PHP 5 For Dummies (Janet Valade)


Covers the latest major release of PHP, the most popular open source Web scripting language, in the friendly, easy-to-understand For Dummies style

  • PHP is installed on nearly nine million servers, and usage has grown at the rate of 6.5 percent per month for the past two years
  • PHP is easy to learn, well suited for Web development, and can be embedded with HTML, making it a good choice for creating dynamic Web pages for e-commerce sites and other Web applications; a database-friendly language, it connects easily to Sybase, MySQL, mSQL, Oracle, and other databases
  • Explains how to acquire and install PHP, how PHP’s features make it a useful scripting language, and how to use PHP for three of the most common applications: interactive Web sites, database storage, and common operating system tasks

From the Back Cover

Start programming PHP and make your Web site interactive

Discover arrays of variables, start writing scripts, and get object oriented

The script calls for an interactive Web site – where do you start? Right here, with a fast and friendly way to get the hang of PHP 5 programming! You’ll also discover all the other cool things you can do with PHP, like managing files, interacting with databases, using system commands, and more.

The Dummies Way

  • Explanations in plain English
  • “Get in, get out” information
  • Icons and other navigational aids
  • Tear-out cheat sheet
  • Top ten lists
  • A dash of humor and fun

Reader Reviews

Janet Valade: Yes, the author reads the reviews here. That’s me. The error in which a few quotes were replaced with underscores occurred during the publishing process, after I was finished with the book. I didn’t know about the errors until I saw the earlier review here. However, there is no way to fix it. If the book is reprinted or a second edition is released, I can fix the errors, but not until then. I wish I could. I apologize to any who were confused by this problem.

There are 8 quotes replaced with underscores on 4 lines in Chapter 3, 2 quotes replaced with underscores on 1 line in Chapter 4, and 20 quotes replaced with underscores on 8 lines in Chapter 5. I have a list of the errors and corrections on my web site at

M.Strong: I only give this two stars because there are a few snippets of code that are worth absorbing. However this book has enough errors to make the subject matter confusing. I’ve used quite a few “Dummies” books as intros to a variety of subjects in my 20 years of programming. They have for the most part been quite helpful.

I always expect some errors from books dealing with technical material, but the errors here are of a nature so as to cause confusion, especially to those new to PHP.

My bottom line recommendation is not to use this book if you are new to programming or to PHP. You’ll spend more time than warranted separating the wheat from the chaff. There are much better intros to be had. Try Sam’s “PHP, MySQL and Apache” or Sitepoint’s “Object Oriented PHP Solutions”. Both are accurate, easy to understand, and have code samples that are easy to get to.

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