on April 15, 2006
It's a very light book, slightly taller than your average paper back, weighing in at only 181 pages. In those pages the authors have managed to cram in lots of different types of information: From a basic introduction to the relational database model, to basic administration information, to query design and code examples in C, PHP & Perl. That's a lot of information for such a tiny book, so necessarily the coverage is brief. Fortunately the authors managed to hone in on the information from each section that would be most useful to the reader, and concentrate on that.
The "phrases" the book introduces deal are basically short little answers to questions that come up frequently when working with MySQL (I might say that a Phrasebook Sam's pocketbook version of O'Reilly's cookbooks). Starting off with basic things like select queries, and moving up to cross table queries (incidentally I finally understand the difference between an inner and outer join). It also goes into performance tips, server administration, and backups.
If you're already well versed in the world of MySQL, this isn't the book for you. However, if you're anything like me, someone who uses MySQL a lot for a few basic things but doesn't really know much beyond that, this book will be a good addition to your reference library. If you're just getting started with MySQL this book isn't going to teach you everything you know, but will help answer some questions for you along the way.
Overall I'd recommend this book to most of my friends.
on September 13, 2006
I got my hands on several copies of the new Phrasebook series from Developer's Library back in April 2006 but as they were intended as handouts at my conference talks, I could not hold onto them long enough to review them. I've since managed to hold onto a copy of the MySQL Phrasebook long enough to review it and consider it worth the wait.
The MySQL Phrasebook makes a useful companion for a beginning MySQL administrator or developer looking for a guide that can be carried along wherever they happen to be coding. It comes with a useful overview of the MySQL architecture followed by useful information organized by use-case.
There are useful chapters on APIs, advanced queries and troubleshooting that I found particularly nice. As an occasional developer, having a simple sample PHP script is usually all I need to reference when developing and I was happy to see that the included example was written against the mysqli provider instead of the older mysql provider.
In addition to being quite useful, the price is certainly right at at list of $14.99 (less on Amazon). At just over 150 pages in pocket format I wouldn't expect to pay much more, but I'm happy to see that the price is reasonable.
This phrasebook, along with its PHP and Apache companions, will certainly accompany me on future coding trips where other reference materials would prove too bulky.
on August 23, 2008
This book is pretty nice. It's fairly handy. However, I'm inclined to group it in the beginner-intermediate range (not that it's advertised otherwise).
The majority of the times that I've picked it up to investigate things that I wasn't sure about/had never attempted, I failed to find them in the index. Thumbing through the book to find various things I find a proliferation of information that any experienced user (note--I've only been using MySQL for a year now) will almost certainly not need to look up.
Don't get me wrong, it is a very useful book; it's just that most of the times I reach for it, I find myself disappointed and getting another book or looking online.