Definitely not for beginners, the book has complete PHP coding examples for common web programming projects. The author seems to know his stuff and many of his solutions are thorough and elegant. That said, however, the code being offered has errors, with the code in the book being more correct than the downloadable version. Beware that if you use the code in this book as a basis for your projects, you will hit a brick wall or two until you work through the errors. After using the code in Chapter 1, I felt the book was "rushed" to publication because of the errors I found. Since many of the errors were in the downloadable version of the code, you would think somebody would correct this, so that new owners of the book would stop downloading buggy code.
The WROX website has user forums for their books. Check the one for this book and you will get a taste of what's to come. ([...])
I like the book and used the login scripts in Chapter 1 as a basis for the admin login for my website. I would think that a 2nd edition would be an opportunity to correct the errors and add addtional PHP code examples.
Someone new to both PHP and MySQL might ask, why this combination? Why should I learn both in tandem? Because, as the authors explain, in many practical situations this duo is used by programmers; especially for web applications. This is really an implicit subtitle for the book. What you learn here is that PHP and MySQL live for the web.
The chapters are characterised by application examples all devoted to the web. As in writing web pages for a community forum. The pages are coded in PHP, and the data created by users is then stored in a MySQL backend database. This overall method is followed in other examples. The PHP code samples seem easy to understand. The language has been found, or more accurately, it has been revved into its current version, such that much code is indeed easy to write and understand, and not just the text's examples.
To be sure, the book is not about the theory of relational databases. Only the simplest of tables is used within MySQL. Yes, there is discussion about the tables used in each example. But it is really limited, to anyone who knows the subject. For a comprehensive usage of MySQL, you do need to look elsewhere.
One chapter, on shopping cart code, complements a recent book on e-commerce, Wiley Pathways E-Business (Wiley Pathways). It spoke to non-programmers about the travails of starting an e-commerce website. A requirement was for a shopping cart. One way is to hire a programmer. Expensive. But if you are that programmer, consider looking at the extended example offered in the current text. It is extensive enough that it could be used as a code base for your task.
Don't buy this book if you're not a pro or should I say; somebody who's using PHP like comfortably driving a car.(know his/ her way around). This is another book written by somebody who have drive far, far and reach his destination but 70% forgot (or didn't know?) how to lead (teach) people to where he's at.