Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in Web Development)
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on February 24, 2012
I've been a developer for over 24 years and I've been writing PHP applications for the DHS for over 10 years. I purchased this book as a desk reference and have found it very useful. It's well organized, so I can find what I'm looking for in a snap. I don't have time to read it from cover to cover, but what I have read has been very insightful and well worth the purchase price. I recommend this book over all others. I also purchased the PHP book, you know the one with the funny animals, and it was absolutely the worse book I ever read. It was not helpful at all. It was written by too many authors and left me confused. Yes, wording the same thing in 2 different ways becomes very confusing. I think I'll stick with the Experts from now on. Hope this helps.
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on September 13, 2013
The book is an unorganized mess. Lots of fluffs. The information presented is incomplete. For example, in chapter 18, the author discussed some configuration directives without telling the filename where to set the configuration. Explanations from Google searches are clearer. The examples in this book demonstrate bad practices. If you are a newbie, this book will lead you to write bad codes.

Buy a different book. Larry E. Ullman wrote a few good books, try those.
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I am an experienced software engineer who never done any PHP coding until three weeks ago. I had a good idea of what I wanted to accomplish, but did not know exactly how to do it using PHP. This book was perfect for me.
This book did not cover the basics of software engineering, so when they say "novice" they refer to being a novice in PHP only.

The book is well organized, and I was able to find what I needed to do without reading the book cover to cover.
The sections on installing and configuring PHP and MySQL were very helpful to start with. Examples were clear and useful, and I was able to adapt them to my own needs easily.

I was able to complete my project in several weeks, much of it thanks to this reference.
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on May 16, 2012
I have 3 or 4 PHP books, and this one is the worst, by far. I bought it because it was required for a PHP class I am taking, but it is a horrible choice for a course textbook.

An example: In chapter 10, "Working with the file and operating system", there are something like 15 pages about reading files, but not one page about writing files. Say what? And no examples of writing files. It's really as if the author simply never thought about it.

Every subject, every section leaves me wanting. There is almost no section of the book where I pick it up and glean meaningful examples.
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on September 15, 2013
Not sure where to begin; I must say that I am extremely disappointed with this book to say the least. I've been, mainly, a .net developer for close to 12 years now (that's all my programing life) and my first experience with php has been very confusing. I bought this book hoping that it would help me take off my Microsoft programming hat and put me in a php mindset, sadly that did not happen. The main issue I have with this book is the excessive mention of the tools and frameworks available to us (LDAP, ZEND, PEAR etc..) and the speed in which they were covered on one hand and the lack of hands-on programming on the other. I think the code examples presented in the book can be easily compressed into less than a chapter; the rest is more like definitions of the frameworks. A beginner with php could care less about LDAP, FILE and operating system, networking etc... A new comer wants to understand how to build a simple website while learning the essence of the scripting language. I would not recommend it for beginners.
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on November 30, 2011
Minor typing errors and code errors are there, but if you are an experienced code examiner, they pose no hinder for learning the interesting PHP language. PHP is changing rapidly, so I gathered much from this book, even if all the changes made to this language are not presented in this newest book. For the novice, though, a substantial basis to start learning!
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on February 13, 2012
This is generally a solid book, however the page index in the kindle version seems to be missing.
So trying to use the kindle version as a reference book while coding fails.

The section on array manipulation is HUGE, but the database interface seems somewhat weak. However I am not sure I would hold that against the book, since the missing information can be overcome by looking at the MySQL sites.
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on March 26, 2011
I needed a book to get me up to speed with modern web application development, database interactions and front-end-to-database shuttling, and this book fit the bill. As a rusty application developer with considerable experience on ~15 year old systems, I was delighted to find a resource that would describe modern PHP, it's object-oriented features, PEAR, Ajax/jQuery/DOM, MySQL, PDO and point me to more detailed references as needed. I downloaded the book from the iBooks store (1551 pages on an iPad) and found that whenever I needed more information, Jason Gilmore pointed the way, and iBooks' search facilities got me out to the appropriate resource with few clicks. I like Mr. Gilmore's balance of informal tone and rigorous specificity and his facility with juggling the needs of both novice and professional (I'm a bit of both). I also obtained the (787 page) book on PDF for my multitouch TabletPC and found both interfaces to have their advantages and disadvantages.
iBooks. Pros: 1) I can read and highlight it while on an elliptical machine--I'm clocking up more calories! My highlights passed automatically to all my iOS devices. 2) Instant-on, bookmarking, search (in the book and through Google/Wiki) are well integrated, even on iPhone.
Cons: 1) Formatting is a bit wonky. I gather that this book was not written with the iBooks interface in mind and though it exploited the form factor well, it could have been better edited for formatting and page-width effects. 2) iPhone (4582 pp.) loads slowly, but responds quickly once loaded.
PDF. Pros: 1) WYSIWYG. It looks like the real book (I guess). 2) Mature PDF form factor design. 3) By putting it in my Dropbox, I'm able to read it from any internet device.
Cons: 1) Going out to pear.php.net was considerably harder from the TabletPC/PDF than from the iPad. 2) The PDF did not allow commenting/highlighting. Rats.
In summary, I thought the book was great. I'm eager to get Mr. Gilmore's next book on Zend, ( [...] ) as I'm zeroing in on that as a likely dev environment, thanks to what I learned in this volume. (Too bad I can't find it on iBooks store yet.)
Randy Hawkins
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on April 3, 2011
I provided a good quick reference guide to all the basic functions of PHP and MySQL. The book mostly focuses on the common and new functions for PHP. Though it mentions the legacy functions the new ones replace it does not provide a lot of detail on the legacy functions. So if you are planning on updating/optimizing your legacy PHP code, this book will definitely help. If you need a reference book for a legacy functions code you are better off using the docs on [...]
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on May 23, 2011
I just got the book, and right away I had some questions, and not the fault of the author. The author did have an e-mail address listed, so I sent him a question. He was quick to get back to me with the right answer, which was all I could ask for. You just can't get any better than that! From what I have seen of the book so far, it is well-written and easy to follow.
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