Book review – guide to creating dynamic websites

The January 2015 issue of Choice Magazine published my review of Nixon, Robin. Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS & HTML5: a step-by-step guide to creating dynamic Websites. 3rd ed. O’Reilly, 2014. 700p index ISBN 9781491949467 pbk, $49.99.

Given that many readers of this blog may be interested in this book but may not have ready access to the Choice Magazine website, I thought it appropriate to paste a copy of my review here. As always, I look forward to your comments.

“Nixon (UK writer) packs a wealth of information into this new edition (2nd ed., 2012; 1st ed., 2009).  The book begins with an overview of dynamic web content and a description of how to set up a local testing environment (for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems).  A presentation of the fundamentals of PHP coding follows; more emphasis on object-oriented PHP would have been helpful.  Later chapters cover MySQL (including both command line and phpMyAdmin approaches to administering data stores).  Forms and session objects along with a review of HTML5 enhancements to forms are discussed, although additional information on making forms (and other objects) more accessible would have been useful.  Other topics addressed include JavaScript and Ajax, CSS (including CSS3), manipulating CSS with JavaScript, HTML (with an emphasis on HTML5), and HTML5 Canvas, Audio, and Video.  A social networking site is created in the final chapter.  Code examples (and updates) are available at the corresponding website.  Throughout the book, the author includes references to secure coding.  Given the numerous breaches one often reads about these days, it is refreshing to see security integrated into the text rather than being tacked on as an afterthought.”

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