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Beginning PHP and MySQL 5.0

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the getting-started dept.

142

Ravi Kumar writes "PHP and MySQL use is so prevalent that nowadays it is hard to miss seeing a website on the net which has been built using these technologies. The beauty of PHP is in its open nature and the rich set of libraries and modules which imparts a lot of power and flexibility to the programmer. Similarly MySQL is a free database which is ideal for use as a backend for any website. And not surprisingly there are a plethora of books in the market which explains these two topics. One such book is Beginning PHP and MySQL 5 from Novice to Professional authored by W.Jason Gilmore published by Apress." Read the rest of Ravi's review.

Spread over 860 pages and divided into a whooping 37 chapters, this book covers the PHP Language and MySQL database in detail. As the name indicates, the book endeavors to hand hold a newbie in the various aspects of PHP programming like the language constructs and progressively brings him to the level of a professional. The first 21 chapters of the book solely concentrates on PHP where the author explains with the aid of examples how to write good programs in PHP.

The author starts the narration by giving a brief history of PHP and then moves on to explain all the syntax constructs of this language in great detail. Arrays, functions and classes have each been provided separate chapters of their own. Usually I have found many books related to programming jumping straight into describing the language syntax and about writing code. But this book has a dedicated chapter each covering how to setup and configure PHP and MySQL on ones machine irrespective of the OS being used which breathes some fresh air to this subject. PHP language has a very good similarity with C/C++ at-least in the syntax. And in the sixth chapter, the author explains the Object Oriented Concepts like object cloning, inheritance and polymorphism of this language with clarity.

The maturity of any programming language is gauged by the type of traps that it has developed to check the errors and exceptions that might be generated dynamically when a program is run. PHP has a rich set of features for handling errors. Earlier versions of PHP already took care of notifying errors through configuration directives and support for logging. But one thing this robust language lacked was support for exception handling. And from PHP ver 5.0 onwards, this feature has also been included in it. The 8th chapter in this book titled Errors and Exception Handling explains all these important concepts in detail. The fact that the author has provided snippets of code to illustrate each concept that is explained goes a long way in understanding this topic.

Another of PHPs strengths is in its support of a rich set of regular expressions and string manipulation functions. Using regular expressions, one can match just about any string or a sub-set of it and even do manipulations to the matched string on the fly. The string matching functions form the backbone of many user input validations. In the 9th chapter titled "String and Regular Expressions", the author explains with the aid of code how to use the rich set of string manipulation functions available in PHP to get the desired results.

The 10th chapter is solely dedicated to working with files and operating systems where the author explains in his inimitable style different ways of reading from and writing to files. All the frequently used file manipulation functions are explained in this chapter with the aid of examples.

The first 12 chapters of the book solely concentrates on explaining the PHP language to the readers. In the next 4 chapters, the author moves into practical aspects like explaining how to mix PHP with HTML elements, user authentication , handling file uploads, sending and receiving email using PHP code and so on. I found the section where the author explains how to build specialized programs such as a port scanner, subnet converter and bandwidth tester all with the aid of PHP code really fascinating. The author introduces the reader to some of the MySQL concepts in this part of the book like connecting to a database and reading data from database but the more detailed aspects of database manipulation are left for later chapters which deals with MySQL in more depth.

The 21st chapter titled Secure PHP programming throws light on topics related to enhancing security while coding in PHP such as enabling safe mode for people who run PHP in a shared-server environment, PHP's encryption capabilities, securely configuring PHP via its configuration parameters and so on.

From the 22nd chapter onwards, the book takes an all together different turn and moves into explaining the database concepts which plays an important part in any dynamically generated website. More specifically, the succeeding chapters concentrate on explaining the configuration and use of MySQL 5.0 and how one can use PHP to interact with the MySQL database. The chapter titled Introducing PDO throws light on the abstraction layer used between PHP and MySQL. I especially liked the 26th chapter where the author lists the different MySQL clients which are available to the user like mysql, mysqladmin, mysqlshow and so on. In fact, each and every tool which comes bundled with the mysql server is explained thoroughly with the aid of examples. But that is not all, this chapter also explains how to configure a mysql database using third party clients like PHPMyAdmin, MySQL Query Browser, MySQL Administrator and Navicat. In the section on securing MySQL, the author goes into the finer nuances of the topic. For example, with the aid of commands, the author explains how to make sure that the user connects with the database over secure sockets layer (SSL) or ways of encrypting the MySQL database traffic which is an eye opener.

But I would say the 29th chapter titled PHP's MySQL Extension is the most important chapter in the entire book just because it is in this chapter that the author explains in detail the variety of ways in which one can connect to MySQL database and retrieve or manipulate the data using PHP code.

In the 30th chapter titled PHP's MySQLi Extension, one gets to know how to use the enhanced MySQLi extension to connect to the database. The MySQLi extension contains more enhancements over its predecessor in that it is object oriented, supports prepared statements, provides transactional support, has better debugging capabilities among other things. But the down side as the author puts it is that it requires PHP 5.0 for it to work.

The last six chapters deal with special features of MySQL and how one can write PHP code to use those features. The features like stored routines, MySQL triggers and Views have been provided with a dedicated chapter of their own. And yes, from MySQL ver 5.0, support for views have also been incorporated in the database. And the fact that this book covers these new topics in detail makes this a truly useful book not only for budding programmers but also for the gurus among us.

I really liked the layout of the book. Each section is accompanied by PHP code snippet which shows how it is done. Just because one gets two books at the price of one does not mean that the book is short on detail. In fact the opposite is true and the 860 pages contain all that is needed for coming upto date with the latest version of PHP and MySQL. Of course the inclusion of a couple of pages giving a complete project such as a shopping cart application at the end of the book would have imparted a nice touch especially since this book is targeted at beginners too. But that is a minor detail and I guess there are limits to which a books of even this size can cram information. All in all an informative book which gives good value for money.

The author of this book W.Jason Gilmore has developed countless PHP and MySQL applications over the past seven years, and has dozens of articles to his credit on this and other topics pertinent to Internet application development. He has had articles featured in, among others, Linux Magazine and Developer.com, and adopted for use within United Nations and Ford Foundation educational programs. Jason is the author of three books, including most recently the best-selling Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional, and, with coauthor Robert Treat, Beginning PHP and PostgreSQL 8: From Novice to Professional. These days Jason splits his time between running Apress's Open Source program, experimenting with spatially enabled Web applications, and starting more home remodeling projects than he could possibly complete.

Ravi Kumar is passionate about all things related to GPL and open source and likes to share his thoughts through his blog."


You can purchase Beginning PHP and MySQL 5.0 - From Novice to Professional from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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142 comments

Misleading Title (4, Insightful)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383167)

That is a very poor title. Is the book about PHP 5 and MySQL 5? or PHP 5 and MySQL 4?

Re:Misleading Title (2, Informative)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383202)

From this review, it looks like it's version 5.0 for both, which probably explains the title. But it is unclear if that's the case from just the title.

Re:Misleading Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383746)

The correct title is Beginning PHP and MySQL 5: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition. See the publishers page: http://www.apress.com/book/bookDisplay.html?bID=10 017 [apress.com]

Actually it's the wrong title. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383206)

It's Beginning PHP 5 and MYSQL.

Re:Misleading Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383241)

I thought the title was "Beginning PHP and MySQL 5.0" ...maybe you meant PHP 4 or 5?

What the hell is the title? (3, Informative)

L-Train8 (70991) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383380)

My version of the book is titled Beginning PHP 5 and MySQL: From Novice to Professional. The title on the Barnes and Noble link says Beginning PHP and MySQL 5: From Novice to Professional, but the cover shown at that same link reads Beginning PHP 5 and MySQL 5: From Novice to Professional. So there is some confusion.

Re:Misleading Title (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383392)

The title is also misleading because no book will ever turn you into a professional PHP developer. Someone who is new to programming and reads this book is still likely to make newbie mistakes - mistakes that they would make in ANY programming language.

Incorrect data validation; Inappropriate use of resources; Inelegant design; Bad debugging methods; Using the wrong tools for the job. All of these and more are things that you really won't learn from a book. You learn these through experience.

Any book that promises to turn you into a 'professional', to me, has a strike against it before I even turn past the cover.

Re:Misleading Title (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383925)

The title is also misleading because no book will ever turn you into a professional PHP developer. Someone who is new to programming and reads this book is still likely to make newbie mistakes
I agree infinitely. No, double that.
Incorrect data validation; Inappropriate use of resources; Inelegant design; Bad debugging methods; Using the wrong tools for the job. All of these and more are things that you really won't learn from a book. You learn these through experience
I agree even more than infinitely. More than double infinitely. I mean, it's not like you could learn any of that stuff from having 15 years experience in five or so other languages, is it?

Re:Misleading Title (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384621)

Well of course the title is misleading. It's as misleading as "Sams Teach Yourself C++ In 21 Days!" - The title is nothing more than an attention grabber, and it works rather well too.

Re:Misleading Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384774)

The title is also misleading because no book will ever turn you into a professional PHP developer.

To be fair, nothing will turn you into a professional PHP developer, because there is no such thing. HTH.

Re:Misleading Title (1)

Rotund Prickpull (818980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383888)

Dunno. This is why you should use parentheses. Like to make your code clearer. Does PHP have parentheses? Fucked if I know, vicar - I wouldn't touch a pile of shit like that with a bargepole.

Re:Misleading Title (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384797)

I think you should have IQ points taken away for wasting time, spacing and characters with that comment.

LAMP Rocks (3, Interesting)

celardore (844933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383190)

When I was learning programming from the age of 12, I was 'developing' Windows apps, for various purposes. After PHP / MySQL had been about for a while, I picked those up. I dropped any windows development I did - just because it didn't interest me anymore with this exciting thing going on. I would and have suggested to a lot of newcomers to coding that they look into PHP, and a lot of them did with some success.

You can do some incredible stuff with PHP/MySQL if you put your mind to it. One of my favorite projects (it wasn't the definitive or only one!) was a windows app that hooked keypresses. Every so often it would upload the number of keypresses to some PHP / MySQL code and update your user profile.

The application potential is impressive, and not fully exploited the way I look at it.

Re:LAMP Rocks (4, Insightful)

entrylevel (559061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383505)

I prefer the LAMP camp myself, as opposed to the ASP.NET/SQL Server camp, which I assume is what you meant when you compared LAMP to "Windows development".

However, although I'm the first to brag about the power, simplicity, and performance that PHP and Apache offer when used by the right programmer, I do make a living off of ASP.NET/SQL Server applications, so please consider the following in the ensuing flamewar:

1. PHP is an extremely flexible scripting lanuage, that really excells at what it does: powering the back-end of a web application and interfacing with databases and the file system. Trying to make PHP do other things is possible, but is almost always a nasty hack.

2. The .NET Framework and CLR although sometimes misunderstood and often misguided, is really one of the best general purpose development environments bar none right now. It does web applications just as well as it does desktop and console applications. ASP was truly idiotic and horrid, but ASP.NET is very mature and worth an unbiased look if you aren't familiar with it. Then again, there is MSDN documentation and VB programmers, which tend to cancel out anything good I could say about .NET.

3. Say what you will about SQL Server, but if we could just replace the M in LAMP with PostreSQL, or, well, anything other than MySQL, I would be happy. SQL Server is not my favorite database, but it is very good. MySQL has its niche, but I expect a RDMS to have stored procedures and transactions as standard fare.

(yes, I know 5.0 has SPs, and InnoDB gives you transactions, but I said "standard fare")

4. This is the most important point of all: There are just as many cookie-cutter, craptastic, insecure, bug-ridden PHP apps out there as there are ASP.NET apps. On the other hand, if you are smart and creative, and truly use the tools provided by either platform, you can create fantastic applications with either one, just as easily.

How to put postgreSQL in LAMP (1)

sago007 (857444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383665)

if we could just replace the M in LAMP with PostreSQL
I read this once at some Ubuntu message board (my screen saver):

LAMP: Linux, Apache, Most of our cool scripting languages start with a P and PostgreSQL

Re:LAMP Rocks (2)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384310)

"ut ASP.NET is very mature and worth an unbiased look if you aren't familiar with it. Then again, there is MSDN documentation and VB programmers, which tend to cancel out anything good I could say about .NET." LOL. VB.net is not your grandpa's VB, son. stop talking out of your ass.

Re:LAMP Rocks (1)

entrylevel (559061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384652)

I didn't say VB.NET, I said VB programmers and MSDN documentation.

VB.NET is a fine language, if a tad verbose for my taste.

My problem is not with the language. My problem is with the swarms of morons churning out God-awful code using said language.

Re:LAMP Rocks (4, Insightful)

hobuddy (253368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384596)

PHP is an extremely flexible scripting lanuage, that really excells at what it does: powering the back-end of a web application and interfacing with databases and the file system. Trying to make PHP do other things is possible, but is almost always a nasty hack.

Help me out here: you're saying that PHP is extremely flexible, as long as the programmer only tries to write one type of program with it? Hmmmm?

I think we both recognize the truth: compared to Python, Ruby, or Lisp, PHP is not very flexible at all. It's a poorly designed, inflexible language that happens to have gained momentum at a critical era in the history of the WWW.

Re:LAMP Rocks (2, Insightful)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384740)

(yes, I know 5.0 has SPs, and InnoDB gives you transactions, but I said "standard fare")

What does this even mean? You know that they are available, but you don't want to use them? You don't support using the latest versions? You seem to want to imply something, but I can't figure out what it is.

Re:LAMP Rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383792)

I couldn't agree enough. I work for a fairly large telecommunications firm and we have used LAMP for years now. We recently found the opensource project, ActiveGrid http://www.activegrid.com/ [activegrid.com] . This goes way beyond an IDE, but is a very useful way to rapidly build, manage and deploy numerous application within a large scale enterprise. That had been my biggest complaint until now, the lack of tools around LAMP. And, yes, we are big enough that we must have support contracts to do any type of large rollout of a technology. For my money, this was a great investment. You might consider looking for LAMP IDE in google to find some others.

I don't want another PHP book (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383213)

that tells me how to code PHP. I don't want to learn how to code PHP. I want blocks of code with an explanation of what it does that I can cut and paste into simple webpages that talk to my database. I know how to change variable names using vi, thank you. I don't want to learn this; it will be passe' in a month, dead in a year.

Whoa, look at the time. Next language/framework/ide please...

Re:I don't want another PHP book (3, Informative)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383346)

PHP Cookbook, published by O'Reilly. I've found it quite useful.

I believe there's also a MySQL Cookbook, but my database use isn't so advanced that I need specific help on that just yet.

I'm still learning proper programming technique, while trying to learn PHP and MySQL and the fine points of CSS AND crank out a new web site that won't require a massive rewrite in a year.

but but (1)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383216)

is it Monty Python themed? Because I read no technical book without a Monty Python theme... as we've seen today, it's the only way to get through that technical mumbo jumbo!

Re:but but (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383278)

Are there ANY technical books with a Monthy Python theme? I like your idea though and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:but but (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383298)

Might want to try this one [slashdot.org] , which was reviewed on /. about 2 hours ago.

Re:but but (1)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383311)

Why yes, as a matter of fact, and it was the subject of my *attempted* joke.

Only 3 articles below this very one, is a Monty Python themed technical book... SPOILER WARNING: it sucks.

Henry's Python Programming Guide [slashdot.org]

Good luck, oh, and I've added you to my newsletter.

Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's choice (0, Flamebait)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383223)

Security experts already know PHP is the beginner's choice. See:

http://www.sans.org/top20/#c3 [sans.org] (Top 20 Vulnerabilities)

"There has not been a single week during the last year that a problem was not reported in some software using PHP."

Re:Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's cho (1)

turlingdrome (857230) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383272)

now now, don't blame the language... it's the "programmers" who are to blame for not understanding how to write secure apps. It's only to be expected that such a popular langauge with a low barrier to entry is going attract amateurs who just want to see the end result without having to really understand the finer points of application development.

Re:Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's cho (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383316)

"don't blame the language... it's the "programmers" who are to blame for not understanding how to write secure apps."

Hmmm...I thought that's what I said (although there have been some pretty bad holes in the core PHP bits themselves). On the other hand, "dumb entry-level programmers" was also one of the main knocks against IIS's ASP in its early days. (ASPX seems to have largely fixed this by being much less friendly than ASP to entry-level types.) ;)

Re:Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's cho (5, Interesting)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383825)

Not blame the language? Why not? PHP is the only language that I know of that has like 6 or 7 functions just to escape strings to be injected in SQL queries and that still manages to get it wrong.

I mean, first time you try to hit a DB, you've heard about SQL injection you want to escape your inputs, are you using addslashes? Nope, and you should stripslashes too, if magic_quotes are active, because even though they're built in they fucking fail. Oh, there's an sqlite_escape_string, but you're using mysql so you'd probably use this lil' mysql_escape_string... except that you were really supposed to use mysql_real_escape_string, cause it's the real one you know. And the best part of all that shit? there is not one of the unsafe function that's marked anything even remotely close to "deprecated" or "dangerous", they are unsafe and should never be used, that's old news, and you can still use them n/p

Hell, PHP is the only language that I know of that does not feature any kind of prepared statement in it's standard DB interface. It only got prepared statements with the mysqli_ crapfest and that frigging piece of donkey poo requires you to create a prepared statement explicitely and then bind every single argument one by one to your statement.

This thing is the most retarded standard DB interface that's ever been born in this world, and it's only taken like 4 years for the Zend retards to unleash this abortion on us! Developers rejoice, maybe in 4 more years we'll get a DB interface on par with Perl's DBI or Python's DBAPI2...

And THIS is but one of the dozens of inherently stupid and/or insecure "features" PHP got built-in such as the good ol' REGISTER_GLOBALS, the hidden errors and notices, the lack of anything even remotely close to Perl's "use strict", the completely random and inconsistent function names and function outputs, the three-fucking-thousand functions all dumped into the global namespace (perl has 206, Python has 76 and ruby probably has less than a dozen)...

I'm all for blaming the builder, as long as he's got usable tools. PHP is nothing that can be called "usable tool" with a straight face, the whole "language" is a gigantic hack built with feces and vomit, it IS to blame, and blame it I do.

Re:Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's cho (1)

Zaphod2016 (971897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384775)

As a php programmer, let me be the first to say: good point

Anyone coding PHP without expanding into Perl or Python is giving themselves undue stress.

Re:Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's cho (2, Insightful)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383510)

Which is very unfortunate. It's possible to write good, secure PHP code. Others have too. PHP is marketed as an easy to learn language (and it is), and it is commonly installed on hosting services, so new programmers flock to it. The problem is that these new programmers are, well, new. They aren't aware of things like SQL injection attacks. They don't bother to validate data. They make new programmer mistakes.

Is it the fault of the language? I can point to a few things where I can say, Shame on You, PHP!, such as the entire magic quotes 'feature' (which, iirc, is turned off by default now). But, as usual, it is the user, not the tool, that is at fault. This makes the language look bad because vulnerabilities pop up in software packages written in the language.

It's easy to spread FUD when that happens, especially to management and other uneducated people.

Some people say that the language should prevent programmers from doing stupid things. I disagree; I think the language should allow you to do what you want within the confines of its purpose, and if you happen to be making mistakes (such as not escaping data that goes into your queries) then shame on you. I don't see people complaining about C because it lets you point into kernel space and write garbage. If that happens, C programmers will point and laugh and say, "Ha ha, you silly newbie programmer!" not "Ha ha, C is retarded!"

I don't see why PHP should be any different. Sure, there are things that could be improved, but overall, most of the vulnerabilities I see are not the fault of the language. It's just the web's version of the VisualBasic syndrome (OMG I CN PRINT TXT 2 SCREEN, I R GOOD PROGMMR!!!!11one!).

The more used a language is, the more software that exists, and the more bugs that will exist - especially if it's an 'easy' language to learn.

Re:Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's cho (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383540)

I don't see people complaining about C because it lets you point into kernel space and write garbage. If that happens, C programmers will point and laugh and say, "Ha ha, you silly newbie programmer!" not "Ha ha, C is retarded!"

This very issue would appear to be at the heart of many existing C (or C++) vs. Java arguments. The claim is/was that newbie programmers are not as dangerous if given Java.

Re:Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's cho (1)

bturnip (761620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383811)

C'mon, flamebait! From the link itself: "PHP is the most widely used scripting language for the web. According to some reports, 50% of the Apache servers world-wide have PHP installed." Do you think there is any chance that PHP is the most widely used scripting language might have anything to do with the number of vulnerabilities?

Re:Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's cho (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383858)

Yeah, that was my point. Lots of newbies are flocking to PHP, so lots of PHP apps contain newbie mistakes. In general, however, I'd say that PHP seems to be the exception to the "open source should be secure" rule. For example, PHPNuke continues to be wildly popular package even though most security folks will usually shut down and quarantine any server they find it on...

Re:Sec-exps already know PHP is the beginner's cho (1)

wanna_be_a_developer (941117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384314)

"Lots of newbies are flocking to PHP, so lots of PHP apps contain newbie mistakes."

I might exchange newbie with ignorant. For example, a newbie is almost guaranteed to be ignorant, but someone who is not a newbie could possibly be ignorant and the mistakes are caused by not knowing any better.

But, perhaps the biggest reason for poor apps is not newbies or ignorants, but rather is laziness. As you are aware, design, development and testing takes a lot longer than "getting something done".

Beggining PHP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383226)

All the books are beggining PHP. That's because there is no such thing as advanced PHP.

Crap! All Crap! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383246)

This is simply popularism! PHP and MySQL are such cool buzzwords, so let's write a book about both of them and all those would-be programmers out there are going to buy it! It's a pity that by books like this one many beginners are tricked into crappy and outdated technologies such as PHP and Perl! I mean MySQL is ok nowadays but also nowadays there are better solutions than PHP/MySQL with a similar learning curve. What I am talking about is C#/ASP.NET or Ruby on Rails. And yes, even VB.NET is better than PHP!

Re:Crap! All Crap! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384089)

Dozy cunt.

Any website? (-1, Flamebait)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383262)

Similarly MySQL is a free database which is ideal for use as a backend for any website.

Any website? Wow! Someone had better tell all those banks and stock exchanges handling vast loads and requiring guaranteed uptime for their websites and web services on their huge clustered servers that they should all switch to MySQL!

Sorry, but saying 'any' website is surely something of an exaggeration?

Re:Any website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383364)

Keep in mind the target audience of the book. It is called 'Beginning PHP and MySQL 5' because it is for beginners. How many beginners are going to start out creating banking applications?
If the developers at "all those banks and stock exchanges handling vast loads" are using PHP and MySQL with the help of this book to develop their applications, then I'm going to stuff my money under my mattress. Lighten up a little.

Re:Any website? (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383436)

Keep in mind the target audience of the book. It is called 'Beginning PHP and MySQL 5' because it is for beginners. How many beginners are going to start out creating banking applications?
If the developers at "all those banks and stock exchanges handling vast loads" are using PHP and MySQL with the help of this book to develop their applications, then I'm going to stuff my money under my mattress. Lighten up a little.


The problem is that too many beginners are shown easy software development languages and techniques as if those are all they will ever need. This happened with Visual Basic in the 90s, and it is happening with PHP, MySQL and now Ruby on Rails. These are all great tools for development, but I have had personal experience of the disasters that can result when such tools are used beyond their capabilities.

Re:Any website? (1)

kberg108 (175765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383900)

I couldn't agree more. Some people think that a new set programming tools will make them produce better software. That's like thinking a new hammer will make you build a better house. If you don't have the design skills to being with your software will be a pile no matter what language it's written in or database you use. The sad thing is you see this behavior everywhere, where people/companies will abandon their current technology a spend all kinds of money and resources porting to a new technology that some programmer told them would solve all their problems only to find they have ported the design flaws with it.

PHP, MySQL, Oracle, Java, etc are all just tools and in the hands of the correct developer can be used to produce incredible applications. In the hands of an amateur they will produce crap no matter the language.

What I'd like to see is a decent book for beginners on how to design software and not one of these super abstracted pattern books that is so specific to the language that it complete pollutes the readers mind into believing the same concepts can't be used in a different language/databse/os.

Re:Any website? (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383762)

To moderators. The original post was not intended as flamebait. It was a criticism of the very frequent attitude that all you ever need for any development are popular open source tools, and anyone resorting to Java or Oracle or DB2 is simply wasting their money. The flamebait is surely the original claim that MySQL is suitable for any website!

Tries to do too much (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383271)

I prefer to start out with a fairly simple introductory book and also get a good reference book that assumes you know the language. In the case of PHP, I skipped the reference and just visit php.net.

A book like the one being reviewed tries to do too much. When you're starting out, you don't want a a lot of detailed library stuff getting in the way. Once you've got the basics done, you don't want a book that teaches it like a course, you want a reference.

From the review's summary... (0, Redundant)

gregarican (694358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383273)

Similarly MySQL is a free database which is ideal for use as a backend for any website. Any website? Uhhhh, not so much. If that is the summary of the review I wouldn't place too much credence in the rating or subsequent factoids.

Forgot something else... (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383306)

From the first sentence of the review: Spread over 860 pages and divided into a whooping 37 chapters. Not whopping but whooping. It sounds as if reading over this volume will leave the reader with an infectious disease and annoy their cubicle neighbors to no end.

Why is it most of these reviews sound like grade school current events reports?

ROR (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383275)

Wait, I thought Ruby on Rails was the trendy new thing that you can't visit a website without seeing?

Damn kids these days.

How does this book compare to.. (2, Interesting)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383282)

Does anyone know how this compares to "PHP and MySQL Web Development [amazon.com] "? It seems like both cover PHP5 and MySQL 5.

Re:How does this book compare to.. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383387)

Welllllll, and this is my own opinion here, but I wouldn't buy either one. There are so many free php/mysql resources, you're pretty much going to be throwing your money away unless you really don't know anything about programming languages or relational databases.

Php.org has got some great language resources. mySQL.com...eh, not as good, but decent if you have a basic grasp of SQL.

Re:How does this book compare to.. (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384420)

When I'm without my books, looking online is a great alternative, but it's a lot easier to say "well, I want to do this," then look up this in the book where everything is clearly and concisely (one would hope) put together.

I go a lot faster with a good reference book then I do hunting online.

Re:How does this book compare to.. (1)

simscitizen (696184) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384535)

I have both. Get the one you linked--the one reviewed is like reading a reference manual. Page after page of function documentation--well, php.net is better for that. Waste of $.

Re:How does this book compare to.. (1)

carlislematthew (726846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384786)

PHP.NET? Cool! I didn't realize that Microsoft had done this. Is this the replacement for C#? (before you reply telling me I'm an idiot, it's a joke. yes, I'm talking to you)

Owner of previous edition (4, Informative)

acreman (745270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383301)

I personally bought the previous edition of this book. It dealt with PHP 5 and MySQL 4. I learned quite a bit in only a short time. This book helped me finish my capstone project for my engineering degrees. I recommend this book to anyone who is starting off in programming web material and anyone who wants to learn PHP 5 relatively fast. As for MySQL it covers mainly how to connect to a MySQL database using PHP and does not cover in detail how to perform SQL queries.

Re:Owner of previous edition (1)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383875)

Hints: Marketeze, First Post...

Prevalent != Best (1)

Soong (7225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383315)

Remember, Windows is the prevalant desktop operating system.

Examine the options in the tools available to you, pick what works for you.

I've tried MySQL and PHP and mod-perl and CGI and python, but my current favorites are PostgreSQL [postgresql.org] and Tomcat [apache.org] hosting Java Servlets. No books required, their included documentation is quite good.

persistent problem (5, Interesting)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383317)

The first 21 chapters of the book solely concentrates on PHP where the author explains with the aid of examples how to write good programs in PHP.

this is a persistent problem with all of these programming in ____________ books. They teach the language and sometimes get around to dealing with good programming. Learning PHP, or java, or python, or whatever is still not learning to program. Learning to program effectively should be the first priority. All the OOP features in PHP5 are of no use to someone without good knowledge of OOP. Likewise, I'd gather that most of the insecurities in PHP are the result of poor design. PHP is great for its templating features, the ability to separate content from design, and its speed of development. But, that still doesn't make it secure or effective. How many times does a programmer get in trouble becasue they don't escape double quotes in a TEXT field in mysql, or account for malformed URL's, html, bad javascript, etc.?

No matter how good these books are, and I'm sure they do a good job of presenting all of PHP's features and strenghts, they still usually lack teaching how to design a web site/application, how to effectively use passwords, secure data queries, efficient programming, etc. That might be an altogether different beast, but there's a world of difference between using PHP in a web site and writing a good web app. I'd wish that the books would focus more on good programming techniques. I don't imagine everyone will buy the book otherwise, and not everyone will benefit the same, but I've not found too many books that put "programming" ahead of "programming in".

Re:persistent problem (1)

JonToycrafter (210501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383429)

Do you (or anyone) have any suggestions for a book that teaches beginning concepts, as you say?

This isn't idle for me - I want to contribute to a particular open source project (via programming; I currently do testing/documentation/etc.). While I work in IT, my background isn't in IT, and my programming education stopped at CS102, many years ago. I've taught myself plenty of BAD programming in PHP etc., but I'd like someone to suggest a book that teaches "good programming".

To put it best, I learned my programming habits in C64 Basic 22 years ago...I need some help.

Re:persistent problem (1)

SpectreHiro (961765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383685)

Do you (or anyone) have any suggestions for a book that teaches beginning concepts, as you say?

I'm currently having some fun with the How to Think Like A Computer Scientist series - http://www.canonicalbooks.com/free-ebooks.shtml [canonicalbooks.com]
I'm reading the Python version right now, and it's pretty easy to follow.

You might also want to take a look at MIT OpenCourseWare - http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html [mit.edu] - I'm slowly working through their computer science courses. Emphasis on slowly.

Re:persistent problem (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383639)

PHP is great for its templating features, the ability to separate content from design, and its speed of development.

Um, sorry, could you show me which language more tightly couples content and design?

Binding content and design is what those web template languages do. It's why they're better than traditional CGI scripts for quick projects and crash and burn for large projects, unless you add something to manage the separation. That some people have managed to assemble frameworks that do sort of separate content and design as things you can add-on, is more a tribute to the frameworks and the framework designers than PHP; the design of PHP really fights that sort of thing, since it "wants" to re-parse everything involved with the page on every load. (I am aware they have since "fixed" that problem; my point is that they had to fix it, not that it was unfixable. With other structures the problem doesn't arise.)

(I'm sort of OK using such languages, but only when you can have backend code that isn't written in the template language. I use Perl and Apache::ASP, where the web app is backed by Perl modules that do all the heavy lifting and can actually be used outside of the webserver, too. The ASP/PHP-like code just does final formatting and display. The "design" is in the Perl modules and the "display" is in the ASP/PHP-like code.)

Re:persistent problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383674)

You can't teach the reader to run before he knows how to crawl. If I want to learn the best practice's of a language, I'd prefer to buy a separate book.

These are some of my favorite books on best practice's. They'd still apply to a language like PHP as long as you know a language like Java or C#:
Code Complete
Effective Java
The Pragmatic Programmer

Re:persistent problem (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383797)

PHP is great for its templating features, the ability to separate content from design, and its speed of development.
Excuse me?

If anything, PHP actively promotes spaghetti code. It's PHP, HTML and SQL usually mixed together all over the place. How many times have you seen tr/td elements being output directly to the client from looping through the dataset returned by a query three lines above the table element? Because I've seen it a zillion times, and counting.

There's only one "official" templating engine, and that's Smarty. However, in my experience, PHP folks tend to invent the wheel all over again, and call that "extensibility" and "the beauty of open source" (this despite their solution not having anything to do with actual open source). For example, where I work, the guy in charge invented his own little convoluted framework, the heart of which is a 300-line single recursive function (!) that does, uhm, things, and moves a significant part of business logic into his proprietary templating system. I swear, that's TheDailyWTF material, and I'm going to post it there as soon as I quit my job...

The apps written in my company are full of bugs. The framework mentioned above doesn't allow any sensible SQL injection / XSS filtering. Different apps require different magic_quotes and register_globals settings (so we have a ton of different servers - management loves spending money on new machines). The code is unmaintainable. It takes roughly a week since someone reports the bug to actually find the code where it happens, because everything is contained in HTML frames which interact in an insecure fashion, there are dozens of code includes, a total of fifteen (!!!) CSS files are used, and I find myself constantly explaining basics to people around - like what the h1 HTML element is for, and why spacer gifs are bad. Everything runs extremely slow on dual Xeon machines, and it's a good day when 20 people can use one of the apps at the same time.

And he has one of those "Learn uberl33+ PHP+MySQL" books on his desk. While you may argue "it's not the language/platform, it's the programmer", this certainly doesn't hold true with PHP. I have yet to see someone I could consider a good PHP developer - I'm sure they exist, but then again, so supposedly does Vista.

Meanwhile, I've deployed a secure, documented, standardized 3-tier ASP.NET+MSDE app that serves roughly 300 people 24/7, and just for fun, I've deployed a RoR app on a free single-CPU machine that duplicates an existing PHP app and runs about 50 times faster.

PHP is one of the worst things that ever happened to web development.

Only one chapter (1)

LittleBigScript (618162) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383325)

Well, here is the problem. There is only one chapter on securing PHP and MySQL, and it is the 21st Chapter. Why put anything on the internet if there isn't sercurity on it.

Re:Only one chapter (1)

carlislematthew (726846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384795)

One chapter is best. Security through obscurity! Hopefully noone will even find the chapter...

WAMP kicks a considerable amount of ass (4, Informative)

geekschmoe (244913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383340)

WAMP (windows - apache - mysql - php) server is a cool thing I found if you want a quick and integrated solution to developing with mysql/php on windows systems. It puts a little icon in your dock that is similar to the start menu and you can start/stop all servers and enable/disable php modules, etc. It also comes with phpMyAdmin for managing the mysql databases. It's one big executable with installer and theres no admin stuff to deal with before you start programming. Not that any of the admin stuff is particularly difficult, just extremely annoying considering the frequency of changes to php and apache.

http://www.en.wampserver.com/ [wampserver.com]

Re:WAMP kicks a considerable amount of ass (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383432)

What you described sounds very similar to having an XP install with IIS, Visual Studio Express 2005 (VB or C#) and SQL 2005 Express. With that sequence I can be up and running, ready to go in less than 30 minutes.

Re:WAMP kicks a considerable amount of ass (1)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383604)

Yes, but if more than a few people come to your site at once it won't look so rosy, eh ;-) Damned that pesky licensing with Single Vendor, proprietary software... WAMP allows you to run a proper website - although it's obviously preferable to host on Linux...

Re:WAMP kicks a considerable amount of ass (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383658)

I was speaking in terms of a development environment. Personally, I'd rather not run a website on a home PC with a non-server type OS installed.

Oh my God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383653)

WAMP (windows - apache - mysql - php) server is a cool thing I found if you want a quick and integrated solution to developing with mysql/php on windows systems.

You were actually mod'ed "Informative" for somethign that, well, praises "Windows"! Fuck! I bet Hell, right now, is freezing over! I better check to make sure that my dog isn't sleeping with my cat!

"Fido! Get off of Sylvester!"

Jesus MF Christ! It's happened!

WAFP (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383921)

Hey, Windows/Apache/Flat-file-db/Perl also works fine.
At least for a site with ten hits a day. All of which are from 127.0.0.1.

Re:WISP kicks more (1)

cruachan (113813) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383937)

Windows, IIS, SQL Server and PHP. Only downside is SQL Server is expensive to deploy but it sure beats the pathetic excuse for a database that is MySQL.

Oracle XE & PHP5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384163)

MySQL on a Windows box is slow as hell. If you've got enough hardware power (2GHz P4 or equiv and 1GB ram) then Oracle XE is a fast screaming monster. Oracle XE is free but does have a limit to 4GB total database size, but that's still quite a lot of database for small web apps. I recently built a fairly elaborate web app with Windows/IIS/OracleXE/PHP and it went together quite slick. I then ported the whole thing over to SuSE Linux 10.0 and Apache 2.2.2, PHP 5.1.4 and the OracleXE for Linux, and it runs literally four times faster on the very same piece of hardware.

Here's an excellent site for Oracle/Apache/PHP info for both Linux and Windows platforms. [oracle.com]

Re:WAMP kicks a considerable amount of ass (2, Informative)

Ezku (806454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384377)

There's another similar project by the name of XAMPP [apachefriends.org] . XAMPP comes with quite a lot of other handy auxiliaries as well, such as eAccelerator, and it's available for Linux, Windows, Solaris and most recently OSX. The interesting thing is it supports both PHP 4 and 5, allowing easy testing of an application on both versions - and at least the Windows version comes with an automagical version switcher. I'd recommend giving both packages a look.

Do note this, however (and I think it goes for WAMP too):

The default configuration is not good from a security point of view and it's not secure enough for a production environment - please don't use XAMPP in such an environment.

Re:WAMP kicks a considerable amount of ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384562)

From the movie, "Spies Like Us", General Sline says to Ruby and Keyes as they enter the secret underground facility, "Welcome to W.A.M.P."

Too noisy for me. (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383404)

"Spread over 860 pages and divided into a whooping 37 chapters" I'd prefer a book that does not whoop, especially over the course of 37 chapters.

Whoop, there it is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383460)

As long as it's not "a pooping 37 chapters".

MySQL (1)

kanzels (975208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383463)

I woudn't say that MySQL is for every website. Sure it is free, small and fast and will suit most webpages. But there are some heavy duty sites and those possibly need more power as in {insert name}...

For me -- doing is better than reading (2, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383479)

I've tried so many PHP and MySQL books over the years that I can't even keep track of what I'm reading. Coding just doesn't seem to make sense to me in book form.

I learned the most I possibly could by downloading Wordpress (blog software), PHPBB (bulletin board software) and setting them up. I downloaded modifications and looked over the code in person.

Over the past few months I've become really adept at writing my own PHP and MySQL-based software, to the point that I'm starting to design my own CMS interface. Not a single thing I've learned from a book has stuck, but everything I learn in chomping on code in Notepad or emacs seems to stick forever.

Anyone else have problems with books on coding?

Re:For me -- doing is better than reading (2, Insightful)

ToxicBanjo (905105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383843)

Me Too.

I use books only as a language reference. I find that no matter what I'm trying to accomplish in code, any book I own doesn't have examples that "fit" the pieces of my app that I'm struggling with. So what good is a book with 1000 pages of example codes and 300 pages of theory when 95% of the time it doesn't fit what I need anyways? I prefer the reference style book or snippet archive (TurboPascal days): "a Listbox has these properties, methods, and events and here is how they work" or "To make an HTTP Request first declare a TCP/IP Object...". That is all I really need, short and concise.

Beyond that it's just down to hacking. Working on sculpting code till it does what you want and how you want. I've learned more from doing than reading a million times over.

Personally the only book I would recommend buying is one on writing tight secure code. Regardless of language as well, the fundamentals of truely professional code design are applicable to any programming language. Bounds checking, error trapping, raising errors, etc, etc, etc. I think we need more of that kind of book instead of new iterations of existing product that primarily rehash most of a previous version.

Re:For me -- doing is better than reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383987)

Yep right where you fail to realize what is good programming practice. You can learn all the hacking and cool stuff by just trying to do it. However when you have to write a big project that is modular, object oriented, easy to maintain and takes into account all the strengths and weakness of a programming language, you need to read a (good) book. IMHO.

Sorry -- But no! (0, Flamebait)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383539)

Sorry for the flaim bait, but I can't read something like this without correcting certain errors!

MySQL is a very poor choice for high volume web sites that have a fair number of updates/inserts/deletes as, unless you are using InnoDB, you will be locking the tables and killing performance. If you are going to use InnoDB, you may as well use PostgreSQL for better performance.

I'm sure we've all seen grocklaw crash once or twice because of MySQL.

Stats, please (1)

Pinball Wizard (161942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383718)

Where are the statistics to back up your assertion - that Postgres performs better with a high volume of inserts/updates/deletes than MySQL with InnoDB?

Or are you just repeating something you've heard?

Postgres may have more features and better support of SQL standards like transactions, triggers, stored procedures, etc, but these are things that improve data integrity, not performance.

MySQL has always been oriented to performance rather than features and its use as a backend for web sites has always been a primary goal for its developers.

Re:Stats, please (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384004)

Where are the statistics to back up your assertion - that Postgres performs better with a high volume of inserts/updates/deletes than MySQL with InnoDB?

Or are you just repeating something you've heard?


Why are you questioning this? This has been common knowledge for years. Both MySQL and PostgreSQL have their relative strengths.

From Wikipedia:

"Critics find MySQL's popularity surprising in the light of the existence of other open source database projects with comparable performance and in closer compliance to the SQL standards."

MySQL has always been oriented to performance rather than features and its use as a backend for web sites has always been a primary goal for its developers.

No. MySQL has always been oriented to performance for reasonably low volume applications and websites, and it does extremely well in this role, and is a great database for hosting websites. PostgreSQL, on the other hand, has always shown its strength for higher volumes of traffic and higher numbers of concurrent connections.

Wrong! (1)

Pinball Wizard (161942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384362)

It is not common knowledge, and stats mean more than quoting a wikipedia article(which doesn't state postgres performs better, it states performance is "comparable"). My understanding of the "common knowledge" is that mysql offers better performance, postgres has better sql standard compliance and more features. Common knowledge would dictate that more features would slow down performance. For instance, extra data integrity checks every time inserts, updates or deletes are performed would be an extra feature, but it would come at the expense of speed.

You are just propagating myths - how about real comparisons of performance, like these?

http://monstera.man.poznan.pl/wiki/index.php/Mysql _vs_postgres [poznan.pl] (mysql tested faster)

http://www-css.fnal.gov/dsg/external/freeware/pgsq l-vs-mysql.html [fnal.gov] (mysql tested faster)

Re:Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384788)

"Real comparisons", hehe.

That site compares MySQL and PostgreSQL with the *default* settings. PostgreSQL kind of sucks with the default settings. Not sure about MySQL.

It also does not test concurrency... and performs questionable queries which you would hardly ever run.

DELETE FROM a; .. come on. How often do you delete without a WHERE clause?
SELECT * FROM a; ...

It's hard to compare databases, but this "comparison" really doesn't compare them at all.
Well, it shows how the databases perform with their default settings, and how well it would work for a total n00b who has never in their life used a join, index, view, foreign key, or even a where clause.

How about a test that actually stresses the databases and uses most of their features?

Already found a good one... (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383552)

I learn more by doing and then discovering the effects of what I had done. (Hmmm... fire does that... okay.)

Seriously though, as a relative n00b in the PHP world, I like the visual quickstart guides by Peachpit Press for PHP and Advanced PHP, where there is a practical example of what you might need to use PHP for, in addiion to a disection of the code being used. Both of these books deal with MySQL as well.

While I wasn't exactly scripting my own Nuke system in ten minutes, after some casual reading I was developing some rather unique portal systems that no one else had made available.

Re:Already found a good one... (1)

EugeneK (50783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383666)

I learn more by doing and then discovering the effects of what I had done. (Hmmm... fire does that... okay.)


Sorry, but I gotta quote good ol' Ben when you say that..;)

Experience keeps a dear School, but Fools will learn in no other" [wikiquote.org]

Save $16.65! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15383577)

Save yourself $16.65 by buying the book here: Beginning PHP and MySQL 5.0 [amazon.com] . And if you use the "secret" A9.com discount [amazon.com] , you can save an extra 1.57%!

power and flexibility, gee wiz (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383599)

> The beauty of PHP is in its open nature and the rich set of libraries and modules which imparts a lot of power and flexibility to the programmer.

The same could be said for python or perl. I think PHP's main "beauty" feature is how easy it is to install, nothing more.

Re:power and flexibility, gee wiz (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384589)

The real beauty is its syntax and lack of explicit type definitions. That change is very logical, and removes a lot of the legwork required to develop (which isn't a bad thing).

Also, as it's just as easy to install Perl, your argument doesn't hold a lot of water... there must be another reason it's so popular ;)

What can you do with PHP and MySQL ? (2, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383636)

During the years i have been using these, i have come to believe that you can to almost anything with these, except housework.

The beauty of PHP (0, Flamebait)

Sweetshark (696449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383747)

The beauty of PHP *head explodes*
beauty? PHP? Have you every looked at it? closely? Do you know any other solution?
Just look at the naming of is_null, empty and isset ...

Don't know the coding (1)

Master_stghm (959856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383819)

I use PHP, but I still don't know how to use it use it. The most I know is HTML, which doesn't really count, and Visual Basic. It would really help if I learned how to use PHP myself.

Re:Don't know the coding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384099)

Not to be an ass, but why would anyone want to know this?

This. Book. Suxxors. (1)

Sembetu (954446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383886)

Beware. I own this book, and I can tell you it is full of mistakes and inaccuracies. Nuff said.

Re:This. Book. Suxxors. (1)

Zaphod2016 (971897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384755)

I have found errors in every programming book I've ever read. In fact, I REFUSE to buy anything until the author accepts this and puts up an "errata" website somewhere.

Plug for TinyButStrong (1)

cruachan (113813) | more than 8 years ago | (#15383988)

Template systems have of course been around a while, but I must put in a plug for TinyButStrong - http://www.tinybutstrong.com/ [tinybutstrong.com] - here. I've been writing PHP apps for some time but after casting around for a template system a couple of projects back dropped on this one. Absolutly brilliant piece of work and I've recently been combining it quite successfully with xajax - http://www.xajaxproject.org/ [xajaxproject.org]

I've no connection with either of these two projects, just a very impressed user (and the TinyButStrong promotional video is a wee gem :-)

The one thing that keeps me from using PHP..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384162)


I know this is going to sound petty, but there's one thing that keeps me from using PHP for serious projects:

$Those $damn $dollar $signs.

I still don't understand why they can't add a "dollar sign optional" mode.

Dollar signs are only necessary if you want to expand variables inside of strings. Since I don't do that, they are useless to me. They do nothing except cause a horrific amount of clutter in my code.

There's no reason why they couldn't implement a "dollar sign optional" mode -- all they would need to do is fold the constant id and variable id namespaces together if that option was set.

php and mysql are popular b/c... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384180)

php:

1. php's procedural programming is relative easy concept to grasp.
2. it is free.
3. it can be a bear to set up, but they have gotten better and there are some packages that make it pretty easy.

mysql:

1. it got to the windows desktop first.
2. it is good enough for many apps.
3. it is easy to install with installers (windows) that install both php and mysql.
4. it is a fast db, if not the fastest, under some circumstances.

mysql is obviously a good tool - many people have used it successfully for various apps. the pudding is there to taste.

having said that, i went with postgresql when i learned php. it took me a month to get a working version installed on windows. the docs weren't clear how to use the native db, so i was lost there. i did the cygwin thing... 30 days later, it was working.

now i know how to install and use the native windows version.

i value pgsql's features, not the least of which is the extraordinary license that allows a dev to use the db in commercial apps free of charge.

there are other benefits, but that is HUGE for me. mysql definitely has some benefits in certain cases, too.

investigate both and see which one works better.

pgsql gets slammed by those who say it is slow. it isn't. in fact, on my internet app, it is extremely fast - and i use a db class and a forms class with my app.

mysql w/o transactions might be faster in some cases, perhaps many cases, but once you set up mysql to run transactions (and probably a few other goodies, too), it slows down, too. it is a feature tradeoff. i value the features.

any speed loss is often imperceptable.

mysql is an able db in terms of speed. so is postrgesql.

"Libraries and modules" (1)

Jeian (409916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384660)

The beauty of PHP is in its open nature and the rich set of libraries and modules which imparts a lot of power and flexibility to the programmer. I haven't done a PHP install in awhile - is including these additional modules and libraries still as easy as recompiling the whole package, trying to get Apache to accept the recompiled module, then fixing all the scripts that suddenly don't work with the new module?
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