Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: PHP & MySQL: Your visual blueprint for creating dynamic, database-driven Web sites
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on November 5, 2007
[...]
First of all I want to confess that I'm absolutely new to PHP and specially to MySQL. I made some try to understand PHP from some books from home library, but there're too advanced for me. In this book I found exactly what I was searching for.

There is no required knowledge level for using this book, but I would recommend it to beginners and intermediate users. For beginners it will be fast and easy PHP & MySQL reference, and for intermediate users it will be excellent book to remind them of all the things they forgotten (and more possibly to bring new stream in their knowledges).

I imagine this book would be useful to people who have no programming experience at all as this book covers basic programming concepts (which are the same in all programming languages) like variables, loops, and arrays, in great detail. Code in this book is for PHP 5 that is currently the latest version of PHP. I know that some companies in the world still stuck on PHP 4. So maybe this book will be helpful to people who wanna take quick overview of interaction of PHP5 and MySQL. I think some people would agree with me that jumping right away from version 4 to version 6 is not very convenient.

This is without a doubt a technical book and such books need to be written with simple language to be ready to everybody's grasp. This book is written with simple language and is very friendly. The book is full of short examples and I liked this book because of its simplicity.

Nobody stays behind as there are clarifications for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X users, so everybody stays satisfied. The detailed chapters on installation and configuration of Apache, PHP, and MySQL for all Windows, Linux and Macintosh are walking the reader through the complex process step by step, giving very clear instructions, explaining the reasons for the recommended configuration choices.

As it says on the cover: "Your visual blueprint for creating dynamic, database-driven Web sites". Book is printed on good quality paper and the most important this pages are not "busy" with a lot of information - inside you find many screenshots for every step you make, so you could have more control over your every action (step).

On a companion website you can download all codes for this book and get more information about author (also review table of content). Compressed .zip file with codes takes about 61kb on your hard disk and 532 kb unzipped. In case of interest you can first download code files and then order a book.
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on April 29, 2007
Well, I have read acouple of Janet Valades publications and for the most part they are great. This book was not so great. It was really a waste of my money.

This book is just like the rest of the "Visual Blue Print" series, in that, There is way to much going on visually and not enough subject documentation.

If for some stange reason you cannot learn simply by reading a book, this Visual book wont help you either;The picture are to small.

Janet Valades is a wonderful writer, she just need to stray away from the Visual book publications.
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VINE VOICEon October 17, 2012
You will have to squint and read because the print on the screen shots in this are about 8pt.

The series of these read less - learn more books are blighted with this fine print. One wonders what the publishers were thinking, since these books are so good and that ruins everything.
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on February 6, 2008
I once had a PHP book that was in a larger format than this. It was on glossy paper and featured screenshots. It was a great book. I wish I could recall the name of it because I would like to obtain another copy.

I had hoped that this was that book but I was disappointed. I can't comment about the code in the book as I haven't begun to work through it. The focus of my problem is the miniscule type on the screencap images.

Now I'm not exaggerating; you could benefit from magnifying glasses when you look at the sample output as displayed on these small screencap images. If you are older like me and need to wear glasses these images will prove challenging to see. Since the book relies on these screencaps to display the sample code and output I regard this as a huge problem.

I understand the need for book publishers to reduce costs and that this effort has led to reducing the size of books but this result is a real detriment to the book's effectiveness. Maybe it wouldn't be a problem for a text-only book, but when you are trying to display screencaps the small size of this book's format (7 3/8" wide X 9 1/8" tall) isn't a suitable format because it forces the screencaps to be printed at what I consider to be too small a size.

Its a shame as the presentation format of visually learning is superior to just text but this book shrinks the screencaps too small to retain readable text in them. Too much fine print. :(

If reading ultra-fine print (seriously, its that small) isn't a problem for you then go for this book. If it is then look elsewhere.
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on February 16, 2011
* Why I read this book. *
Its was hard being a web developer who only knew client side languages, so I chose to learn a server side and database language to improve my resume and programming capabilities.
*Good*
I picked this book for it's practical approach towards teaching. Most of pages deal with describing something, then showing screen shots of a small demo with the source code, making it really easy to understand a concept once you see it applied.
*Bad*
The screen shots of the source code are too small.
The regular expression section is pretty disappointing.
There is nothing on PHP extensions.
*Conclusion*
After reading this book, I feel that PHP is an ugly language with too many damn functions. But hey, it's gets the job done. I recommend you get this book if you're new to PHP and MySQL and don't want to get too overwhelmed with function and definitions.

After this book you should consider getting something more advance to make up for the lack of depth.
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on February 17, 2007
This book is great if you need a quick and easy setup and understanding. Unlike other authors; this one includes alot of pictorials of the results. The book should take atleast 2-3 days to complete with understanding of how PHP and MYSQL function.
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on April 5, 2009
Concise overview of general features. Good for a beginner, generally one page per function. Could use a little more detail on SQL joins etc, but I guess there is a whole SQL book!

Good sample code examples, however the screenshots are tiny, in fact so hard to read they may as well not be there. I don't normally wear glasses but I had to break them out and still squint. I have the visual Javascript book which luckily doesn't suffer from this problem.
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on December 22, 2006
Keeping a good PHP and MySQL reference next to your computer, such as this book by Janet Valade, will make your programming job faster and easier. What makes this book such a handy resource is the way it is organized. The professional programmer can use it to find information quickly and it is also nice for the novice. The book covers each aspect of creating a dynamic website in short, concise chapters and therefore does not overwhelm those just learning to program in PHP and MySQL. Besides the easy-to-follow explanations of the code, the author also includes Apply It and Extra sections which give practical examples of how to use the code in everyday applications.

In the first part of the book, the author walks you through the installation and configuration of PHP, MySQL and Apache on your system. Next Valade covers the basics of PHP such as how to add PHP code to your HTML webpage and how to use PHP to generate dynamic HTML webpages. Then, you are introduced to variables and data types. Once the basics are mastered, you are ready to advance to arrays, multi-dimensional arrays, conditionals and loops. One of the most efficient ways to program in any language is to write your code once and use that same piece of code each time you need it. The author shows you how to write PHP code in a way that it can be reused via functions and include statements. From this point, Valade discusses the built-in PHP functions.

MySQL is the most popular database for working with PHP and Valade covers all the basics of creating and manipulating MySQL databases. She also discusses the administrative tasks such as dealing with accounts, passwords and backing up your database. The most popular method of collecting information to be stored in your database is to use an HTML web form. You can hard code a simple form such as a login form but suppose you need to create a custom form based on the changing data in your database. Valade shows you how to dynamically generate the fields that will make up the form. Next, she covers how to validate and clean user input data before you send it to be stored in your database.

Valade leaves the most advanced topics to the end of the book. A few years ago, the topic of object-oriented programming was not included in a book like this one. Now, it would be remiss to not cover this topic. The author discusses the basics of OOP in PHP including objects, classes, properties and methods. She also discusses PHP cookies and sessions which are used to pass information from one webpage to another, such as in a shopping cart application.

Janet Valade is a programmer and technical writer. She is the author of several books including PHP and MySQL Everyday Apps for Dummies, Spring into Linux, PHP 5 for Dummies and PHP and MySQL for Dummies.
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on August 23, 2007
This book has very high visual appeal, and would actually make a beginner like me want to learn the material covered in this book. The book is well organized (every chapter begins with a few paragraphs explaining the objective of the chapter, then follows with 1-2 pages of learn-by-example), although some of the information regarding MySQL and PHP setup are a bit outdated and confusing. The pictorial examples are clear and readable, although I can see how someone would think they are too small. Overall, I would recommend this book the most to those with little to no scripting experience, as it may move a bit slow for those with a lot of programming or scripting experience.
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on January 31, 2009
It might be a very good book, I can't say for sure because I can not read the input lessons with a magnifying glass.
Unless you have eagle eyes this book is absolutely worthless!
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