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PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide (4th Edition) 4th Edition

144 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321784070
ISBN-10: 0321784073
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Thanks for your interest in this book. Just to be clear, as of October 2011, this book, the fourth edition, is the most current version of my popular "PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide" book. This edition is more current than "PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic Web Sites" (to make a long story short, PHP6 was in beta when I wrote that edition, and then PHP6 failed to happen, with most of its changes ending up in PHP5.3 and 5.4). 

The entire contents of this edition of the book were updated to correspond to version 5.3 of PHP and version 5.5 of MySQL. Approximately 50% of the material requires version 5 or later of PHP, mostly because the book only uses the Improved MySQL functions, added in PHP 5 and MySQL 4.1. Another 10% or so of the material requires version 5.3 of PHP, although in those instances, I do provide alternative code for earlier versions of the language.
In terms of what's new, there are three entirely new chapters. Chapter 6: Database Design takes some material out of a couple of chapters in the previous edition, breaks it down into smaller steps, and creates a more cohesive discussion of every key facet of database design. Chapter 15: Introducing jQuery is entirely new, introducing JavaScript and the jQuery framework. The examples include form validation, event handling, and Ajax. Chapter 16: An OOP Primer is also entirely new, discussing the basics of object-oriented programming in PHP. The focus is really on basic ideas and syntax, using existing classes (OOP design and theory requires too many pages to fit into this book).
In terms of revised content, every chapter now ends with a "Review and Pursue" section which asks questions that stress key points and provides prompts for how you can expand upon the information you just learned. A few chapters use new examples, mostly because I was bored with the existing ones. Chapter 7: Advanced SQL and MySQL has expanded coverage of JOINs, a new section on advanced selections, and more. In fact, updating and expanding the MySQL and SQL content was a key change in this edition. Chapter 11: Web Application Development is heavily rewritten, putting more emphasis on the use of JavaScript in the example application partially developed in that chapter. Chapter 13: Security Methods has two new security examples: using the Filter extension and validating file uploads by type. Finally, Appendix A: Installation has a new section on Apache server configuration. To save space, the Appendix is being made available for free online from the book's publisher, Peachpit Press.
To address another common question, I consider this book to be more advanced than my "PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide". Both books cover some of the same material, but this book is for those with some previous programming experience, or those that are good at learning independently. In short, this book goes at a quicker pace and covers a lot more material. If you want something that is more deliberate, but not as big in scope, I would recommend the "PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide" instead.
Finally, you can download all the scripts from my Web site. I also run a support forum where you can ask questions and get help. Secondary and supporting articles are also published on my Web site, and at the publisher's site. Thanks again for the interest in the book!

About the Author

Larry Ullman is a writer, Web and software developer, trainer, instructor, speaker, and consultant. He has written 22 books and numerous articles. His books have sold over 300,000 copies world wide in more than 20 languages. As his readers, students, and co-workers can attest, Larry's strength is in translating geek into English: converting the technical and arcane into something comprehensible and useful.


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Product Details

  • Series: Visual QuickPro Guide (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 4 edition (September 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321784073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321784070
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Despite having written many computer books, I have no formal computer training, save for one Pascal class way, way, way back in high school. So I like to say that I'm not a computer geek, although I can speak their language.

My formal education was in impractical knowledge: English literature, language, and writing; philosophy and religion (with a heavy emphasis on symbolic logic); and, Latin. As you can see, nothing really useful here. I guess what I did figure out is how to learn something new, how to synthesize all the information I come across, and how to communicate what I've learned in a clear and effective manner.

Since college I've worked at a national bookstore chain, at the main library at Georgetown University, and then for DMC Insights, Inc. I started as the head of the Digital Media Technologies department, where my main focus was on developing dynamic Web sites. I've since been promoted to President of the company, but that's not as impressive as it may sound! Most of my time is spent writing (books and articles), teaching (online and in small group settings), and actually using the technologies that I write about and teach.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

223 of 227 people found the following review helpful By Larry Ullman on September 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
As the author of the book, I regret having to do this (submit a review) but it seems to be the most immediate and effective way to correct a misunderstanding. The first edition of the book is based upon PHP 4 and came out in 2003. The second edition came out in 2005 and covers PHP 5. So, the book HAS been updated, despite what other reviews incorrectly state. Just click on "All Editions" under "Product Details" to find the most recent edition of this (or any) book.
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523 of 553 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is, to say the very least, the finest computer book I have read in a very, very long time. I have spent the last three months trying to learn how to use PHP and MySQL to build a website with a simple content management system, however, due to the grossly unethical practice that publishing companies have of releasing books that are filled with editing and other errors, along with authors who are completely unable to write even a simple complete sentence that may be understood by their readers, I had nearly given up. Specifically, I have already WASTED money on the following books:

Creating Interactive Websites with PHP and Web Services by Eric Rosebrock - this book crashes around page 100 - it COULD have been a good book but is filled with errors that make it unusable. The publisher, Sybex, refuses to publish a real errata sheet and the book is NOT supported on the author's web site. Isn't that nice?

PHP MySQL Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution by Chris Lea, Mike Buzzard, Jessey White-Cinis, and Dilip Thomas. Good luck if you can get past page 30! Considering this book has been out for some time, there is NO REAL support or errata sheet for it. The "sample site" that one is allegedly able to build by working through this book is filled with questions such as "Has anyone made it all the way to the end of this book?" Need I say more? What a joke.

MySQL/PHP Database Applications, SECOND EDITION. Gosh, considering this is the SECOND edition of this book, one might think an errata sheet and other help might be available. Forget that though - Wiley gets your money, you get plastered with errors so you can't get through the book.

PHP and MySQL Web Development by Luke Welling and Laura - Another USELESS second edition.
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134 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Sherman E. Wilcox on June 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm a newbie to both PHP and MySQL on Mac OS X. I'm learning from this book and from the PHP/MySQL for Dummies. This is the better book. It has lots of good information, clear writing, and easy to follow tutorials. The graphic display of PHP code is very easy to follow: as the author modifies scripts to teach new concepts, the new code is presented in red in the code listings. In just a few days I've gone from knowing nothing about PHP and MySQL to writing my own PHP code. If you're trying to learn how to use PHP and MySQL this is the book to get (along with the MySQL users manual).
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kamran Vighio on March 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. This book teaches what it claims to teach amazingly well. Well done Mr. Larry.
And u know what? Larry Ullman also answers all your questions on the book's website. If u get stuck even on your first PHP script, Larry will personally help you in the forums. Now this is not what we normally get. A great book and FREE support on the website by the AUTHOR himself!!! WOW!!
Amazon should give him Book of the Year award along with Julie Meloni's "PHP Essentials".
If you are completely new to programming and you only know HTML and CSS and want to learn PHP (along with MySQL), "PHP Essentials" by Julie Meloni is the best book.
If you have some basic programming experience like JavaScript or C or any similar language, then Larry's "PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide" IS THE BOOK FOR YOU!!!.
This book does not teaches you the very basics of programming so if you are inexperienced in programming, get Julie's book... If u know a little programming, get Larry's book.
Just excellent book.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Discoveror on July 31, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not having read all of them, I can't say, unequivocally, that this is the best PHP/mySQL intro book ... but, I suspect that it is.

After reading these programming tomes for 10 years, three types of writers come to mind:

1. a developer, who took time to write a book (often characterized by weak writing skills ... and foo-bar examples, illustrating nothing more than a lack of pragmatic imagination)

2. the constant writer, who rarely (never?) develops (e.g Hello World! demos) How unimaginative?

3. a true teacher, who has taken time to gather thoughts and put effort into the presentation i.e. TEACH

Larry Ullman strikes me as "a teacher". There are lots of well-conceived, nice touches in this book ... from the example code on SAME page as the walk-through explanations ... to the bold (often red ink) type, highlighting the subject lesson ... to the paper, itself (nice for writing notes and marking it up), a lifelong habit.

This book is a much easier read than its competitor, the Welling/Thomson book ... and about 1/3 less price, too - a nice bargain. I completed it in about a week and feel much more comfortable (dare I say confident?) with PHP, now. Thank you, Larry Ullman.

I don't recall a perfect book, though this one's shortcomings are slight. I was salivating, getting to the last chapter, "eCommerce", only to be disappointed when, 10 pages from the end of the book, the author declared that he wouldn't cover order processing, advising the reader to search the internet for examples. `sorry, but I don't buy books to be told to go search the internet.
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