The Joy of PHP · A Beginner's Guide to Programming Interactive Web Applications With PHP and MySQL

Simon Angatia

Have you ever wanted to design your own website but thought it would be too difficult or didn't know where to start? Have you looked into creating your own website before but found the amount of information on the Internet too daunting or not geared for your skillset or worse-- just plain boring? Are you interested in learning to program PHP and have some fun along the way? If so, then The Joy of PHP by Alan Forbes is the book for you!!


Alan starts with some basic HTML so the absolute beginner can catch up quickly and then goes step by step on how PHP works. You start with the easy stuff--like how to create and run simple PHP scripts that modify web pages-- and then build on what you've learned through a series of cohesive (and fun) exercises that carry over from lesson to lesson.


As the chapters progress, you begin to build a website for a growing used car dealership business. This approach keeps the material fun and challenging-- and gives what you've learned a context to be relevant. A car dealership needs a constantly changing website because the inventory of cars is always changing. HTML is not the answer for this kind of website-- but PHP and MySQL are!


Throughout the book, you will be working with the website for the car dealership and adding features, and modifying it as the needs of the business (and your knowledge) grow. This writing style reinforces the previous lessons and keeps you engaged in a "real" project -- giving you both a sense of accomplishment and an opportunity to apply what you've learned to a realistic scenario. You are far more likely to retain what you've learned using this approach than just reading dry syntax documentation.


The author has an easy and fun style of writing that teaches you PHP in a simple, matter-of-fact manner while showing you the most common uses of the commands you need to get the job done. This keeps your learning pace quick and uncluttered. If you need it, he also points you to several resources where you can learn more about the other options a PHP function can offer and-- even better--how to read and understand those resources.


If you want to learn the PHP language in an easy, enjoyable, well laid out manner and to learn why PHP and MySQL are so powerful and fun to use then buy this book!! Do not buy this book if you are looking for a comprehensive reference of boring PHP syntax.


This book does not attempt to cover everything about PHP. What it does do-- and does well-- is take you from being a beginner who isn't even sure what PHP is to someone who knows the sheer joy that only programming dynamic sites can provide. You will become someone who can read, write, and modify PHP scripts and you will be able to make your website come alive.


All the source code referenced in the book is available for easy download and is also well organized. You don't have to cut and paste out of Kindle or retype code unless you want to.


Topics include:


- Installing and configuring PHP

- Introduction to HTML

- Basic PHP Syntax

- Some Fun Right Away

- Editors and Staying Organized

- Variables, Numbers, Dates, and Strings

- Control Structures

- How to use a database, such as MySQL

- Using PHP and MySQL Together

- How to create forms to Display, Add, Edit, and Delete data

- Session Variables

- Working with Images

- PHP File Uploads

- PHP Quirks and Tips

- Security Considerations


This book is NOT the only book you'll ever need to read if you want to master PHP. There is no one book that can offer that. This book is an introduction to what can be, of course, a very rich topic. The hope of the author is to show you that PHP really isn't that scary after all, it is something YOU can do, and it can even bring you joy once you get it.


After you read it, you'll know if developing applications with PHP and MySQL is for you or not. If you find that PHP is for you, you'll be well on your way to building your own applications.

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