Who Is This Book For?
The book assumes that the reader is thoroughly familiar with HTML and CSS. However, concerning MySQL, PHP, and phpMyAdmin, the book starts from an absolute beginner’s point of view.
As the chapters unfold, they progress towards intermediate level. Because command-line programming would not be welcomed by the modern generation of readers, the book concentrates on mouse-operated Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) and PHP files for creating and managing databases.
You do not need to acquire an extensive knowledge of PHP to create interactive databases. I introduce all the PHP you will need in the appropriate place within each project. Each piece of PHP code is explained fully in plain English. The step-by-step, fully-worked examples will show you what MySQL and PHP can do and how to do it.
Practical PHP and MySQL Web Site Databases - A Simplified Approach is for web designers who wish to begin developing database-driven web sites. Like the author, they may have struggled with the current manuals and despaired. They may also have been frustrated by the limitations of paint-by-numbers content management systems such as Joomla
With this in mind, Practical PHP and MySQL Web Site Databases - A Simplified Approach uses a highly motivational, step-by-step approach. The author recognizes fully that a sense of achievement encourages the reader to look forward eagerly to the next step.
For readers who have little or no knowledge of PHP, the book will teach enough PHP to complete all the projects in the book. Web developers who are ready to move beyond the MySQL basics, or who have not kept up to date with their MySQL and PHP, will also benefit from Practical PHP and MySQL Web Site Databases - A Simplified Approach.
College and university IT teachers will find that the book provides an excellent set text; the projects can form a basis for students to adapt for their course work.
The “Quick and Easy-to-Learn” Myth
Manuals frequently state that PHP and MySQL databases are easily and quickly learned. This discourages beginners,
because when they are confronted with the inevitable difficulties (and error messages), they begin to think that they will never grasp even the basic principles.
Beginners should not be discouraged if they remember the following fact:
authors claiming that PHP and MySQL are easily and quickly learned are not being deceptive;
they have probably been using PHP and MySQL for more than a decade and have forgotten the difficulties they encountered when they first began. If you accept that some time and effort is required to learn PHP and MySQL, then as time passes, it will become increasingly apparent that you are learning something very worthwhile.
The task will become progressively easier, so have patience and persevere. You will then begin to enjoy mastering this valuable new discipline.
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