Most great programming books sway far more toward the realm of the practical than of the
academic. Although I have no illusions regarding my place among the great technical authors
of our time, it is always my goal to write with this point in mind, producing material that you
can apply to your own situation. Given the size of this book, it’s probably apparent that I attempt
to squeeze out every last drop of such practicality from the subject matter. That said, if you’re
interested in gaining practical and comprehensive insight into the PHP programming language
and MySQL database server, and how these prominent technologies can be used together to
create dynamic, database-driven Web applications, this book is for you.
In the 18 months since the first edition of this book was published, the PHP and MySQL
communities have continued to work feverishly to advance the capabilities of these two prominent
technologies. Accordingly, this revision could not have come without the addition of a
substantial amount of new material, to the tune of more than 100 additional pages. In total,
seven new chapters have been added. Three of these chapters are devoted to PHP-specific topics,
including the PHP Extension and Application Repository (PEAR), date and time functionality,
and the PHP Data Objects (PDO) extension. Four additional chapters cover PHP 5’s mysqli
extension, and MySQL 5’s new stored routine, trigger, and view functionality. Furthermore, all
existing chapters have been carefully revised, and in some cases heavily modified, to both update
and improve upon the first edition material.
If you’re new to PHP, I heartily recommend beginning with Chapter 1, because first gaining
fundamental knowledge of PHP will be of considerable benefit to you when reading later chapters.
If you know PHP but are new to MySQL, consider beginning with Chapter 24. Intermediate and
advanced readers are invited to jump around as necessary; after all, this isn’t a romance novel.
Regardless of your reading strategy, I’ve attempted to compartmentalize the material found in
each chapter so that you can quickly learn each topic without necessarily having to master
other chapters beyond those that concentrate on the technology fundamentals.
Furthermore, novice and seasoned PHP and MySQL developers alike have something to
gain from this book, as I’ve intentionally organized it in a hybrid format of both tutorial and
reference. I appreciate the fact that you have traded hard-earned cash for this book, and therefore
I have strived to present the material in a fashion that will prove useful not only the first few
times you peruse it, but far into the future.