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Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites Second Edition Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449319267
ISBN-10: 1449319262
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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the 1st edition:
  • Just get this book... [it] will work like a miracle for you - Abdul Khan, Amazon
  • Excellent! Easy to read, straightforward guide. Already learned several very useful things - Holly, Good Reads
  • Finally a comprehensive resource for HTML users who want to move to the next level - Michael L. Kleper, The Kleper Report

Book Description

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 586 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (September 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449319262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449319267
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good resource for learning these topics. It is not for absolute beginners. You need to have a working knowledge of html and how websites work. I suggest that you should have coded a website, and reached a point where you want to do something specific, but cannot figure out how.

I have been checking out every book I can find from my library that covers PHP/MySQL, JavaScript, and HTML/CSS. My wife balked at how many books I had. It was a stack of thick dull texts LITERALLY 5 feet tall. They were all dense, boring, and assumed that I knew things that only a web developer would know. I would read a chapter or two in each before I could go no further.

Out of all of those books, this is the one book I bought.

Now, this is still a thick, dense book. The author tries his best to make the book enjoyable to read. He gives good examples, and immediately explains why he does things this way, how things might be different, what mistakes you might make, and how you would implement this new knowledge. It is this explanation that makes this book worth buying. Every other book will tell you something and move on. I assume that other authors take for granted that they know the why's and how's and such, that they do not want to waste time on details that seem tedious to them. This author really works hard to make the content as easy to understand as possible.

This means that there are parts I am familiar with and skip over. That is fine. For the parts I struggle with, I am very grateful to have all of the expounded information available.

I cannot speak about updates from the 1st edition, since I did not read it. I will most likely buy the next edition, if the changes/additions are substantial. I would like to see more on forms and cookies.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I have been building static websites with HTML/CSS for a while and wanted to see if I could take this skill to the next level. I think this book brought me a long way towards that aim. I would recommend it to anyone who knows AT LEAST basic HTML and preferably has some programming experience as well. You don't have to be a wiz, but it helps if you know the concepts of loops and objects in other languages.

When introducing a new language, the author tends to tell you A LOT about the syntax of the language before going into any detail about what you can do with it. The best way to read the book is to have a project in mind as you go through these chapters, and try to incorporate new concepts as they come up. Of course, this will probably make your project a mess by the time it's done, but in the end it's a learning exercise. The book is full of code snippets to demonstrate functionality, but a bit lacking in what I would call real-world examples (until the last chapter).

The place where this really became a problem, for me at least, was the section on JavaScript. We first spend two chapters going through the JS syntax: loops, variables, arrays, objects, if/else, on and on and on, including things you won't necessarily need for a while like object prototypes (JS and PHP share some common ancestry and so a lot of this feels repeated). The author throws out the concept of the Document Object Model but we don't come back to it for quite a while.

By the time we get a real-world example of where JavaScript is used in actual webpages, it's in the context of form validation. In spite of the lengthly introduction to the language, the code presented is at first incomprehensible.
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Format: Paperback
I read the first edition of this book and at that time I didn't like it much. Then a week ago I decided to give the second edition a try and I was pleasantly surprised to find the book much better written and much useful.
The explanations are quick and to the point and the author uses an informal tone which I like.

As a first book on all of the topics included the book will seem too short on explanations and therefore it's not for absolute beginners in web programming. As a refresher or complimentary reading the book is great.

If you are an absolute beginner I'd suggest Larry Ullman's books because the tempo and the learning curve are lower in his introductory books.

One last important thing - the last chapter of the book is devoted to the practical application of all the topics covered and a full working example of dynamic website creation is given.
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Format: Paperback
This isn't a bad book. It's readable at a level that I could handle when I was just getting started, and it teaches you something about each topic. But I can't help but think that anyone would be better off reading two books, one dedicated to PHP, one dedicated to JavaScript, and then a tutorial dedicated to MySQL.

If you don't know anything about programming, the introduction to PHP is too short to teach you enough to create anything interesting. If you have previously programmed in another language, you'll find the introduction to PHP absurdly short--grab a dedicated book. As for the JavaScript, it's even more cursory. For what this book teaches, go read a tutorial on the language and then read about jQuery--it's what someone who doesn't have a deep knowledge of JavaScript wants to use anyway.

The only section that worked for me was the section on MySQL. It was similarly cursory, but I didn't find that I needed more until much later.

I suppose that if you just want a website that only needs the most basic input and output, this book would suit you.
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