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PHP & MySQL: Novice to Ninja 5th Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0987153081
ISBN-10: 0987153080
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin Yank is a world-renowned leader in web development. When not writing best sellers, Kevin is the Technical Director of sitepoint.com and editor of the popular SitePoint Tech Times newsletter.



Kevin's Author credits include: Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL (SitePoint) and Simply JavaScript (SitePoint).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 481 pages
  • Publisher: SitePoint; 5 edition (May 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0987153080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0987153081
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #770,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Beloved VINE VOICE on June 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book and was excited thinking that it was the ideal book for beginners, this was all based on how the book is advertised.

Needless to say it is not for beginners. For beginners the book to purchase is Andy Harris' PHP 5/MySQL Programming for the Absolute Beginner. So what about this Ninja book. I feel it is for intermediate users who are already familiar with PHP code and the way web servers operate.

It moves too fast for a beginner, while Harris' book is the slow train where you can do the ABC of this Apache/PHP/MySQL complexity.

This is a great book, no doubt about it. The information and process discussed is matchless in a way.
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Format: Paperback
First to answer the obvious question; will this book turn you into a PHP and MySQL ninja? Well, no. That's not in any way to say that it's a bad book just that it's being oversold by the title. What it will do is give you a solid grounding in both PHP and MySQL in a readable and easy to digest manner. Perhaps a more accurate title would be something like "PHP and MySQL: Yutz to User" though that doesn't have quite the same ring to it!

Anyway, with that gripe out of the way onto the book. The contents are pretty much as you would expect; a guide to installation, an introduction to using the technologies and then a project based approach to using the PHP and MySQL in anger. Coverage of MySQL is, I think, somewhat more comprehensive than that of PHP but given that it is a much more compact and focused piece of software that is only to be expected. You do get good coverage of some of the more useful and important parts of PHP such as regular expressions and session management along with the basics and also a rather nice chapter on structured programming. I particularly appreciated the fact that object oriented programmed wasn't put forward as the one true way for building structured software, as it so often is, and that procedural programming with a library of functions got a look in. It's personal bias I know but for object oriented programming I prefer to use a language designed in an OO manner from the ground up. On the MySQL side you get pretty much everything you might need from a primer in relational database design up to some fairly advanced areas such as database replication and backed up with appendices of MySQL syntax and functions. There's no similar appendix of PHP syntax and functions, but as PHP runs to thousands of functions it's no great surprise.
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Doesnt clearly explain a lot of the code. For instance, on page 150 the author is trying to explain how to use data from two different tables in one SQL statement. He gives the code but never explains what LEFT and INNER mean in the code. The next page he says, 'Now that you know how to access the data stored in your two tables...' What he missed was explaining how the JOIN statement works. What INNER and LEFT mean. So we really dont 'know how to access data stored in two tables'. We only know how to copy his code down and hope it works. I find this situation often throughout out his book. He gives us a block of code, explains bits and pieces of it and then we copy it down and hope it works. This is not real learning and makes debugging difficult as we are just guessing what went wrong or using trial and error to debug the program.

The first 1/4 of the book was very good and the author actually did explain a few things that other books did not. But 2/3 of the way into the book I realized I was only copying code down and hoping it worked. I gave up and now am looking for a book that actually explains 100% of the code. Hopefully I can get a refund on Amazon for this book or at least sell it on Ebay.
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Format: Paperback
I obtained a copy of PHP & MySQL, 5th edition, because I have taken over support for a Wordpress/MySQL website with phpAdmin installed. I am a desktop developer, so I hoped this book would give be a jump-start to understand my server environment. I was not disappointed.

Kevin Yanks communicates his content clearly, without any fluff. I have been programming for many decades, but I could barely spell PHP. Kevin's explanation using example after example made picking up the basic syntax a breeze. There were a couple of ideas that I had to re-read to get the real gist, but I congratulate Kevin on his commitment to simplicity. As a writer and instructor myself, I give him big kudos for adding complexity in small, incremental steps.

One of his most complex topics is Regular Expressions. This is an area that becomes quite obtuse very quickly. I am a passable novice at RegExes, and I admit I had to read some pages a couple of times, but I learned a lot! Great job, Kevin.

PHP & MySQL spends a lot of time on MySQL, as it should. Relational databases are pervasive, but they are also rife with areas of difficulties: not the least of which is the SQL language itself. Kevin does an excellent job of explaining MySQL installation, Administration, and common Functions and Queries.

Some reviewers have said this is not a book for total beginners. This may be true: a total beginner may not understand what a for-loop is, or when to use it. But the book's preface clearly states: "This book is aimed at intermediate and advanced web designers..." For anyone with a knowledge of one or two programming languages, and some HTML, this book should not be a major challenge.
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