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Perl Programming for the Absolute Beginner (Absolute Beginners) Paperback – Jan 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Premier Press; Book & CD edition (Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931841322
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931841320
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 18.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,888,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Good for beginners ... Installation issues 24 Dec. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent for someone who has zero or outdated programming knowledge. If you follow all the examples you will become knowledgeable enough to tackle more advanced titles on the subject. If you had problems getting the software working ... read the last section of this review. The book covers the basics of HTML, PHP, MySQL and programming concepts such as Variables, Conditions, Functions, Loops, String handling, Arrays etc. at a level and in a manner that beginners should warm to. Rather than a terse explanation of these topics, the author chose to "teach by example". Sometimes this approach works better ... especially in cases where the meaning of the code can be easily interpreted.
The first Chapter on MySQL (CHAP 7) needs some work. It speaks about exporting a table into html and xml (page 281) but does not clearly explain that this exports the results of a query. You will first have to build a query (SELECT * FROM phoneList;) before you can export. There are a few other areas in the book where you have to "figure it out". For example, the use of "backslash-n" appears in the text without explanation. Unfortunately, the PHP manual did not clear it up for me. However, hats off to the author (Andy Harris) as other texts are so much more difficult for the beginner (i.e. non programmer).
Installation Problems
I had problems getting the supplied PHP software working under Windows 2000. Since I have 2 other PHP books I consulted them only to find that the software supplied by both these did not work either. My Internet search turned up no solution but gave enough info that allowed me to stumble unto a solution. For those of you with a similar problem, try this -
Download apache_1.3.23-win32-x86 or latest version (
Download mysql-3.23.49-win or latest version (
Download php-4.2.3-Win32 or latest version (
The Apache and MySQL installers run automatically but PHP requires some work. Once installed, test Apache with [...] ... you should see the default apache screen. Next you will need to get Apache to use PHP to interpret files with the .php extension. ... Also, remember to replace all \ with / when editing the configuration files.
If all else fails, reread the installation info that came with the software and search the net for WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP). Good Luck.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great introduction to programming in general 13 Aug. 2003
By cjmazon - Published on
Format: Paperback
While, of course, focusing on the aspects of PHP and MySQL programming, the first few chapters of the book also make sure to teach the fundamentals of all programming - scope of variables, arrays, the different options for loops, etc. This was extremely helpful to me. With the in-depth example programs and the useful "Challenges" at the end of each chapter, I was programming in PHP from day one. The only problem I had is that he doesn't cover the configuration of PHP much at all, and the example programs on the CD require a certain configuration of PHP that is not standard with installations - so, I had to alter his code in order to see it work on MY computer.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Great Book for anyone wanting to learn PHP & MySQL 20 Jun. 2003
By "kazsil" - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book will help anyone who has had any or no experience with programming. I found this book easy to understand and he shows great examples for almost everything. That was very important to me since I am a "show me" type of learner. Great Book!
24 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Save your money, mine is going back! 16 July 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
As always, another book for beginners that makes no sense. If you are like me trying to learn PHP/MySQL it looks like the NET is the way to go. Find tons of tutorials and read them. I only read the first 100+ pages and was not happy. It appears that they DONT KNOW what a beginner is! I'm still looking for a book to get my feet wet, so far I've read the "in easy steps" books from BN, and they were simple to grasp. But not enough.
This has been one of my biggest complaints with books for beginners... Are they really for some one who knows nothing about the subject? Or is it marketing? You make the call. I have complained forever about this! It appears they start out good then lose it, and you are now stuck.
PS This is my first review and I wanted to write it so you can see it really does not help the newbie. Good Luck in your PHP/MySQL learning.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good but not great- it has unusable code 24 April 2004
By Jason - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has been good for several things- teaching basic code, reusing snippets of scripts- but in Chaper 6- Working with Files, I haven't been able to get the code to work. Loading it from the companion CD, it didn't work off the bat. I went online for support and there is NO errata souce for the book which is really frustrating! I finally figured out the first problem in the code, but now I am stuck again. I like to use the book as a reference to work on a problem at hand, so this book isn't one for that. Also, the code that it suppllies should work without any tweaking needed (or tell you what tweaking needs to be done) and this book isn't one for that either. Therefore, I suggest borrowing the book from a friend or the library before purchasing, or buy it used. It is helpful at points, but en errata source would have made this perfect for me. For an example of a great book/resource on PHP and MySQL, see Larry Ullman's PHP & MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites.
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