I can report that Gilmore and Apress have given the world one book that will replace many other PHP and MySQL volumes. This is one that the reader will consistently rely on and keep near to hand. I can summarize this review in nine words: If you want to learn PHP, buy this book. ...an extremely detailed book.
Beginning PHP 5 and MySQL: From Novice to Professional offers a comprehensive introduction to two of the most popular open source technologies on the planet: the PHP scripting language and the MySQL database server. Whether you're a newcomer searching for a thorough introduction to these popular technologies, or a seasoned developer in need of a comprehensive reference, this book is for you. You will be exposed to the core features of both technologies, as well as gain valuable insight into how the technologies are combined to create dynamic, data-driven web applications. You'll also learn about many undocumented features of the most recent versions.
The first part of the book is devoted to PHP's foundational features, with emphasis on features new to PHP 5, like improved object-oriented support, exception handling, SQLite support, SimpleXML, and much more. Other chapters are devoted to basic PHP programming concepts such as variables, datatypes, arrays, string manipulation, and user interaction. You'll also learn about PHP 5's core capabilities, starting with a survey of installation and configuration tasks. Additional chapters cover session handling, LDAP integration, the Smarty templating engine, and Web Services support.
The latter part of the book overviews the powerful MySQL database server. You'll learn about the installation and configuration process, datatypes, key security features, and various administration utilities. Next, you'll proceed to learn about PHP's assortment of MySQL functions, supported by dozens of examples depicting the creation and execution of queries. You'll also learn how to perform searches and manage database transactions.
"A comprehensive introduction to … the scripting language PHP and the MySQL database server. This book will not only expose … core aspects of both technologies, but will provide valuable insight into how they are used in unison to create dynamic data-driven Web applications." (it-expert, Issue no. 48, 2004)