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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars

on 7 October 2014
Excelent arrived quicklyu and as described
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on 30 June 2014
This book doesn't say whether its target audience is for beginners to programming in general, or those with experience of other platforms looking to expand their skillset with PHP and MySQL. I assume it is for the latter, because relatively little time is spent explaining basic programming concepts that are easily transferable from elsewhere. There is also a fair amount of terminology that is not explained in detail or included in the appendix, requiring anybody who doesn't understand it to carry out additional research. In addition, the book has no index and could also do with a chapter on issues they are likely to encounter when upsizing from a single person development system to a commercial web host.

In addition to minor spelling or grammatical mistakes throughout the book, many code samples don't follow through from code extracts through to the full listing and screenshots of results, which may confuse with exact variable names etc.
Additionally, a lot of the code outputs HTML that doesn't validate, which may give rise to XSS vulnerabilities in some circumstances. To top this off, chapter 9 on MySQL access should come with a major health warning - the code presented is vulnerable against SQL injection attacks, and is not suitable for production use. It makes sense to instil best practice right from the start with parameterised queries and fully valid HTML output, so I really don't know why they were not used here.

In short, this book a good starting point for those new to PHP and MySQL development but who have experience coding for other platforms. However, the caveats mean I can't recommend it. More experienced developers will know how to eliminate the vulnerabilities, but then they will probably not need the rest of the book, since most of this is either known to them or, as the technologies used are open source, they could find answers using their favourite search engine.

I have raised a number of these issues with the publisher, and they assure me they are considering what to do.
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