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124 Reviews
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This is one of the best overall software books I have ever read. It is the best PHP and MySQL book I have read so far. The structure of the book, the sequence of the material, and the technical explanations are excellent. It is not overly descriptive of details yet it defines the complex subject material very well. I maintain accounts on 1and1.com and all of the code...
Published on April 20, 2007 by Nathanael B. Minegar

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Beginner Book with Caveats (Beware Kindle!)
I'm a development manager with a few other languages under his belt who is interested in getting back into some hobby coding. Specifically I'm looking to put together a FaceBook app hosted on Amazon Web Services and from my initial research PHP and MySQL appear to be the way to go.

I was disappointed with this book for three reasons. First, I got the Kindle...
Published on November 11, 2010 by David Louw


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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, April 20, 2007
By 
Nathanael B. Minegar (Meriden, Connecticut) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Paperback)
This is one of the best overall software books I have ever read. It is the best PHP and MySQL book I have read so far. The structure of the book, the sequence of the material, and the technical explanations are excellent. It is not overly descriptive of details yet it defines the complex subject material very well. I maintain accounts on 1and1.com and all of the code examples from the book that I have tried so far worked with no problem after I changed file names to .php5. I was able to get the web forum application and the user authentication application up and running within 2 days of getting the book. I have experience in C, C++, and assembly programming but no real web development stuff. Also, I had bought (and returned!) three other books on PHP and MySQL before getting to this one. I am definitley keeping this book. 5 stars all the way!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Beginner Book with Caveats (Beware Kindle!), November 11, 2010
By 
David Louw (San Luis Obispo, CA) - See all my reviews
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I'm a development manager with a few other languages under his belt who is interested in getting back into some hobby coding. Specifically I'm looking to put together a FaceBook app hosted on Amazon Web Services and from my initial research PHP and MySQL appear to be the way to go.

I was disappointed with this book for three reasons. First, I got the Kindle edition and it lacks the critical source code for the examples. The publisher doesn't provide a way to download this on their site so I had to type in the examples by hand (the Kindle app doesn't allow cut and paste for obvious reasons) but I didn't have the images or the files that weren't listed out in the book.

Second, the book manages to both be too verbose and not go into enough technical depth. This may be fine for an absolute beginner but I'd guess most people have at least some programming background. It was tedious wading through chapters that didn't clearly call out the unique aspects of PHP compared to other languages. The examples were barely adequate and weren't well thought out to reinforce the critical concepts. The most disappointing was the lackluster authentication examples which fall far short of a secure, robust, and usable customer experience.

Finally, the table of contents implies that the book covers software development best practices for large scale PHP web applications. The spartan single chapter on the topic briefly mentions having coding conventions, using source control, limiting the size of your files, doing code reviews, and the importance of testing. Nothing in there is new or useful to anyone that's done any programming before. Now I'm looking around for a book that really covers this subject so I know how to properly set up my source files, do test driven development, employ continuous builds, and so on.

To be fair there are some highlights. The coverage of basic MySQL setup was nice, the chapter on AJAX was a good overview, and the appendices were comprehensive on the setup of PHP and MySQL.

In short, buy this book if you have little programming background. You should plan to read a follow up book to get the real information on how to build web applications of any use.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Book - Every PHP programmer must have this book!, November 20, 2009
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This review is from: PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Paperback)
PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition)

I am a self taught programmer and I always felt there was more to PHP than i was getting from other PHP books I had.So recently, I embarked on a month long search of a 'good' PHP book. I am glad to tell everyone else that I have finally found that book. This is right here, this book doesn't make assumptions about your programming skills level - It teaches you what is important whether you already know it or not.

I am so pleased with what is in this book that I feel every PHP programmer should go out there and get one for themselves. I give this book 5/5 - Perfect!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There's a Better Way, April 27, 2012
By 
Travis Parks (Warrington, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Paperback)
At first, I thought I was given the wrong impression about this book. I was told it showed how to make large-scale PHP applications, as well as taught the basics. And, in fact, it does. The problem is that many of the "common" practices aren't "best" practices. I worked with PHP when I was in college and ran into a lot of issues involving how to package up reusable code, prevent users from directly requesting pure code files and writing testable code. It would appear that, after five years, none of these issues have been addressed. The book perfectly describes how to make a modern PHP application. However, it is just teaching another generation of developers the wrong way to build an application. Everything a developer needs to separate HTML generation, business logic and the data layer is available in PHP, but no one takes the time to teach how to do it. Newer platforms utilize routing middleware and claim to follow the MVC pattern; these platforms lead to much more scalable and maintainable applications. The book is confused about whether it wants to be yet another introduction to PHP and MySQL or an insider's guide to building realistic architectures. It is neither a beginner's guide, a reference or a best practices book; so what is it? It is a clutter of information. It does have many hands-on guides, which will help plenty of people, but I can't say that the code will teach anyone how to do things the right way.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Prep for Job, March 4, 2009
By 
M. Trotier (Manchester, CT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Paperback)
I have been a php programmer for 9 years. I was not familiar with some of the newer developments i.e. using XML with PHP, e-commerce ...ect. I found this book to be very valueable in preping for a php job. I was able to step thru the books code using my NuSphere phped php debugger and have learned alot in a short period. In regards to the negative reference that "you can find all this stuff on the net". Yes but its not organized and not friendly. Thats why we buy these books, to save time and make learning easier. Highly recommended.
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98 of 129 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition is a Rip-Off, July 6, 2010
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Although i love the book itself and would give it a 5 star rating, i have to say that the Kindle edition is a blatant rip off. First, its the same price as the paperback with a CD-Rom included, second, they did not bother to make the sources of the CD-Rom available (via a Website) to those who bought it electronically ... . Searched in vain for a link to an online resource for the examples until i got confirmation that this is not included in the electronic delivery (even though its full price) ...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the Beginning, September 16, 2010
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This review is from: PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Paperback)
I come from a programming background and am not a professional web designer. However, some years ago I brought up a website written in Javascript and JSP running against an Oracle DB for an organization I belong to. I then dropped the programming end of things and just made minor changes to the website until recently when I was forced to redo the website in PHP and MySql, both of which I knew nothing about. So I bought this book together with the PHP Cookbook published by O'reilly. My foremost question was: "how can I learn this stuff with minimal brain damage without going through 1000 pages?". This book did the trick to introduce me to PHP & MySql in a couple of days. The chapters on designing major applications such as building a shopping cart quickly showed me how to put the various code pieces together into a coherent whole. However, when the rubber hit the road I ran into several problems. The major obstacle was in divining the pros and cons of using the Procedural vs Object Oriented paradigms. In many of the book's examples, both paradigms are used which was very confusing and caused me headaches getting my code to work. Once I told myself to settle on just the OO approach and ignore the Procedural approach things got much better, since I stopped confusing the two sets of syntax. I downgraded my rating 1 star because of this most irritating and time consuming confusion. The sections on security I found most helpful. As a book to orient a person to PHP and MySql I give it 5 stars. As a future reference, I also give it 5 stars. As a book to learn the nits and grits, I give it 3 stars......hence my overall rating of 4 stars. If I knew then what I know now, I'd still buy the book. I'm also writing a review of the PHP Cookbook.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book on PHP!, February 20, 2012
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This review is from: PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Paperback)
This was my textbook for an online "Web Scripting with PHP" college credited class I took. The book is broken up into logical sections, starting with a simple practical application: someone wants you to build a web app for them. The chapters continue building the users knowledge of php by introducing them to basic concepts using the simple customer web app, building on what was done previously. The topics are important and standard, (data types, variables, operators, loops, control structures, conditionals) and move into more advanced topics (file IO, MySQL database development, authentication, OOP development). At this point the user can look back and say, "Now I know how to do some pretty useful stuff". It doesn't stop there, however. The user is moved onto more advanced admin-like topics (building a shopping cart, php and mysql administration topics, PHP and AJAX, web app security, building a web forum, etc). By the time you go through this book, doing all of the projects, you can call yourself a php developer. What the book doesn't cover is any specific framework such as PEAR, or methodology such as AGILE or Design Patterns. I felt, However, that these omissions are a strength of the book rathar than a weakness since what it teaches is the core library, uses, and functionality of PHP/MySQL and didn't get side-tracked or distracted by anything else. I felt this was a great introduction (and well, WELL beyond) to PHP/MySQL web development and made learning this language very easy for me. The book is well laid out and follow a logical progression, the examples all work, the language is realistic, the projects are practical, and overall the book prepares the reader with the necessary knowledge to get hired and learn a specialization, use a design pattern, or work with a team of developers on a great project. I still use the book in my projects and will continue to do so for years to come, I would imagine. BTW, I got an A in the class!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better theory than examples, March 28, 2009
This review is from: PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Paperback)
Once again I made the mistake of buying something partially based on good reviews. Overall, this book has been a disappointment. I'm about half way through it so hopefully the second half will be more useful. This book's title really should include "beginning", "for dummies" or something to the effect of "for people who know advanced PHP already but need the simple stuff repeated several times over".

Positives:
The authors do a good job of covering a lot of topics. The database/MySQL chapters, for example, are very good if you are new to either subject. There are some good tips occasionally that illustrate why you might want to use specific functions, etc. (the "why" is often missing from computer books)

Negatives:
The code examples are very poor and their purpose is unclear. Example web pages are created to illustrate various functions, etc. but then they are forgotten or abandoned for several chapters, leaving you wondering why you took the time to read the code, let alone actually type it and try it out.

Several examples use very bad coding such as concatenating literal text with variables while using double quotes. Anyone who has spent 5 minutes with PHP knows this is unnecessary. Some intermediate/advanced functions are skimmed over while simple concepts are repeated over and over, to the point of boring even beginners. Why even mention PHP features if the only thing you do is show the prototype from the manual or say "see the manual for information"?

The "Object-Oriented PHP" chapter is lame. While it does a pretty good job of describing OOP theory, the example given is pointless. They apply OOP structure to something that doesn't require or even really benefit from it. It's evident that the authors have little or no practical OOP experience (or they're just lazy).

Main points: 1) Don't buy based on reviews, including mine. 2) Size doesn't matter: Some of the best computer books I have are less than 500 pages. 3) You can learn more in 20 minutes of free online tutorials than 3 hours in this verbose book.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy it, there are better books available., September 28, 2009
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This review is from: PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) (Paperback)
I had high hopes for this book and it started off well, but by the middle I felt as if the text had fallen apart. After one chapter on object oriented programming (not enough to "master" it by any means), a lot of the examples are then written in an object oriented way. This was completely confusing. Worse yet, the tutorials at the end of the book were badly coded... the code is written in such a way that there are tons of included files in every script instead of straight forward, clearly explained code. Many times in the book the authors state "we're not going to explain this, since it's so easy." With a book so large, you'd think the biggest chunk would be code and code explanation, but there are at least 100-200 pages of useless information and the book really skimps on everything that's important.

I'd suggest Larry Ullman's "PHP 6 and MySQL" book instead of this one. At the very least, that book offers much more useable code with precise technical explanations.
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PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition)
PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) by Laura Thomson (Paperback - October 11, 2008)
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