Head First PHP and mySQL

A practical book introducing beginners to aspects of PHP amd mySQL that they can use straight away to perform real world tasks. Unfortunately in the section on regular expressions the authors have used examples that people from most parts of the world will not understand.

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Another excellent book for beginners that uses the "Head First" style of presenting the information in a variety of different ways so as to really reinforce what the book teaches so that you will not forget it. This one takes a really practical approach to introducing you to both PHP and mySQL in a way that means that what you are learning is useful right from the start. It only provides an introduction to both languages (a book covering both languages thoroughly would be several times the size) but what it does cover are those things that can be best put to real practical use in building real world web applications right from the start. Once you have worked your way through the book from start to finish you will know most of what you will use on a regular basis and can look up the rest in reference books or the online references as needed.

The only flaw in this book is the section covering regular expressions. For this section a very poor example was selected. The regular expression it develops for validating phone numbers would in fact reject over 90% of possible phone numbers as invalid since it assumes that the phone numbers would be those from one particular country. The authors have forgotten that it is the WORLD wide web and have built a totally incorrect validation process rather than properly determining what phone numbers from around the world can contain. The other shorter example used social security numbers which is another poor example since most people will not know what they are let alone how they are supposed to be formatted.

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