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Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional 3rd Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590598627
ISBN-10: 1590598628
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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"A comprehensive introduction to … the scripting language PHP and the MySQL database server. This book will not only expose … core aspects of both technologies, but will provide valuable insight into how they are used in unison to create dynamic data-driven Web applications." (it-expert, Issue no. 48, 2004)

About the Author

W. Jason Gilmore is a web developer and business consultant with more than 15 years of experience helping companies large and small build amazing software solutions. He has been teaching developers from around the world about web development for over a decade, having written six books, including the bestselling Beginning PHP and MySQL, Fourth Edition and Easy PHP Websites with the Zend Framework, Second Edition .

Over the years Jason has been published more than 300 times within popular publications such as Developer.com, PHPBuilder.com, JSMag, and Linux Magazine, and instructed hundreds of students in the United States and Europe. He s recently led the successful development and deployment of a 10,000+ product e-commerce project, and is currently working on a variety of new e-commerce initiatives. Jason is cofounder of the wildly popular CodeMash Conference, the largest multi-day developer event in the Midwest.


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Product Details

  • Series: Beginning
  • Paperback: 1080 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 3 edition (March 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590598628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590598627
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 2.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,525,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Tang on May 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is written for someone who is familiar with other programming languages and databases and now wants to use PHP and MySQL. It is not written for somebody completely new to programming. For example, if you came from Perl or ASP, and you wanted to know how arrays, loops, and objects in PHP, this book will cover that.

The topic coverage is broad but not deep. The book has a feel of "semi-reference" in that each topic stands on its own. This is not a cookbook or "learn by example" book. There is enough information to get you started, but if you have a complex/niche problem, this book will not help you. For more information, you will have to consult books that specialize on the topic you are interested.

I have one major gripe with this book. There is not any significant coverage of XML manipulation or XSL/XSLT aspects of PHP. When you look at the table of contents or index, there is no mention of XSL/XSLT and only a brief mention of XML (and RSS) in the Web Services chapter. For a book that covers a lot of subjects, this is a weak area.
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Format: Paperback
This book is almost overwhelmingly thorough, which made it, in my experience, an extremely useful resource in preparing for the Zend PHP certification exam, as well as for learning and daily use. While it's incomplete where the test is concerned-you won't find a listing for "Reflection" in the index, for example-it's a useful reference for most of the material on the exam. All of the built-in string and array functions are described clearly and concisely, with examples of use. PHP installation and configuration settings are laid out in the kind of painful detail expected by the exam. There's an introduction to object-oriented programming, overview of regular expressions and a whole series of chapters detailing some of the most useful features of PHP and reviewing some of the most common problems (web services, user authentication, and secure programming, to name a few). And that's before we reach the second half of the book, providing the same kind of detail for MySQL, including PHPs several interfaces to it.

One limitation, from the perspective of an absolute beginner, is the lack of large-scale examples. Gilmore doesn't walk you through the development of a web application; the book is more of a reference text, using smaller examples to illustrate small, specific topics, with the expectation that the reader can assemble those ideas into usable examples. This was probably necessary to enable the chapters to function as individual units, which is one of the book's major strengths.

Books of this size can be daunting to a reader. Gilmore's friendly, readable prose goes a long way toward making this one approachable, as does the modularity, allowing a reader to digest only the chapters needed at any given moment.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a sucker for a good price and I bought this book hoping that in the 1000+ pages I could start to learn PHP. I did - but I also quickly got frustrated and distracted by the author's complete refusal to explain ANYTHING with conciseness.

This is a reference book, not something you'd want to read cover to cover.

Boring examples, wordy discussions - the authors seems to have been more interested in boosting page count than anything else :(

Another bloated PHP book was Larry Ullman's Visual QuickPro. Are there any php tech authors who know how to write??
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
(Note: I have the 2008 edition.) Just to give you an idea of how much I appreciated this book, I am giving it five stars even though it is horribly full of minor errors. The clear and easy-to-read writing style, great organization and design, and very useful examples more than make up for having to pause and figure out an error here and there.

I had learned PHP earlier by jumping into existing code, so I purchased this book to give me a more formal and in-depth overview of PHP. This book did that and more.

The book is surprisingly thick, yet also surprisingly easy to read cover-to-cover. Much of the bulk of this book is taken up by well-chosen example code that is easy to skim through, and the writing and formatting is clear and informative; the reading went relatively fast for me.

By the time I was done with the book, I not only had a good grounding in almost every aspect of PHP and MySQL, I had learned some best-practices of coding and had an excellent reference guide that I could flip to for looking up useful snippets of code (such as string manipulation and date techniques).

The only part of this book that I think was lacking was the section on classes/objects, so I read "PHP Objects, Patterns, and Practice" next, which filled in everything that should have been included here.

This is definitely one of the best instructional books I've ever read.
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I'm not the typical Technical book lover. In fact I'm always dreading opening a book larger than my local Yellow Pages (...yes those still exist). This book, however, was different. True it is long and sometimes can be wordy but it is a nice read. The most important aspect that these technical books lack is personalization. Gilmore does a pretty good job identifying with real world problems and tasks. In addition he's kind of funny too.

The book's organization is alright. Coming from a background in quite a few languages (except C++ which PHP is most similar too) I found the first 5 chapters painfully redundant (i.e. what is an Array, the concept OOP, etc.). However, there were quite a few tidbits of information that were pretty useful. I recommend skimming through these chapters quickly if you have a good background in programming. The structure thereafter (with respect to PHP) is not the most intuitive, rather it is split up into modular components that don't necessarily build on each other. I would recommend you jump the chapters that most interest you. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the MySQL side because I only used the book for PHP development.

I originally viewed the PDF version through an online library but decided to purchase it because it was just so inexpensive. For the price, you really can't get much better. Even though I am giving it 5 start I would probably rate it somewhere between 4.5 and 4.75 just because I expected a little bit more flow between the chapters (though that didn't turn out to be a bad thing).
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