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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside C#, Second Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: ANDREW WHITECHAPE TOM ARCHER
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good introduction to C#


This book has everything you need to start programming in C#. It covers the basics as well as some advanced topics on C# programming. Excellent book.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: e-Learning and the Science of Instruction : Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning
Publisher: Pfeiffer
Authors: Ruth Colvin Clark, Richard E. Mayer
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
excellent content, okay readability


Although I agree with the reader from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada that the book reads like a university textbook, I have found it very useful for designing and justifying my designs of online instruction. When someone wants you to change your design, you can respond by saying, "According to Clark and Mayer, people who learn from integrated text and graphics performed 68% better." Stats like that help to justify budgets!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, Jon Orwant
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Reference Book (if you know PERL)


I already knew C and learned the basics of Perl from SAMS 'teach yourself PERL5 in 21 days'. I missed a description of the gory details and found it in this book. Great for both reference and learning details of PERL, explained short and skillfull with much humor.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Hugh E. Williams
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Tutorial style intro for Intermediate programmers.


As the title indicates, this book is all about building websites powered by database applications. The book uses PHP and MySQL for a scripting language and a database technology respectively. Familiarity with programming and computers is assumed but other than that, not much else is assumed. The authors do an excellent job of explaining some of the fundamental concepts underlying database driven websites. All this is done in simple terms without too much jargon. To top it all off, a tutorial style approach is taken to illustrate how all these concepts come together. The tutorial is on building an online retail site that sells wines. The sample code used in the book can be downloaded from the publisher's website.
PHP is a powerful language that is open source and that can be used in lieu of Java and .NET technologies for many web applications that aren't too complex. For most small business owners, this should suffice. I am not too sure about using it in large corporations. This is one of the most popular open source technology along with Linux and MySQL.
MySQL is an open source database that can be used instead of SQL Server, Access, or Oracle. Once again, when the database application gets complex, I am not confident of its ability to handle the complexity. This is also excellent for small businesses but not large corporations.
There are about 13 chapters and 5 appendices spanning 550 pages starting with an introduction to database applications and the web, continuing with an intro to PHP and MySQL, covering the main concepts behind web technologies and ending with the sample wine store application. The main concepts discussed are querying databases, writing to databases, validations on the server and client, session management, user authentication and security. The appendices handle installation, modeling and designing relational databases, managing sessions in the database tier, etc.
Overall, the selection of topics is perfect for Intermediate programmers and the explanations are very detailed yet simple. This is probably one of the reasons this book is so popular. I have thoroughly enjoyed using this book and I am not surprised to see such a high quality book from this publisher. I am not familiar with the authors but I am going to keep an eye open in the future for other books by them.
I felt it was a bit pricey for a book of this nature but this is the only one I could find that covered these specific topics so I am not going to complain. Enjoy creating your own database driven website!