PHP and MySQL 5

5 comments | Posted: 21 February 06 in Books, by Nathan Smith

PHP and MySQL 5 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!

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Ryan Wentzel

    I’ve used the first edition and found it to be a great help since I was new to PHP at the time. Now you’ve got me interested in this edition. Unfortunately, the ‘ol employer paid for the first book and I don’t work there any longer.

  2. 2 Nathan Smith

    Ryan: I’d highly recommend the second edition, if you’re going to be doing any work that requires usage of features specific to either PHP or MySQL version 5. You can probably make due without it, but it’s definitely a nice solid update.

  3. 3 Josh

    I wasn’t aware MySQL 5 was out already, but is it really such a big step up from MySQL 4, ‘cause I have very little reason to fault MySQL4. Then again PHP5 introduced features I had never thought I needed, but now I hate dropping down to PHP4 on my companies webservers.

    And by the way, code/syntax is deprecated, not depreciated.

  4. 4 nate klaiber

    Ill have to check this out. I have read a few PHP/MySQL books – but prefer to get them separate as most of the time the dwell on the main things that the other books dwell on as well. This seems to be a good update.

    Also, you might want to check out PDO for a database class. I initially was interested in mysqli, but I have to connect to 2 different data sources (our ERP and MySQL). PDO fit the bill perfectly for this as I can use the same functionality. It also has support for transactions, stored procedures, and database specific tasks. It might be worth checking out if you are interested.

    Anyway, thanks for the review – Ill have to check this one out this weekend (although I still have to finish Mastering Regular Expressions and PHP Security…hehe).


  5. 5 Nathan Smith

    And by the way, code/syntax is deprecated, not depreciated.

    Thanks Josh, I’ll fix that in the article. I also make the same mistake regularly, saying “expediated” instead of “expedited.” Hooked on Fonix worked for me. ;)

    Nate: I probably should have mentioned, this book covers PDO pretty extensively. And as to the issue of buying MySQL / PHP books seperately, this book basically is a comprehensive guide to both. It shows how the two work well together, but also covers each seperately. The first half of the book is essentially about PHP, and the second half covers MySQL.


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