to JavaScript, and then a tutorial dedicated to MySQL.

If you don't know anything about programming, the introduction to PHP is too short to teach you enough to create anything interesting. If you have previously programmed in another language, you'll find the introduction to PHP absurdly short--grab a dedicated book. As for the JavaScript, it's even more cursory. For what this book teaches, go read a tutorial on the language and then read about jQuery--it's what someone who doesn't have a deep knowledge of JavaScript wants to use anyway.

The only section that worked for me was the section on MySQL. It was similarly cursory, but I didn't find that I needed more until much later.

I suppose that if you just want a website that only needs the most basic input and output, this book would suit you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend to any beginner
This is the first book i read when learning web development. In fact after working through a project i had taken on, which i used this book to help me build, I was able to score an... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Anthony saldana
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This is a great desk reference. I use it often.
Published 1 month ago by James MacDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to understand and helpful
I wound up in a position where I was programming in PHP and javascript for one of our web applications and had no experience. I'd learned a couple languages prior. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome
Published 1 month ago by Shen Li
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good reference
Published 3 months ago by Michael M
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great guys to programming....it definitely opened my eyes and helped me conquer my fears!
Published 3 months ago by victoriao1205
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
east to understand
Published 4 months ago by STUDMARK
3.0 out of 5 stars but good for
Not for beginners, but good for novice
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Its a good start, but don't expect a secure site using ...
A descent intro to the topics discussed. However, there are numerous security flaws in the code thats presented. Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge Expanded
The book helped me to expand my knowledge, thank you! I understand PHP, MySQL, JavaScript and CSS more indepth than I did when I was first taught about it and my thirst for... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jennifer Brown
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More About the Author

Robin has over 30 years experience of writing software, and developing websites and apps. He also has an extensive history of writing about computers and technology, with a portfolio of over 500 published magazine articles and almost 30 books, many of which have been translated into other languages. He is also a prolific Internet video course instructor.

As well as IT, his interests include psychology and motivation (which he also writes about), artificial intelligence research, many types of music (both playing and listening to), playing and creating board games, studying philosophy and culture, and enjoying good food and drink (following a 'Paleo' diet, which has resulted in 40 pounds weight loss).

Robin lives on the south-east coast of England (where he writes full time), along with his five children and wife, Julie (a trained nurse and university lecturer). Between them they also foster three disabled children. You can keep up with Robin's (sporadic) posts at robinnixon.com.

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