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Beginning PHP and PostgreSQL 8: From Novice to Professional (Beginning: From Novice to Professional) Paperback – March 2, 2006
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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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I have a few issues with the idea of loading the server with all the work of making the webpage, and I am uncomfortable in having an introduction to PostgreSQL that seems to stop so short. But, I have to say, if this gets people working with these two wonderful tools, then this is a fine place to start.
The book covers the introduction to PHP very well. I think it has one of the most comprehensive introductions to PHP that I have seen. Unfortunately, as in most other books on PHP, there is no sense that it can handle images, shading or quality website design. When you want to finally master these capabilities in PHP design, see "PHP Solutions" to continue the education found in this book.
As to PostgreSQL, its a decent and recent introduction, but stops far short of any display of what this database can really do. Unfortunately for PostgreSQL, there arn't enough books on it to give it the visibility it deserves. In this book PostgreSQL is relegated to a minimal support position for the website design. Given that this database can be the backend tier for a three tier commercial business that has multiple websites, it should have been given much more prominence. PostgreSQL has a more advanced set of data types than any other database and it's one of the few multi-platform databases that won't cost an arm and a leg. Try getting Oracle or SQL Server to do data arrays. SQL Server is my second favorite database, but I can't afford to buy even the standard version, perhaps the Workgroup edition will be able to serve me on Windows.
So give some more respect to PostgreSQL, it runs multi-terabyte databases on fortune 500 company servers, it is complete and ready to work right from the download, and it only costs you the time you want to spend to learn how to use it. I agree SQL Server has builtin analysis and datamining capability, but at $20,000 - $50,000 for a datacenter site, I would have to have Donald Trump as a personal friend to afford it.
In summary, I recommend this book as an excellent "one stop" book to start your journey into commercial website design. Just don't let your education stop at the last page of the book. I took off one star on my evaluation because the book didn't expand on the real potential of these two software tools.
A beginning PHP book, not a beginning programming book. The subtitle, 'From Novice to Professional', can be a tad misleading for the novice coder. A beginning programming book covers a lot of material that this book assumes the reader already understands. Many software books include a 'Who Is This Book For' section that offers some guidance on the suitable reader knowledge level, not this one.
That said, I found this book to be very helpful. The sections on installing and configuring Apache, PHP and PostgreSQL certainly saved me many hours of reading the online documentation and tweaking of settings while setting up my local test bed. That, in itself, made me a very happy camper. The author goes on to cover the various aspects from the basics of the PHP language and class libraries to topics like Authentication, Security, Session Handlers and eMail functionality that help anyone new to PHP setup some fairly sophisticated site capabilities.
Gilmore has included a section on PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository). This is a wealth of prewritten classes and packages that can be used to add even more sophisticated functionality to the novice's web development toolbox. The author demonstrates several of the more prominent packages.
New for this edition, Robert Treat has contributed coverage of PostgreSQL, including chapters on tables and data types, views, functions, indexes and triggers. There is also coverage of the more pertinent PHP functionality to access PostgreSQL. Most of the examples offered are clean and general enough to be useful templates for the reader's tailoring.
My suggestion for novices to PHP is read through chapter 9, then skip to the various sections that solve specific problems being faced or are of particular interest, including installing and configuring your local test bed.
Bottom line, this edition was a good book for intermediate to veteran programmers looking for a quick tutorial on PHP (circa version 5.1) and specifics for the PostgreSQL community. Novice programmers should ensure that they have a full understanding of the basics of programming (and OOP) before attempting it.