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PHP 6/MySQL Programming for the Absolute Beginner Paperback – September 9, 2008

18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1598637984 ISBN-10: 1598637983 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andy Harris grew up in a time when nearly all programmers were self-taught. He taught himself to program because it was fun. He enjoyed the act of creating. He was amazed that logic was the most fascinating building toy of them all. Many years later, his attitude about programming is largely the same. Andy loves computing, but he loves teaching more. His first degree was in special education, and he taught young adults with severe cognitive and behavior disabilities for several years. During this time, he also served as a freelance programmer and taught computer science classes part-time. Andy has taught computer science full time at IUPUI for 12 years. He was originally hired to manage the non-major courses. He created many courses on numerous programming languages, and created a distributed education laboratory for creating streaming media course content. He now teach the entry-level freshman course for CS majors, and various other courses, especially in game programming and web development. Andy has taught courses in nearly every mainstream programming language and a few obscure ones. He is active in the technology community, with regular conference talks and consultation with libraries, museums, and the state of Indiana. He has been active in helping individuals with disabilities help to form their own web development companies.
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Product Details

  • Series: For the Absolute Beginner
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598637983
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598637984
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

I am a lecturer in computer science at Indiana University / Purdue University - Indianapolis (Yes, that IS officially the longest university name on the planet... we call it IUPUI)

I was an army brat. I grew up in many parts of the Eastern United States and in Japan.

I've been interested in computing since the early eighties, when my brother and I took the money we were saving for a car and blew it on a TRS-80 model 1 with the built-in Japanese character set. (That machine is still in my garage. Don't tell my wife.)

My first career was as a special education teacher. I taught young adults with severe disabilities for several years. I really enjoyed my job and my students. I learned a lot about teaching through that experience.

While doing special ed, I kept my interest in computing, doing some freelance programming and writing about computer topics. Eventually, I became a lab instructor in the computer science program at IUPUI.

I moved to IUPUI as a full-time gig in 1995. Since then, I have been involved in creating a certificate of applied computer science. I have also worked on building a distributed education program. I especially love designing curricula using emerging and interesting technology and ideas.

I have taught many applied CS topics, but there is always more to learn.
Right now my focus tends to be on applied computing in programming languages, game programming, and mobile computing.

My favorite part about writing is hearing from readers. It's great when somebody sends me a link to a game or project they've written using one of my books. I'd love to get a line from you about one of my books, what you'd like to see me work on next, or just to say hi. I hope my writing feels like a conversation, and I'm looking forward to hearing from your side of the talk.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By ObjectiveCat on February 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is in fact an absolute beginner's guide to PHP/MySQL!

This does NOT mean that my grandma would be able to learn how to make dynamic web sites by reading this book, despite the fact that she's never touched a computer in her life.
The scope of this book does not encompass a beginner's guide on how to use a computer nor the basics of web development (such as HTML and CSS) - those things are EXPECTED of those who want to learn PHP.
Without understanding HTML, the very basis of any web document, there is not much point in attempting to learn a web scripting language, such as PHP, which amongst other things deals with dynamically creating HTML by processing various user and browser inputs.

The negative reviews are quite annoying, because the people are voting not on the quality of the material, but on it's subjective incomprehensibility, caused by their own lack of preparation for the consumption of the knowledge contained in this book. It's like you're disappointed that you weren't able to fly an F-15 fighter jet, when you've never operated an aircraft in your life!
Try performing a modicum of research on various web technologies and how they interrelate before buying the first book you see.

As the old adage says: "Learn to walk before you run".

For those who have had some experience in static website creation, this is an excellent book, full of useful examples.
If the code give you errors - check the version of PHP you have installed (type: "php --version" into your server's shell (without the quotations)).
I tried most of the examples (used this book in a class) and they ran just fine under PHP 5.2

And if you encounter some material that's challenging, well that's just a little side-effect of trying to learn something new. It's not always easy, nor should it be.
Contact the author or ask your instructor for clarification (if you're using this at school) and they will surely abide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BLAYZE! on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book's title is a bit misleading. If you are not already very well versed in HTML or XHTML coding, you will need to wait before buying this book. The only "absolute Beginner" he is apparently referring to are beginners at Database, MySQL and PHP programming. You will not learn how to create, manage or troubleshoot a database system with this until you are already skilled at HTML coding. Once you are, then I "presume" this book may be a better value, as I had enjoyed the whole thing up to where the author states that I should be good at HTML already or take his "refresher" course.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gary Jeurink on September 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started with an old copy and when it didn't work, I contacted the author and he personally steered me to the updated edition. He left several worthwhile exercises [beginning stuff] out of the newer edition but it gives you a working start of php and mysql and how full blown application can be developed through function libraries. Very good and his applications really work.
My only complaint was that he doesn't take you through the steps to create a modern day site with login and administration type functions as Larry Ullman's book do.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Billy on August 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an amazing book for the material and the price! The only thing I can see is that the title could be a bit misleading. And as someone learning all of thsi stuff the hard way, I can feel your pain, but...

To all of the negative reviews:
this is not a beginner's guide to (X)HTML/CSS or Javascript!

You need an understanding of those languages before you can dive into this. This is about doing something with your pretty HTML/CSS web pages, that maybe pretty and well designed... can't really do much of anything.

Like posting a high score for a game you created w Flash or Java. Or are trying to see who is visiting your site, and would want to respond to your viewers with an e-mail. If you are at this level, then this is the book for you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry on March 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book for one of my college classes. This book does not impress me especially with a name "for the absolute beginner" because I feel this book is not for the absolute beginner. If you do not have any kind of HTML or CSS programing then this will be a hard book for you to follow.
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Format: Paperback
Years ago, I taught myself HTML3 from a book. CSS was just starting to get mentioned then, and I'd never heard of PHP.

I recently decided to update my rudimentary knowledge of webpage building and purchased this book.

As other reviewers have said, a working understanding of HTML is absolutely critical. My knowledge of CSS was spotty at best, but I went through a quick, free online tutorial, and that was enough to get me up to speed to understand the CSS code in the examples.

This really has been a fantastic book for learning PHP. The author does a great job explaining what the sample code does.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert on October 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am giving this two stars because this is actually not a good book for beginners but really a book for more intermediate PHP users or those programmers interested in gaming development. It suffers from too much reliance on arcane examples plus a first couple of chapters that really provide more frustration than value to a real beginner.

Chapter one actually does nothing to really help you set up a php server. The book assumes that you know a good deal about local server technology and that you are comfortable setting up a local server on your machine. It assumes that you know the subtleties of how a local host file system works. It also assumes extensive experience in static web page development xhtml coding, CSS, etc.

In chapter two the book jumps from being very basic to using some advanced tools as examples. The concepts used require that you spend some extremely careful time reading the provided code used in the examples to understand the relevance of specific functions. The examples are interesting but are not directly applicable to a beginner.

In chapter 3 the book becomes a reasonable teaching tool yet its reliance on dice games as examples makes it somewhat irrelevant for what most users are studying this to do on the web. It does provide the new programmer, and even more experienced ones, with some foundation of how php code works but not in a web related context. It does develop good practices and explains how and why the programming works. It explains very well the differences in control structures, and where one shines over another. It makes arrays accessible but not friendly and provides a basic introduction into MySQL.
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