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A worthy effort to introduce the programming and database neophyte into the world of dynamic website design. --millionchimpanzees.blogspot.com, September 2009
A great introduction to the technologies at the basis of the Web. You will both enjoy this book and learn from it.
--Pascal Borghino, Database Architect for Yahoo! Inc
Having developed for the Internet since the mid 1990s I have used a number of programming languages, beginning with Perl, which was the first tool I mastered. However I soon found that great though Perl was for developing with, at the time it didn't have the power I needed for ultra busy websites, and so the load averages of the servers I used was going through the roof.
So I rewrote all the processor-intensive code in C and was able to substantially slow down our server acquisition rate. But while C is powerful, it takes a lot of coding to replicate even basic Perl functions. So when PHP came along I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that even though it is interpreted (that is, re-compiled each time it is run), it placed far less of a strain on the servers than Perl, and also took up far less development time.
So when O'Reilly asked me to write this book I jumped at the opportunity. In it I have tried to take you from first steps, without assuming any prior knowledge other than basic HTML and maybe some CSS, through each of the technologies in turn, and along the way point out the shortcuts and pitfalls I have discovered, to give you the headstart I didn't have.
I maintain an active discussion forum on the book's topics, which is linked to via the companion website at lpmj.net, and am always happy to answer any questions you may have.
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