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28 Reviews
5 star:
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for beginners
This is a great book for someone learning to use PHP and MySQL. It assumes the reader already knows basic HTML. The book is easy to read and understand. The topics it covers gives the reader a good grounding of the basics, enough to create a reasonably sophisticated web application. The stuff it leaves out is not essential to know, and can be left for when the reader...
Published on March 25, 2003 by Amazon Customer

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts good and gets lost in the middle
Had I written this review whilst reading the first chapters of the book I would have given it 5 stars. The steps how to install MySQL and the PHP installation went very smoothly following the book. I even found setup tips for MySQL that I had previously search for on the web/forums without results. I found I was leaning PHP & MySQL very quickly.
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Published on March 1, 2003


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for beginners, March 25, 2003
By 
Amazon Customer "rjf333" (Wellington New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
This is a great book for someone learning to use PHP and MySQL. It assumes the reader already knows basic HTML. The book is easy to read and understand. The topics it covers gives the reader a good grounding of the basics, enough to create a reasonably sophisticated web application. The stuff it leaves out is not essential to know, and can be left for when the reader steps up to more complicated applications.
Information is well organised and easy to navigate. The two web application examples towards the back of the book are also excellent to learn from. They're very good at demonstrating techniques described in earlier chapters.
One potential difficulty someone might have is with the explanation of relational database design. Someone without any past knowledge of relational databases might find the book's explanation a bit light. Designing relational databases isn't terribly complicated, but has its tricky bits.
Another thing I liked about this book is how it helped me set up the appropriate software on my computer so it all worked cleanly together.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts good and gets lost in the middle, March 1, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
Had I written this review whilst reading the first chapters of the book I would have given it 5 stars. The steps how to install MySQL and the PHP installation went very smoothly following the book. I even found setup tips for MySQL that I had previously search for on the web/forums without results. I found I was leaning PHP & MySQL very quickly.
The middle of the book has more general info using various examples, but nothing really useful to tryout. The book gets up to speed in chapter 11. I felt I was leaning something again. Learn you must, you need to know what you're doing so you can correct the mistakes in code. Chapter 12, even more mistakes. This time I took the lazy way and downloaded the corrected code from the author's site only to find it was still incorrect. Maybe the mistakes in the code have actually helped, whilst solving the errors I have found lots of useful info for PHP & MySQL.
My roundup:
The start of the book is good for a PHP beginner, with useful setup info. It's weak in the middle. The last part, the main reason to buy the book tends to go too quickly not explaining details that would help a beginner.
It's a shame the book's wasn't checked a little better.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners, November 2, 2002
By 
Matthew Maroon (Fairlawn, OH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
When I bought this book I was looking to create dynamic web pages, and had begun using Perl/CGI. I happened to come across the PHP manual on the net, and was amazed. I did not know much about PHP, and had never used mySQL so I wanted an entry-level book, and was lucky enough to purchase this one.
The authors did a wonderful job introducing me to both PHP and mySQL. The book takes you through building a members only site, and an e-commerce site. Unlike many books I have read all code is well commented, and uses only topics already introduced and explained, so it is never hard to follow.
I recommend reading the PHP chapter before the mySQL chapter, even though it comes after, then going back to the database chapter. Anyway you read it though it is a perfect starting point for learning the two. After reading this you will probably want to read a more advanced book on PHP, and maybe one on mySQL, as many of he less common features of both are left out. But thanks to this book you will feel after 1 week like you could build your own amazon.com.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not ideal but suffice for beginner needs., October 24, 2002
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This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
Good points:
1. Trained me into some of the mindset required.
2. Gave me actual instruction on the many basic database input/output tasks. Full marks. I was reading and writing to a database after reading chapter 8, dedicated to this very interest.
3. For the complex subject that PHP is, the author did fairly well at the task of simplifying it but could not fully succeed. I still don't understand some of the foundation PHP understandings.
Bad points:
1. Insufficient explanation of the sample scripts. parts of many scripts were left unexplained. I looked at the scripts in detail. Not everything I saw was explained. But can they be??
2. For slow learners, the book moves too quickly.
3. Doesn't ease me into the state of being (that I perceive) I need to be in for any development challenge - but is that what this book is for?? Once I knew what database site I wanted to make, I continually found myself getting stuck.
In summary, I am pleased I got the book and it has helped me in the task of finding my feet with PHP. However, I now need a more advanced book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Reading, Good Reference, November 27, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
Ms. Valade's book is a solid intro to the dynamic duo of PHP & MySQL, with an excellent running example throughout the book to bring it all together. Although it's difficult to write a book that's both readable cover-to-cover AND accessible for quick-lookup references when you need them, this one does well at both. After reading the book, I converted one of my web sites from static HTML to PHP and MySQL, and collapsed the number of pages from around 450 to under 50 ( [...] ).

I've read the other reviews of this book, and it's unfair to beat up on the book for Amazon's quirks. Make sure you order the current edition (the 2002 edition is, as you'd expect, woefully out of date, but Amazon will gladly sell it to you if you let them). And it's not Ms. Valade's fault if download of the e-book doesn't work.

It's been my experience that Ms. Valade is responsive to e-mails, so if you have a beef with Amazon, complain to Amazon. If you have questions about the book, Ms. Valade has a good track record for helpful responses.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I'm Starting My Own Company, September 17, 2002
This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
This book was simple enough to understand that I've been able to create a database for my company with over 500 products in an easily viewable format. I saw a bigger, fatter book for PHP4 but they really lose you fast. Plus, I didn't have that much time to read. These dummies books are always my solution.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great starter book, October 31, 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
Overall I think this book gave me a great start in PHP. Other reviews seem to think the same.
For me however it had real examples that I could put to use right away. It is concise and easy to follow.
I am not generally a fan of the Dummies' book format but it works,
The most glaring problem with this book is that many of the examples in the book, particularly the membership example has an unbelievable amount of typos and capitalization errors that have to be debuged before the script could possible work at all. Makes you feel kind of ripped off.
I still recommend it to anyone who wants to get up and running fast. This book won't bury you in detail your not ready for.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It got me started!, June 8, 2004
By 
John Collins (Irvine, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
This is my first foray into PHP and MySQL. As an absolute beginner I spent a lot of time looking at different books and the concept didn't 'click' for me until I read this one. I tried a couple of simple scripts and they worked fine and now I'm ready to incorporate them into a site under construction. I highly recommend it for the beginner.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lousy, November 11, 2003
This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
I was a complete novice to PHP and MySQL before buying this book, and after purchasing it, found it to be worthless. The installation instructions did not work, so I ended up having to install from downloaded sources. Only a few of the test scripts worked, which was rather annoying as I couldn't tell if the installs were successful. I can write my own and they work, but if I copy one from the CD, and change the log-in info for MySQL to the pertinent information, the scripts fail to do anything. Instead of choosing to show MySQL account info during the installation, it is covered three chapters later (chapter 5 versus 2) for some odd reason... This made for lots of confusion as i was trying to establish and limit accounts right after installation, not two chapters later after the databases were created. She should have kept all of the relevant information together.
One fine example of this book's shortcomings... the author seems to assume that you will be creating a database every time you log into MySQL. Therefore, she makes no mention of the 'USE database' command, which will let you view/add/or edit tables in a particular database. Without using this command, you cannot 'USE' or view a database, you get a 'no database selected' error.
Between these things and the non-working scripts, this book is garbage. You have someone that knows the material, but since they know it so well, they don't know how to lay it out for a newbie. Sam's Teach Yourself in 24 Hours books are the way to go if you actually want to be productive and have a working knowledge of the subject. I had to do that and I will never look back.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed, May 3, 2002
By 
Lisa Bradshaw (Pompano Beach, Fl USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) (Paperback)
I'm a newbie to PHP and MySQL. I was hoping to find a good tutorial based book on the subject, but this was not it. I guess I should've known better than to get a Dummies book as these are really only reference books. However, this isn't even good for a reference. The examples are very short and do not explain what's going on very well. For example, table joins. This is the point I'm stuck on now, which is a very important part of using a database, yet the author glossed over it in less than two pages. Now I'm just frustrated because I'm in the middle of a web project and am left hanging. I should've listened to other reviewers and got PHP & MySQL Web Development. If you're a complete beginner as I am, skip this one or you'll be lost and frustrated.
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PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers))
PHP and MySQL For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) by Janet Valade (Paperback - April 29, 2002)
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