February Mini Book Reviews

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This month, Pat read about some classics: Perl, Python, PHP and MySQL.

Core PHP Programming, 3rd Edition

Leon Atkinson with Zeev Suraski

Prentice Hall

ISBN: 0-13-046346-9

Part desktop reference and part programming guide, Core PHP Programming is a great book for both the beginning PHP programmer and those with more experience. It has been updated to include PHP 5, as well as new material covering XML, object techniques and design patterns.

The authors do a great job of evangelizing PHP; the more I read, the more I found myself wanting to use PHP to create Web sites. Chapters 1 - 7 form a PHP Programming unit. Chapters 8 - 20 (a whopping 669 pages) comprise a functional reference. And Chapters 21 - 25 comprise a section on algorithms. The final four chapters cover software engineering including design, debugging and design patterns.

I really enjoyed this book, and plan on keeping it handy for the odd bits of PHP work that come my way. I'm giving it eight stars.

MySQL, 2nd Edition

Paul DuBois

SAMS

ISBN: 0-7357-1212-3

The first edition of this book was my introduction to MySQL, and it's been a well-used part of my bookshelf ever since. When I saw that a new edition had come out, I knew I'd need to grab a copy. Happily, the 2nd edition didn't disappoint.

This book is even bigger than the last go-around, weighing in at 13 chapters and 8 appendices, for a total of 1,150 pages. The first four chapters present an overview of MySQL use. The next four describe the programming interface in general and for C, Perl and Python, respectively. The author also has a great pair of Ruby-related articles on his Web site, and I wish they'd been included in the book. The final five chapters are geared toward MySQL administration. The appendices provide a number of references.

Paul DuBois writes in a way that is both authoritative and easy to read. His examples are clear and help the reader understand the concepts Paul teaches in the text. I think MySQL 2nd Edition deserves nine stars.

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-- -pate http://on-ruby.blogspot.com