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(Head First PHP & MySQL) By Beighley, Lynn (Author) paperback on (12 , 2008) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Lynn Beighley

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Taschenbuch, 1. Dezember 2008 --  

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Amazon.com: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  77 Rezensionen
69 von 71 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Best Beginner's PHP and MySQL Book Out There 19. Mai 2009
Von Picky Reader - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I have been trying to learn PHP and MySQL for a couple of months now. I have read (well, started) about 4 beginner's books. I would understand a little bit of it, but then the more I got into a book, the more confused I would get. It just seemed like things were either coming at me too fast or the writing style didn't flow, at which point I stopped learning. Not so with Head First PHP & MySQL. This book I absolutely cannot put down. The style makes learning so easy and fun that I just want to keep reading it. The funny thing is, the first time I saw a Head First book, I thought the layout would hinder my learning, not help it. Boy, was I wrong.
Another great thing about this book is the flow. Most PHP and MySQL books start off with about 3-4 chapters of PHP, then 3-4 chapters of MySQL, then the rest of the book teaching you how to use the two programs together. But by the time I got to the chapters learning how to use them together, I had forgotten half the PHP from the first chapters! This book has you writing scripts using PHP AND MySQL in chapter two. but you don't feel rushed.
Let me close in describing who I think this book is good for, and who it isn't. If you are three days away from a test in these two subjects, and just need to cram to pass the class and don't care about learning, just passing, then get another book. There are books out there that have specific areas dedicated to each term (variable, array, etc) summed up on two pages. Once you learn something in this book, you will keep using it throughout the book, which is very helpful. I personally have to do things myself, more than once, to pick them up, and this book covers that perfectly, without making one second of this book boring.
If you are looking for a specific PHP and MySQL reference to sit on your desk, and quickly look in the index, find a term, and use it, get another book. As the authors state, this is not a reference book. It is meant to be a learners book, read in sequence.
If you know some HTML and CSS (didn't seem to me like you even had to know very much), are completely new to PHP and programming in general, and want to learn in a way that allows you to retain what knowledge you pick up, BUY THIS BOOK! It is excellent. All the examples do a wonderful job of illustrating what you just went over in that chapter. Both writers are truly gifted, and have an excellent writing style. The layout is perfect. I can't shower enough praise on this book. Brand new beginners to intermediate level programmers will all benefit from this book. Two thumbs way up!
40 von 44 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Maybe I'm spoiled 24. Februar 2010
Von Jason Semko - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
PHP is a difficult subject matter. These guys do a pretty good job of helping you understand and get the concept. Good beginner book. However, there are some problems. As stated in some of the other negative reviews, there is a lot of ambiguous text throughout the book where 'solutions' are given but no instruction is given on what to do. Occasionally there are parts where you are told "Now start coding!" with a few things left out. For example: In Chapter 9 you are told to create your first function out of already existing code. However, at some points of the lesson there is no instruction given on how to apply the 'return' statements of that function. Sure, if you're very focused you can figure it out, but when you put full trust into this book, you're constantly asking yourself "Am I supposed to do this? Is this part of the lesson? Will I turn the page and will it say 'Hey the page didn't work right? Here's why!'"

The learning format is a bit disorganized because the book is supposed to be 'rebellious' and 'fun' to read. But the constant placement of 'help comments' all over the page keeps your eyes bouncing on every page.

I've reported a few errors and for all those who do choose to buy this book...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ENABLE PHP ERRORS so you can catch theirs! (Not a lot, but hair-pulling errors)

Bottom Line: You WILL learn PHP
Bottom Bottom Line: You will at times STRESS learning PHP because of the book.
34 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Heads First PHP & MySQL is the way to get started! 29. Januar 2009
Von Bob Reselman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I've been a big fan of the Heads First series for a long time. The format of the Head First books is unique, engaging and effective. One could consider the Head First series to be comic book like. This is one of the series' great virtues. The interactive layout and thoughtful way illustrations are integrated to text in order to explain 'hard to get concepts' really works.

I use the series to learn and teach advanced programming topics. All the exciting things about the Heads First series shines through in PHP & MySQL.

Heads First PHP & MySQL is for beginners. There is little prerequisite knowledge required to get benefit from the book. I have learned from years of teaching and mentoring that beginners learn best when presented with information in a way that is fun and hands on. Heads First PHP & MySQL meets this requirement with no problem.

The book covers the range of topics that is standard for having a good foundation in programming in general and programming in PHP in particular. After finishing this book the reader will be able to create a data driven web site in PHP, leveraging that special relationship between the PHP programming language and the MySQL database. The reader will know why and how PHP and MySQL go hand in hand.

The book throws in some extra tidbits. For example it teaches you how to make a data drive Rss Feed. It's a good example that has real world bearing.

Again, this is a beginners book. I caution 'bosses' that while giving this book to aspiring PHP developers is a good thing to do, you should not think that the book will create production ready coders. Coding in a production environment requires experience that is beyond the scope of this work.

This being said, I look forward to reading an follow up volume to this work titled, Heads First Really Programming in PHP and MySQL in which the topics of object oriented programming in PHP and implementing the basic software design patterns are explained in a way that only a Heads First book could.

Heads First PHP and MySQL is a great beginners book, one that should be on the bookshelf of every up and coming PHP developer.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Helped me to get my first job on oDesk 17. Juli 2010
Von David K. Friedman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This was a good book. After reading this book my second application on oDesk was accepted and I completed my first web development job earning 5 out of 5 stars in all areas for the work that I did.

It is probably better to do only a few chapters carefully (following their advice in bullet number 9 to "write a lot of code") than it is to rush through the book too fast. Chapters 1 through 6 could possibly be enough for many quick jobs or small sites. You'll need chapter 7 if you are interested in keeping track of users (it covers cookies, and also HTTP authentication). Chapter 8 has good rules and guidelines on how to organize your database to avoid inconsistencies and problems.

The other chapters are: chapter 9 covers custom and string functions, chapter 10 covers regular expressions, chapter 11 covers a graphics library, and chapter 12 covers web services and syndication.

These could possibly be skipped if the reader already has a reasonably good background in programming (e.g. has taken two or three courses at the undergraduate level in software development), or does not expect that that those are necessarily needed for the task at hand.

For example, a good programmer who has learned programming fundamentals may be able to pick up how to use the GD graphics library just from the documentation that comes with PHP.

You can always come back to those chapters at a later time (after all you've got to help Owen save his dog!)

I've only done one job, so I speak here mostly from that experience. I would grant that it is quite possible that those topics in chapters 9 through 12 may come in very handy, speed things up, and improve performance for other contract jobs, interviews, or full-time positions.

Just practicing and exploring things can help a lot as well.

Feel free to laugh at all the jokes, and be sure to do all the exercises. Some of the advice may sound a little bit silly or extraneous (for example, talk about the topic out loud, or drink a lot of water while you are studying), but I think they are reasonable tips and suggestions for helping to learn, and I think they helped me.

I also used [...] (entirely as an observer, just reading the kind of questions that people have can help), and of course the PHP.net site which has all the documentation.

It can take some time to figure out how to navigate the PHP.net site, but everything is there. You can click around and find what you need.

Before I took the oDesk exam I also got on Safari the book Programming PHP by Rasmus Lerdorf (the inventor of the language). That book goes into more depth. I read chapter 6 on classes to learn more details.

That review of chapter 6 in Programming PHP was helpful when I took the oDesk skills test which helped me to get my first job on oDesk.

Like all technical books there is some errata which has remained unfixed on Safari Books. If you see something that looks like a mistake and are using Safari Books you can click on Extras and then go to Errata. There is also a forum on [...] for people to ask questions on. You can see some of Michael Morrison's posts on there.

On oDesk many people said that it took them a few weeks to get their first job. On the second day of looking I found that an employer had written a specification, which I looked at and then began working on in PHP. I submitted my cover letter along with a URL to the work that I had done. I bid what the employer asked for which was about 20% of the average bid. While others had required a few weeks before getting their first job; with the training from Safari Books I got a job in about a day and a half. I built a customer relationship management web application frontend that worked with Zoho CRM.

One interesting comment about my job is related to chapter 8 and has to do with database normalization and having for each table a primary key. The job that I worked on had a 12 page specification and they had in the specification a schema but there was no primary key for the only table in the database. In the middle of the contract I asked graciously whether it was possible to add one column to the table so that there would be a primary key. After demonstrating that I could help with the task my employer (who is an engineer and scientist but not a web developer or database administrator) agreed readily. I think this was a good example of applying Dale Carnegie principles. If I had asked to make this change at the beginning before establishing more of a relationship, and demonstrating that I could help with the task, the employer might have still agreed, however, I think it would have been more awkward. I might have to try to explain why such a decision constitutes good design.

I enjoyed the book a great deal. It helped to lift up my spirits when I was depressed about being unsuccessful in graduate school.

Maybe it would have better to have delayed my review after gaining more experience trying to get a position in the conventional job market, or having done more freelance work on sites like elance, oDesk, or possibly TopCoder. However, I think as time goes by I'll see this book as being very useful.

I'm eager to read more Head First books, because I think the model is a very good one. For web development in particular I'm thinking about reading Head First JavaScript also by Michael Morrison. However, I may read some of the Head First Java book so that I can learn enough to start competing on TopCoder algorithm competitions.

I think Head First SQL (also by Lynn Beighley) may also be very useful for learning SQL in more detail toward the goal of gaining a MySQL certification.


P.S. You'll need of course a good editor or IDE to go through the book and for PHP/MySQL coding tasks. I was weaned on Emacs, but when doing the book, and the contract I used HTML-kit.

HTML-kit worked fine, and is a good program. On the other I'm thinking that Emacs might be better for different reasons:

1. Automatic indenting.
2. Matching parenthesis.
3. Incremental search (find might have some bug in HTML-kit)

Eclipse is probably now the most advanced IDE (possibly too sophisticated for the kinds of jobs I'd be working on in the near future).

How To Win Friends and Influence People
Programming PHP
Head First Java, 2nd Edition
Head First JavaScript
Head First SQL: Your Brain on SQL -- A Learner's Guide
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Omits crucial details, poorly written 24. August 2010
Von Kevin D. Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I bought this book for my wife, a print graphic designer trying to move into web design. She's found it confusing. When she asks me for clarification, it's clear that the authors never really tried out the book on a non-engineer.

1. The first example throws a mailto: link in a web page. My wife wasted an hour configuring her desktop email client (she normally uses gmail) before turning to the next page to see "haha, that's not actually related to anything we want to do".
2. The next example is sending email from a server. This would have been a great example ten years ago, when you could actually get mail out from a random machine without it being discarded as spam.
3. SQL statements are displayed without semi-colons. It's mentioned once, but this book is supposed to be for beginners.
4. The first example of SQL is vulnerable to SQL injection. Fine, it's the first example, but at least say it isn't suitable for production code.
5. Later on, they talk about SQL injection, but the solution they give is to remove unsafe characters, rather than the preferred method of parameterized queries.

These are a handful of specific problems I've seen. I'm sure there are more. In general, it's mostly written to the level of a beginner (which I wanted), but it has too many errors in the details for a beginner to actually follow along.

Also, the examples have the longest names I've ever seen. I don't see what the reader is going to gain by being forced to type "date_this_happened_on" repeatedly.
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