68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2003
I have been a mainframe programmer for 13 years and have done web design for the past year. The following is my experience with this book.
First the good news:
1. I was able to successfully install PHP, Apache & MySQL.
2. I was able to successfully complete all the projects in the book.
3. I published one of my projects on a website.
Now the bad news:
1. There were critical typos in the book--not just captions under the wrong pictures but incorrect code. I spent many hours debugging the PHP code for the projects. The code errors I found were not in the errata on the SAMS website OR on thickbook.com. I sent one code correction to the editors and received an acknowledgement, but I just checked and the code typo is not included in the errata. There are code errors on pp. 245, 406, 417. E-mail me if you are also having problems with the code on those pages as the SAMS people do not seem to be concerned or aware of these errors.
2. The installation of the products did not go as smoothly as I hoped either. The instructions on what to download did not match how the websites now look. There was some missing information. I was able to get it all working only with a lot of trial and error.
This book contained projects that I was interested in learning: address book, storefront, shopping cart. With a little more diligence on the part of the proofreaders and technical editors, this book would have been great and I would have given it 5 stars.
91 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2002
Hi - I am the author of this book, and I want to make sure everyone understands where this book comes from. It's parts of three different books, with several new chapters. It's fairly beginner-ish in nature, but you definitely have to have a handle on how the Web works, from an administrative standpoint, to get your brain around the Apache chapters. The MySQL and PHP chapters assume less pre-existing knowledge, and are pretty fun, hands-on and oriented through working through lessons.
This is not the be all and end all PHP, Apache and MySQL book -- that would take way longer than 24 hours -- nor is it meant to be. But it will teach the fundamentals of all three things, and provide you with a strong foundation for more advanced books. You can find more info like table of contents, code and errata at thickbook.com.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2004
First, be sure you purchase the latest edition of every tech book you buy. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't have the latest edition under Meloni's or Zandsta's name. You have to type the isbn number, 0672326205, in the search box to find the newest edition as of this review. Also keep in mind when reading reviews that Amazon mixes reviews of older editions with new editions which makes it very difficult to make an assessment unless the edition is mentioned in the review. New editions usually correct the complaints given in bad reviews so don't pass judgment so quickly unless you know exactly which edition the reviewer is writing about.
This is an excellent book for beginners who know nothing about programming. However you must know XHTML before beginning this book.
This book and "Teach Yourself PHP in 24 Hours" by Zandstra are built using exactly, word for word, much of the same content. However Meloni's book occasionally has more explicate examples and explanation, however it is missing four essential chapters that can be found in Zandstra's book.
3. Regular Expressions
4. PEAR - Reusable Components to Extend the Power of PHP
No real concern, because the reader could research these topics on php.net or other sites and my have to do so in order to complete the book since it refers to arrays but doesn't explain them.
Meloni's book, compared to Zandsta's, does have better examples with actual programs that may be usful to you. Meloni's book, as the title emplies, also goes deeper into Apache and MySQL.
After reading this book, you'll wont to get something like, The PHP Anthology By Harry Fuecks Vol. 1&2... or PHP and MySQL Web Development, Second Edition by Luke Welling, Laura Thomson. These books will teach you by example and are excellent.
A note to beginners... Learning to program can be very difficult. Unless you are some kind of genius, you must be dedicated and patient with your quest. Programming is a totally different way of thinking and there is a lot to learn... I think this book is a great way to learn PHP and to learn how to program in general.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2003
Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache in 24 Hours is the kind of book I wish I had had when I started developing enterprise-level web applications for zdev Corporation back in the 90s.
Back then, it was all about scouring USENET, Listservs, How-Tos, and FAQs while incessantly scratching your head. Although this book is very introductory, there are some good habits and excellent insights that even the more tried and true code-hacker might consider useful even after years of PHP/MySQL development (such as authentication schemes and some inner working of MySQL).
It is astounding how simple the tools, techniques, and technology is seen through the eyes of Julie Meloni. Much simpler than I had believed since I really had to be baptised by fire, and the simplicity and easy-of-use of the package -- MySQL, PHP, and Apache -- is indisputable.
Postnuke, PHP-Nuke, and the other Open Source CMSs are true killer apps today, and there are a million more open source applications your can easily download, install, and start using within a week if you first still your mind and enthusiasm long enough to work through the easy-to-grok lessons as they are laid out in Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache in 24 Hours.
No doubt. You won't be sorry you took the time to measure twice before you cut once.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2004
I should have known not to buy this book after having read "Sam's Teach Yourself Flash MX Actionscript in 24 hours"--also poorly written. The main problem with this book as well as the sam's flash book is that it leaves HUGE gaps in its explanations which force the reader to supplement the lessons with the Internet. For example, the beginning of the book says that no prior knowledge is necessary except for an understanding of HTML; in the intro chapters, it introduces you to databases in general, explaining what they're for. The next chapter on databases (besides the one on how to install mysql) however ("learning basic sql commands") is prefaced by saying:
"...This is a very hands-on hour, and it assumes that you are able to issue queries through the MySQL monitor on Windows or Linux/Unix. Alternatively, if you use a GUI to MySQL, this hour assumes you know the methods for issuing queries through those interfaces."
What is that!? It goes from explaining what a db is to magically expecting you to know about issuing mysql queries without anything in between? I'm sorry, but this makes no sense whatsoever.
I'm sorry I cannot recommend another book, but perhaps you'd have better luck with ANY OTHER MYSQL,PHP, or APACHE book!
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2003
I agree with the previous poster as to how challenging this book makes php, mysql, and apache. at least several of the examples don't work (whether this is a function of poor testing by the author/publisher or a limitation of php, mysql, or apache is left to the newbie reader to figure out -- a great way to learn, but not worth the cost of the book; incidentally so far all of the problems I have encountered fall squarely on the shoulders of SAMS). There are typos, illustrations of output in the book that don't correspond to the text, and from time-to-time, the included sample files (on the CD) don't match up with the files in the text.
I can't recommend this book, though I'm still trying to wade through it. There have got to be better books out there. Perhaps my mistake was trying to find one book to introduce me to all three tools in one swoop. If it seems too good to be true... (and so on).
Good luck to anyone using this book, I'm emailing all of the problems I find to SAMS, hoping that they'll improve it in future editions, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2004
Before purchasing this book, I tried to install Apache, MySQL and PHP on my Windows machine without any luck. I was frustrated because this is all quite effortless if you use any flavor of Linux (Red Hat 9 in my case).
I purchased the Dummies book on the same subject(s) and I found it confusing, particularly getting PHP to interact with Apache. I returned the book and got this one and I was up and running with Apache, MySQL and PHP in about an hour.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2003
I would have given the book 4 stars, except for the fact that the software on the CD caused me hours of grief.
As far as the book is concerned, I am very satisfied with the book, considering that I am a web developer that is now learning databases and php. I fully understand that this is just a basic 'touch the bases' book. I have already bought another MySql book and another PHP book - and intend to buy one more php book. I only installed these 3 programs on my desktop computer so that I can work with php and mysql before I upload my work to my websites - so that I don't have to do all my testing online.
My main complaint is with the programs on the CD. The version of Apache conflicts with the outdated version of PHP. So, after spending hours troubleshooting and posting questions to online tech forums, I figured out the conflict and downloaded the current version from the PHP web site. (This is after I uninstalled and reinstalled Apache - the problem was with php).
The version of MySQL is a 'future' beta version. It does not work on Win98. After messing around with it for a while, and again posting questions to forums, I figured that I had to burn up over 2 hours of dial-up time downloading the current version (a lower # version than on the CD?!).
A lot of help the CD was! Very disappointed. One reason I purchased this book was that I thought it was indeed a 'starter kit'. Wrong.
Also, I felt the book did not tell me quite enough about how to start Apache while it is not running as a service. Since I only installed Apache to run PHP and MySql, I had no need for the configuration chapters on Apache. Overall, I had to spend a lot of time just figuring stuff out for myself.
Overall, it is a decent book. I do not regret buying it. The main reason for me bothering to write a review is to save someone hours of trouble and forewarn them that there are problems with MySql and php on the CD.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2004
This book was exasperating to use. It described easy topics at length while leaving important details murky or omitted altogether. Many commmands and structures are described out of context, leaving you with little idea of *why* a person might use a particular form. It doesn't try to put the ideas together into a unified application until the end.
Much better is _PHP and MySQL Web Development_ by Welling and Thomson, which introduces concepts in the context of building an e-commerce site. Even though it is longer than the SAMS book, the writing is tighter, more concise, better organized, and generally much easier to understand.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2005
If you are relatively new to php and mysql, this book is probably the one that you need to kickstart your engine.
Do not expect this book to teach you more than the basics. I have been able to use most of the stuff in this book for a small school as well as a personal project.
A good book to start with for my case, I have been able to improve the php codes as I progress and the chapter on the building blocks of php and mysql & php interaction are exceptionally useful