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Murach's PHP and MySQL (Murach: Training & Reference) Paperback – November 23, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


I am a self-taught developer, and my bookshelf is a sea of royal blue Murach texts. Nothing comes close to them for clear explanations and excellent real-world demos. --Phil Holbrook, IT Manager

About the Author

Joel Murach has been writing and editing books about computer programming for over 10 years. During that time, he has written extensively on a wide range of Java, .NET, web, and database technologies. When he's not programming or writing books about programming, he can be found surfing or writing music.

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Product Details

  • Series: Murach: Training & Reference
  • Paperback: 840 pages
  • Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates; First Printing edition (November 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890774561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890774561
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Salter on January 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've now read 3 of the Murach's titles - Java 6, Servlets and JSP, and now PHP and MySQL, and I've loved each one.

I have to say I love the Murach's style and organization, along with the clear, easy to understand writing. The organization of having descriptive text on the left side of the seam, and code samples and bullet points on the right side is perfect for both the newbie and the experienced alike, both as a step by step tutorial, and as a very convenient reference for professionals.

As for this particular title, we have a programming language that is pretty easy (PHP), and we also have an overall web platform and database. So the book has to explain general web programming and the difference between client side programming and server side programming, and the http messages that go between the two. And it has to explain database programming and in particular, MySQL, and then how PHP interacts with it. Finally, the book has to explain Apache and what it does as a web server. Then, the book has to tie it all together as a comprehensive whole, presenting it as an overall platform, and explain how to set up a development environment (nice choice in using XAMPP combined with NetBeans with the PHP plugin). It does all of this with the greatest of ease and logical flow, making it exceedingly easy for the newbie and the experienced alike to get up and running quickly, and have a thorough understanding of the the overall technologies.

Then, as an added bonus, and sadly missing in a lot of PHP/MySql books, is thorough coverage of the MVC design pattern, which any web application of any decent size and functionality should implement in one form or another.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Rob Spoor on February 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book follows the Murach style - on the left pages there is text, on the right pages there are screen shots, code snippets, and short summaries of the text on the left. For experienced programmers it's tempting to skip the entire left pages and focus on the right pages only.

The book seems to be aimed at absolute beginners, as evidenced by the quite basic 6 chapter introduction. After that you'll learn the essentials of PHP and SQL. For experienced programmers there won't be much new information, but beginners will have a field day with these chapters. The book ends with some more advanced topics: security and authentication, sending emails, file handling and image processing.

The book promises that you will "master" both PHP and MySQL. To be honest, it doesn't live up to that promise. It's good for beginners but it doesn't go far enough to call yourself a "master" afterwards. Several topics are handled too briefly, especially regular expressions and database normal forms. These are quite advanced topics yet they take up only 16 and 10 pages respectively. That's simply not enough. Another major flaw is the handling of SQL injection. It's mentioned briefly only once with the suggestion to search the Internet for more information. Given the lack of parameter validation in some examples I fear for security on web sites based on this book alone. One single page pair on the subject would probably have been enough.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of JavaRanch.com. This review has previously been submitted to JavaRanch.com.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark McWilliams on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent language tutorial and reference on PHP. I'm a big fan of all of Murach's books and this one is no exception. As a C# developer, I needed a book that would clear up the sometimes confusing syntax of PHP without requiring me to wade through a lot of concepts I already understood. This book does exactly that. Murach's unique style of putting explanations on each left page and corresponding examples on each right page is ingeniously simple yet amazingly effective. I frequently scan the sample page first and only read the explanation page when I need further clarification. However the explanation page is always there if you need it. The result is a very fast read. Also, the editing is superb. So far, I haven't encountered any errors in the sample source. Excellent book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amir Saeed on October 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm studying on my own to be a web developer(both front and back end) and I'm able to do that today because there's just an ocean of resources available now more than ever on the web(tutorials, videos, forums, free online courses, source code, etc.) which will allow me to become well versed with a number of tools/languages/frameworks along the LAMP stack from HTML and CSS to Javascript(jQuery and Ajax) to PHP/MySQL to Ubuntu/Centos Server Deployment and Management. Now that I've become well acquainted with HTML and CSS, and starting to have solid understanding of Javascript(jQuery), I thought I'd seek out a PHP/MySQL book. I ended buying this book because of the many glowing reviews especially for getting beginners up and running with PHP/MySql, turns out that ain't the case at all. Now I'm sure the authors were well intentioned but being a beginner is a relative concept particularly when it comes to learning new programming languages. Person A could have 5+ years of C++ or RoR or Python or ASP.Net experience under their belt but is a beginner to PHP/MySQL and at the same time Person B could be like someone in my shoes, who's moving along from HTML/CSS to Javascript(jQuery/AJAX/etc...) and is also a beginner to PHP/MySQL. This book seems to be a "beginner" book geared towards Person A, because it's more about how to get things done than explaining the concepts behind them. Although this book is collecting some dust right now, but I'm not going to trash it completely because I think there's a lot to be learned from it but that's after reading a book like PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide or Beginning PHP 5.3(Wrox), basically a true beginner book otherwise you'll be left clueless and frustrated. Hope that helps.
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