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Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites Paperback – 6 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 586 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (6 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449319262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449319267
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.6 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Robin has over 30 years experience of writing software, and developing websites and apps. He also has an extensive history of writing about computers and technology, with a portfolio of over 500 published magazine articles and almost 30 books, many of which have been translated into other languages. He is also a prolific Internet video course instructor.

As well as IT, his interests include psychology and motivation (which he also writes about), artificial intelligence research, many types of music (both playing and listening to), playing and creating board games, studying philosophy and culture, and enjoying good food and drink (following a 'Paleo' diet, which has resulted in 40 pounds weight loss).

Robin lives on the south-east coast of England (where he writes full time), along with his five children and wife, Julie (a trained nurse and university lecturer). Between them they also foster three disabled children. You can keep up with Robin's (sporadic) posts via his website at robinnixon.com

Product Description

Book Description

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites

About the Author

Robin Nixon has worked with and written about computers since the early 1980s (his first computer was a Tandy TRS 80 Model 1 with a massive 4KB of RAM!). One of the web sites he developed presented the world's first radio station licensed by the music copyright holders. In order to enable people to continue to surf while listening, Robin also developed the first known pop-up windows. He has also worked full time for one of Britain's main IT magazine publishers, where he held several roles including editorial, promotions, and cover disc editing.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By cram on 2 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback
Although I was curious about this book, I had mixed expectations. I have no background in web development (beyond playing a little with Catalyst and Drupal) so getting my toes wet with popular web-related technologies can't hurt. At the same time, I must confess I had serious doubts when I read the title out loud: "PHP", "MySQL", "JavaScript", "CSS". Learning four technologies as different as two programming languages (one server- and one client-side at that), a relational database and a style sheet language seemed like a little too much, even for a book of 556 pages.

Depending on your expectations, the book may be a hit or a miss. On one hand, if you unrealistically hoped to be a PHP, MySQL, JavaScript and CSS wizard after reading the book: no luck. You'll need to buy several books about each subject and invest the necessary time to get to know the technologies. But, you probably know this already. If, on the other hand, you just want to scratch the surface but -this is the interesting part- you want to see how these disparate technologies interoperation, then it's a pretty good read. In the limited space, the author manages to give attention to best practices (e.g. database normalization), something I didn't expect. The including classical web application mini-project, that uses the 4 technologies, may be a good incentive to those that prefer a more hands-on approach.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By foredeckhand on 15 Nov 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was just what I wanted, a reference book chock full of code and examples to get my teeth into. There's no waffle in this book, it's all good solid stuff.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By read more books on 6 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've bought this book and have read it to cover.

I've used the information held within to build dynamic database driven websites for work and for pleasure.

I already had a decent understanding of HTML, and a rudimentary understanding of programming constructs, but the material in this book has helped me take it to the next level. In that regard, the author has met his objectives but has also exceeded my expectations.

Each of the four advertised topics are covered in more than enough detail to help you pick up the basics, if not more. You're equipped with sufficient knowledge so that, if you 'get it', you'll be off to a flying start. You'll certainly have enough knowledge to produce a better than average personal website. Your level of knowledge will only improve with a second reading.

Examples of programming concepts such as conditional statements, flow control, operators, functions and object orientation are covered as is basic Ajax. There are some exercises, but I would have welcomed a few more.

The one thing I'm still not clear on after reading this book is JavaScript. I think its just me, but it still hasn't totally clicked. Of the four main topics, this is the area I know the least about so I probably just need more practice or maybe a more detailed book.

The only thing to really be aware of is that this book is only about 500 pages long. Purely because of that, you won't be exposed to every aspect of PHP, MySQL, CSS or JavaScript. All of those topics are big enough to fill larger books than this in their own right.

I've had the dubious pleasure of reading lots if IT manuals in my time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fotos on 11 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book quickly skims through how the internet and websites work at the start so even if you're a complete beginner you'll be able to jump in and follow what's going on but you would need to look elsewhere to get more of a grounding in the basics of HTML etc.

I once tried to learn programming before but had a terrible tutor who put me off it for years! The author of this book would have made a much better teacher.
What I like about this book is that it has a clear and engaging style, the writer really takes the time to explain concepts using analogies and examples that just make sense.
It's well laid out and progresses nicely from one concept to the next building on what's come before.

I've seen plenty of books on technical subjects where it's a struggle to complete a paragraph without zoning out or losing the will to live.
This book isn't like that, I've been reading it in bed and able to learn stuff to try out the next day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N Fletcher on 26 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started writing software in 1976, and stayed in the mainstream applications and embedded software industries. Although I toyed with HTML, CSS and MySQL over the years, I was not "getting it", this new more integrated technology approach. I am pleased to say that this book has helped me get a grasp of the web development paradigm a great deal more firmly. I am now writing some complicated PHP, MySQL and Javascript code to fulfill some long-running ambitions. I have complemented my study with David Flanagan's "Javascript: The Definitive Guide" 6th Ed. (O'Reilly) and Nich Zakas' "Professional JavaScript for Web Developers" 3rd Ed. (WROX)". Neither are light reading, but they extend what's in Robin Nixon's book quite nicely. Robin has set a good foundation for me. I use the MySQL reference site for all my MySQL research.
If I had any complaint it is that Robin does not go quite far enough with some of the examples - many of them are a little too simple, but still informative - and there are large areas of functionality that most websites would capitalise on to make them attractive to users. I have enjoyed many an hour enhancing some of the examples, but I have also not enjoyed the odd hour or so trying to work out why the "simple enhancement" did not work as expected.
Some improvements to consider in the 3rd Ed.:
1. More on MySQL stored procedures, both written in the Management Tool with SQL and using PHP.
2. More on AJAX integration for tabulated data needing regular refreshes.
3. More on AJAX integration and streamlining of PHP by using more JavaScript presentation methods and dynamic JavaScript HTML generation.
4.
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