PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual

PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual book cover photoPHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual, 2nd Edition
The book that should have been in the box
By Brett McLaughlin
Publisher: O’Reilly Media / Pogue Press
Released: November 2012
Pages: 546

PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual, 2nd Edition left me wondering about some of the practices I observed in the book. I found myself at ods with the organization of the book. Chapter 2 suggests getting code onto the Internet right away. Security is discussed in Chapters 12 through 14. It’s simply a bad idea to put unsecured code on the Internet. Your site will get hacked. Your web host will likely ask you to pay for damages your site causes to the server. That is pretty standard boilerplate text appearing in the terms of service for most hosting accounts.

In chapter 2 I tried a few of the early code examples and found that path changes were needed to get things working. This was mentioned by the author. While I did not attempt to work all the code examples, I found syntax errors with several examples. These are sure to trip up coders trying to learn a new language.

Reading the book proved tedious from the standpoint that an example is put forth, then changed and often changed again in the final version. While this might be good for learning, if the code contains syntax errors, it will certainly produce frustrations. This appears to be borne out in published reviews. The book has primary focus on PHP code with very little database manipulation. There was little mention of joins, and no mentions of unions or intersections. I found no discussion of database design beyond the mention primary keys and a cursory mention of a foreign key.

I do not feel comfortable recommending this book to new users. The syntax errors in the code will make for a frustrating user experience. Advanced PHP coders will find little to get excited about except for possibly chapter nine’s discussion of adding image files to a database.

Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy for review purposes.

This book is available at PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual, 2nd Edition – O’Reilly Media.