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on 31 January 2012
Can I start by saying that i have a great deal of respect for Larry Ullman. This title along with PHP for the World Web (For beginners) are excellent titles for learning PHP & MySQL.

My only criticism is that he could have spent more time updating the examples. The main eCommerce example is one for a gallery, which has not changed as far as I can see for the last three editions. I just think its a bit lazy adding a few chapters and putting a smart new cover and selling it as completely revised and updated.

Still the best guide out there, but please spent more time on the updates.

Peter Jones
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on 5 April 2005
I can't speak highly enough of this book, I have used it as my bible since picking up a bit of php a few months back. I initially borrowed a friends copy having found it more useful that the SAMs Teach Yourself PHP and Mysql in 24 hours that I had already bought. The SAMS book probably explains some of the constructs of using the language a little better, at the start, loops flow control etc, but after that this book just leaps ahead. I continually refer back to it (so much so I had to buy my own!), and its helped me understand and solve lots of problems I have found along the way. Its helped me a great deal to be able to pick apart some of the automated server behaviours in Dreamweaver and to be able to work with them so I can use their facilities but customised for my own needs . I have written three or four scripts which do combinations of stuff in the book and my confidence has gained to the point I actually enjoy the challenge now!.
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on 5 January 2015
This is a technical book, not for beginners
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on 7 November 2012
Nice and easy to understand book. This book will take you from beginner to professional level. All you need is determination and eager to become professional php programmer.
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on 10 January 2016
Very good book! Love it and recommend it!
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on 14 February 2007
The content will take you from zero knowledge of PHP and MySQL (even not having it installed!) to a point where you can feel confident approaching the development of a fully functioning dynamic website. The examples cover ecommerce, user registration and content management. There are consistent references to other sources and alternative functions which could be used. For me it took me from a very limited knowledge of PHP/MySQL (gained from a few days searching the web) to this point of confidence where I'm now designing my own ecommerce website. I would agree with another reviewer that a prior knowledge of HTML is important although I think you could scrape by without, you should learn HTML seperately before starting this book.

Well written: Books like this can have all the content in the world and still be useless. This book is by far one of the best 'textbooks' I've ever used. It is clear and concise without omitting any vital details. It covers useful material and refers to more detail. It is 'friendly' and doesn't assume much (if anything). Overall it reads easily and gets the point across very effectively.

Well Supported: The scripts (php and mysql) are all available on the author's website. This is useful to compare your practice and problem-solve if you get really stuck! One SQL script was not available but it affects one small example only and won't impact your progress. The author maintains a web forum on which you can ask questions. He seems to respond to them all (quite a feat!) and I got a reply to a question I asked within 24 hours. That's quite impressive!

If you are looking at a few books with a similar title as I did a few weeks ago, then I can fully recommend this book. I have devoured it - working full time 10 hours a day - in about 8 days. It has been a steep learning curve and I got to the end which wouldn't happen with every book of this sort.
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on 28 July 2006
I bought this book as a complete beginner with no prior experience of languages other than HTML. The book is easy to read and explains concepts well. There are extensive examples which are shown as complete scripts as well as explained in narrative form alongside.

On purchasing the book I was slightly apprehensive that topics would be covered too quickly, but this was not the case at all. If anything, I found that once I had a good grasp of the basics I was able to skip over several of the examples.

As well as a walkthrough guide to the capabilities and functionality of PHP and MySQL, this book also includes two comprehensive examples of web applications. These could be used as 'off-the-shelf' applications for your own website if required with very little adaptation.

As mentioned in other reviews, the only criticism is that security concerns are not introduced from the outset, but are only addressed in a single chapter towards the end of the book. This is far from ideal as it requires you to revisit previous subjects, adjusting your code to make it more secure. That said, it could be argued that to present security concerns throughout could overcomplicate the earlier chapters, particulary those introducing difficult concepts for the first time.

Overall: Highly recommended although an intermediate-level knowledge of HTML is a prerequisite.
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on 16 July 2004
I am a BSc student, got this book based on some of the above reviews, have to say having read a couple of chapters from it its absolutely great, it lives up to its name, if you want to learn php/mySQL programming fast look no further, although it starts from the very basics having some sort of understanding in scripting/programming/sql is helpful as this book moves very quickly (hence the name!). I recommend this one especially to BSc Computing students.
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on 15 February 2012
I have bought an awful lot of books on PHP and MYSQL (and in computing in general). This book is different as it tackles teaching you the concepts of coding through meaningful practical examples. This is what you would normally do if taking a college or university course. It helps put everything into context so that you can then understand where to apply these concepts in your own projects. The author has also provided TIP boxes which provide additional explanations of where and why you would use a certain concept in your web design (PHP & MySql). Fortunately, Larry doesn't distract the reader by attempting to explain HTML or CSS principles which would water down the book and detract from PHP and MySql. Instead he leaves the reader to research these as separate subjects of which there are many resources. This helps the reader and author to remain focussed on the main subjects of PHP and MySql.

I regard this book as one of a few pivotal texts that have succeeded in demystifying many coding concepts and has taken me to the next level of understanding. This is one of those very useful books that I shall keep referring to for a long time.
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on 19 April 2005
As a complete novice to both PHP and MySQL, I found this book totally accessible. [The last language I learned was - wait for it- FORTRAN! - things have moved on a bit...] The progressive tutorial was paced at a perfect rate, introducing just enough new material each time to keep the interest level high and not too much to be overwhelming (unlike a lot of other computer books). The database section of the book explained relational databases in understandable and practical terms too. Another good feature is the wealth of good quality reference material, encouraging the reader to supplement knowledge in specific areas if desired. The overall thrust of the book is towards what I, and I imagine a lot of others, want to do - make a database driven website. The book succeeds in this objective very well indeed.
It's also a very handy reference to Open Source PHP, which helped me to understand how to configure and use several packages.
My only slight criticism is the lack of detail when discussing security - something which is surely a top concern of any operational website. Apart from that, I can't praise it highly enough. If only all computer books were written like this.....
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