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on 5 November 2009
Very interesting and informative, but needed more explaination in parts. On the whole a good buy. Wood recommend
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on 3 April 2017
There are various parts of the book that can be understood, and one can follow along and acquire the knowledge, and there are various parts that require more detailed focus, to follow along and one can add more knowledge to there learning. I personally feel because I have the prerequise knowledge in web design I still have to learn new stuff from this book, my existing web design knowledge is retainable but is difficult to use, the same applies to new knowledge it becomes retainable over time, but becomes difficult to apply. I think without referencing to books and documented notes and the Internet for tips and suggestions along side one's past web design/development skills, things would he alot more difficult for one to follow along and learn from any guide books. I also think that patience and practice can change how we write reviews on products and our final review can different. PRACTICE, READ, PRACTICE, READ, PRACTICE, READ and keep going.
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on 30 January 2011
Although this book is useful. I found the layout of the code very annoying. The page is split into two columns, with the code inline with the text, thus also flowing in the two columns... this makes for reading the code very difficult. Also Im no expert but I found some of the coding techniques very messy, for example his form validation, which can be done much neater than the example in this book. Another gripe, is he uses stupid variable names, which are totally none descriptive, for instance in clearly written code you might write $query he'll abbreviate it to just $q, also where everyone else would write $result he just puts $r, which if youre learning can be very un-helpful when trying to make sense of the example... coupled with poor layout, this book gives me a headache when trying to learn from it.

p234 example:
7. Add user to the database.

require_once
> ('../mysqli_connect.php');

$q = "INSERT INTO users (first_name,
>last_name, email, pass,
>registration_date) VALUES ('$fn',
>'$ln', '$e', SHA1('$p'), NOW() )";

$r = @mysqli_query ($dbc, $q)

YES! the code really is formatted like that!!! Its terrible. That query should be on one line, not spread over four. And try making sense of it as a beginner, when he uses $r and $q. I know what this all means now, now that ive coded many sql queries. But when I was learning, this book was a nightmare.

I use this book in combination with the Luke Welling, Laura Thomson "PHP and MySQL Web Development" book (which is a far deeper book IMHO - and much better laid out) along with examples on the web to get a better understanding of a particular area of PHP/MySQL I need to learn.

The layout for this book needs reviewing for the next issue - use the full width of the page guys!
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on 30 July 2012
PHP 6 is not yet out, so unless you want to read a book about something that is not currently in use. It will be pointless. It's not one of the most user friendly books on the market either, there are better alternatives. Disappointing as I like Ulman's other books.
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on 6 November 2009
Overall I was extremely impressed by the whole experience of this book, both from what I learned and the general readability, which is second to none. I'm almost tempted to call it a page turner, which face-it, for any book in this genre is rarer than the by-product of a white rocking horse.

As someone who comes from a front-end design perspective, I've put off dipping my toes into the actual dirty work of back end coding for far too long. Probably because I've had my hand burnt with a few other titles, but now my main regret is that I didn't find this book several years ago.

I like the way things actually logically ramp up from chapter to chapter, and its actually quite exhilarating applying and then building upon each example. Once you have basics nailed down, the wider picture suddenly comes into focus and the sky seems the limit.

Sure it can be frustrating when the author chooses to focus on area when your natural curiosities are leading you in another direction, but having reread the whole book (my ability to muster the effort to is indeed a compliment in itself), I understand why it's organised in this way and functions so well as a learning tool.

The book does contain one or two mistakes, however nothing which can be considered fundamental floors in any of the code. If you you can't work out that a line of code requires a single extra parentheses (bracket) with PHP's own excellent error reporting and the extensive section of the book dedicated to debugging, with the greatest of respect, you probably need to go back and actually take in the basics. Most of my own (minor) problems with the code came from my own slack hand coding ability, which I can only describe as Dreamweaver-syndrome! The author also lists all of the mistakes on his website, which despite several visits in the hope of finger-pointing, on closer inspection it turned out to be my own mistake(s).

Being hyper-critical chapter 14 'Making universal sites' could possibly be considered quite a niche subject that felt out of place in a book aimed at this level. However, it is one of the fundamental changes in php 6 and probably comes from the desire to fulfil the 'php 6' mantle in the the title rather than necessity.

I've just ordered 'php 5 advance' from the same author and really can't wait to build on what I took out of this title.

So don't procrastinate like me and jump in with this excellent title!
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on 9 December 2011
I was really reluctant to buy such an expensive book when there are so many websites offering free advice and tutorials. In the end, there were some things that I desperately wanted to be able to achieve using php and mysql and I couldn't find reliable information anywhere. I didn't read the book from cover to cover as the author suggests but I dipped in to find what I needed. It was fantastic! All the things that I had wanted to do but didn't know how, were there. My son and I have designed and made a virtual learning environment for the kids in my class. They are always coming up with new features that they want us to make. Now the only barrier is their imaginations!
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on 29 August 2008
I bought this book at the same time as 2 others on similar topics. I've hardly used the other 2. This book is well-written, with useful examples and the author has explained the sample code line-by-line... a real help when trying to amend one of his examples to produce something for your own purposes. As a teacher with some experience of HTML/ VB / ASP.NET I found this book really easy to follow.

There are a few very minor typos in the text (not surprising, given the number of pages), but if you visit the author's website there's a full list of corrections. It took me about 5 mins to go through and correct them, so it didn't really reduce the effectiveness of the book.

One feature I've really found useful... there are occasional little tables of other functions that do similar things. There isn't space in the book to describe them all in detail, but knowing the name of a fucntion makes it really easy to find out more using your favourite search engine.

Strongly recommended.

I also boughtHow to Do Everything with PHP and MySQL (How to Do Everything) (which is absolutely useless) and Mysql Crash Course (Sams Teach Yourself) (which is just about OK as a reference, but has awful page layout that makes it really hard to read). This book was far better than either of those.
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on 7 March 2011
PHP6 has been scrapped and replaced by 5.4. Don't buy a book about a technology that hasn't yet been written, nor finalised.

Very bad that a publisher has allowed this to be released.
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on 31 December 2008
As someone who has developed "shop front" websites since the late 90s, but who never needed to take it a stage further until the last 18 months, I needed a fast, accessible introduction to both PHP and MySQL in order to build a dynamic, search-driven website for my company - fast.

If you know enough HTML/CSS to knock up a brochure-style site, and can plug in a bit of Javascript, get a form to work, and put the whole thing live with a hosting company, this book will take you by the hand and get you right up to speed with the theory and practise of building your first dynamic site, including keeping it secure.

Larry Ullman employs some pretty nifty and subtle techniques in his method of teaching, and I guarantee that you'll find yourself using this as much as a reference as anything else after you've worked through it from cover to cover as advised.

While his method of printing the code in full then going through it piece by piece may irk those who bemoan the waste of paper or feel patronised by such a steady approach, I loved it because you get the chance to type the code in and try and work out what's going on for yourself before having it explained to you. This is a great way of learning and challenges you to understand what you're typing rather than just doing it by rote.

There is no object-oriented programming in here, no real depth to the MySQL/SQL part, and nothing about "mashups", web services etc, and you're definitely going to want to follow on with more learning on these themes (I also have PHP 5 Advanced by the same author, which covers the PHP parts of these topics), but there is an awful lot of learning to do before you can move on to such subjects, and this book packs it all in clearly and usefully.

By the way, PHP 6 is not released as I write this, but there is little difference between PHP 5 and 6 from the point of view of this book - the Unicode chapter is maybe one to skip from that point of view, but it's a small point. Otherwise, if you fall in to the category I outlined earlier, I'd thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 15 August 2008
I was keen to learn a server side langauage and if I'm honest was always leaning towards the PHP/Mysql combo.

I was constantly looking online for tutorials to grasp the basics of this language but for me, I'm old school and prefer an actual book I can hold and use as a reference.

I purchased this book purely because of the reviews. This book deserves all the praise it gets.

From someone who had little knowledge of PHP, I can easily look at the code, understand it and if a problem occurs apply debugging methods as taught in this book. The odd occassional semicolon here and there seems to slip in.

My skills in web desin consisted of XHTML and CSS so I felt I had to get skilled in a different area. I'm glad I chose PHP and even happier I purchased this book.

As mentioned in the title, I feel I have a great foundation in PHP/MySQL and I'm keen to learn more and create my own dynamic projects.
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