PHP and MySQL 5
5 comments | Posted: 21 February 06 in Books, by Nathan Smith
I finally made it through my review copy of Beginning PHP and MySQL 5, by programming guru W. Jason Gilmore. The technical editor was Matt Wade, founder of CodeWalkers, a great PHP and MySQL resource site. It is the Second Edition follow-up to PHP 5 and MySQL. Since I’ve already written a review of the First Edition, I will try to mainly focus on the changes to the second version of the book, which cover some of the newer features in each of the technologies.
At the initial time of printing for the first book, many PHP 5 features were only in the beta version, and MySQL 5 was still in alpha testing. Now, eighteen months later, they have solidified into what has become quite a formidable enterprise solution for server-side scripting and database storage.
There has been quite a bit of extra material covered this time around, to the tune of 177 additional pages. In fact, by comparison the new edition is noticeably heavier than its predecessor. The existing chapters have also been revised, with XHTML examples being given in most cases instead of HTML, as well as minor changes to some of the updated / deprecated syntax.
A total of seven new chapters have been added, further enriching what was already a great resource. One of the more interesting subjects covered is the new
mysqli() extension. It is encapsulated into a class, allowing you to access a database more easily than the older, procedural method. It also offers an object oriented interface for handling transactions, adding code efficiency.
Aside from offering informative chapters, there are also several good tutorials, such as creating a mortgage calculator which will compute accumulated interest over time. Another cool one was a how-to on rendering a dynamic tabular calendar by using a PEAR package and less than 30 lines of actual code.
I could go on and on, but if you really want to dig into this powerful open-source combo, you’re going to have to read the book for yourself. By the author’s own admission, “this isn’t a romance novel,” but if you don’t mind some heavy reading this could be right up your alley. Happy hypertext pre-processing!
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