An excellent book for showing beginners how PHP and mySQL fit together but doesn't cover either in any great depth. If you can afford two books you'd do better to get a separate book on each subject.
As the author himself admits early in the book, what can be done with PHP and mySQL now is significantly different to what they were capable of when the first edition of this book was written. There is a lot more that a beginner needs to know in order to start using these languages properly. What this means though is that in order to cover all of these aspects that many of them have extremely short introductions in the book.
The book does make a valiant attempt to provide enough information to allow someone to actually achieve beginner status and someone who works their way through the entire book will at least have an idea of how to go about building a database driven web site. They should also have at least an idea of all of the issues that they will need to deal with in creating such a site. What they will not have is any real depth of knowledge of any of the things they need to know mainly because it just isn't possible to cram that much information about such a wide range of topics all into the one book. There book does point you to other books and resources that go into more depth on each subject that it introduces so if someone does treat this book simply as an introduction and actually does follow up with the dozen or so books that it mentions then that person can be well on the way to becoming a lot more than just a beginner.
As an introduction for someone who has no prior knowledge of programming or databases this book provides an excellent starting off point but it doesn't go into sufficient depth on any of the subjects that it covers by itself to serve as anything more than an introduction but at least by the end of the book the person will know what they need to learn.
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This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.