Beginning PHP5, Apache, MySQL Web Development.

Elizabth Naramore, Jason Gerner, Yann Le Scouarnec, Jeremy Stolz, Michael K. Glass

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ISBN: 0764579665

Pages: 798

Publisher: Wrox

Topic: PHP

Rating: 4 out of 5 – (4 out of 5)

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Beginning PHP5, Apache, MySQL Web Development.

As the name suggests this book is aimed at beginners who want to learn how to develop web pages using PHP, Apache and MySQL for the database. The book begins with telling you how to install Apache, MySQL and PHP on Windows.

The next 9 chapters then cover the basics of the interactivity of PHP with the browser using forms and databases, so instead of just teaching you the basics of PHP, this book gears it’s teaching of PHP towards the database side of things, which is great if you want to just get on start programming dynamic web sites using PHP and MySQL.

The type of areas covered include forms, manipulating images, validating user input, handling and avoiding errors and how to display data from the MySQL database.

This book bases the second section of its examples on a movie database application. You start the book with simple scripts and as the book progresses these scripts grow larger and larger as you add more functionality into the movie database application. This means that sometimes several pages may just be full of code, the good thing though is that the new code that should be added is highlighted and easy to read.

The third and final part of the book leaves the movie database behind and you now start a new application which is a comic book appreciation web site. Within these 9 chapters you will learn how to design and build a database, send email, use logins, profile and how to personalise a users experience.

On top of these sections there are also further areas of the comic book web site that are broken down into chapters on how to build the content management system, how to build your mailing list, how to build a shopping cart and a bulletin board system as well as how to use your log files to improve your website.

Each chapter sets you questions and gives you tasks to complete which can greatly increase your learning and understanding of the topics. The Appendices cover all the PHP in-built functions while the new PHP5 functions are highlighted in bold. There is also a MySQL reference guide section as well as an introduction to PEAR, which is are PHP additional modules and classes which cover a wide range of common functions.

This book covers everything to get you going with programming a dynamic web site using PHP and MySQL on an Apache webserver. It’s a large book at nearly 800 pages, but some good examples make this book one of the better guides to beginning web programming. It does seem strange to includes examples of building a shopping cart and bulletin board system, as there are already a number of widely used PHP applications that can be used for free on the web, such as phpBB and osCommerce that cover these areas. But then again these example applications do make great examples of how to program on the web, as a lot of people may want to create these types of applications.

It would have been nice if the book had covered some more of the new functionality in PHP5 such as the in built database functionality of PHP5 without using MySQL, but I am sure there are other books in the series that cover the new areas of PHP5 in more depth.

This web developemtn book is definitely worth a look if you want to learn how to program on the web, especially if you have ideas about creating a shopping cart, bulletin board or email system.

Beginning PHP5, Apache, MySQL Web Development Book Review