14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A solid grounding in PHP and MySQL,
This review is from: PHP & MySQL: Novice to Ninja (Paperback)
First to answer the obvious question; will this book turn you into a PHP and MySQL ninja? Well, no. That's not in any way to say that it's a bad book just that it's being oversold by the title. What it will do is give you a solid grounding in both PHP and MySQL in a readable and easy to digest manner. Perhaps a more accurate title would be something like "PHP and MySQL: Yutz to User" though that doesn't have quite the same ring to it!
Anyway, with that gripe out of the way onto the book. The contents are pretty much as you would expect; a guide to installation, an introduction to using the technologies and then a project based approach to using the PHP and MySQL in anger. Coverage of MySQL is, I think, somewhat more comprehensive than that of PHP but given that it is a much more compact and focused piece of software that is only to be expected. You do get good coverage of some of the more useful and important parts of PHP such as regular expressions and session management along with the basics and also a rather nice chapter on structured programming. I particularly appreciated the fact that object oriented programmed wasn't put forward as the one true way for building structured software, as it so often is, and that procedural programming with a library of functions got a look in. It's personal bias I know but for object oriented programming I prefer to use a language designed in an OO manner from the ground up. On the MySQL side you get pretty much everything you might need from a primer in relational database design up to some fairly advanced areas such as database replication and backed up with appendices of MySQL syntax and functions. There's no similar appendix of PHP syntax and functions, but as PHP runs to thousands of functions it's no great surprise.
So overall is this a good book? Well yes; it's well written, engaging and covers the basics of PHP pretty well and of MySQL very well. Is it every book you will need to get your PHP and MySQL ninja blackbelt? No, but then no book ever will be. While you could pick up PHP & MySQL Novice to Ninja having never programmed before you might struggle a little bit. It's probably most appropriate for those who have dabbled in a bit of programming, understand the basics of variables, functions et al and would like to move into the world of PHP and MySQL.