When I was asked to review the manuscript of Open Source Web Development with LAMP , I was nervous about one thing. Certainly, I had experience with Linux, Apache, and Perl, and I knew I could bluff my way through the PHP stuff. But the MySQL chapter ”warning bells ! I've successfully avoided "real databases" throughout my career in the industry “entirely without intending to, I assure you. But somehow, despite nine years of World Wide Web development, I hadn't touched a line of SQL since my undergraduate database course.
Fortunately, I realized this put me in an ideal position to evaluate the book from the perspective of its intended audience: smart folks with a fair amount of web savvy, folks who are willing to pick up new things ”with the benefit of two highly experienced guides. And that is what we have in James Lee and Brent Ware.
Certainly, the MySQL chapter succeeded in filling a gap in my professional education. More surprisingly, I learned many new things from each chapter, perhaps especially those that covered what I thought to be familiar ground. These authors had things to teach me about Linux configuration and Apache security and, of course, about Perl. I have come to realize that scarcely anyone knows all there is to know about the Perl programming language! Of course, that's one of the nicest things about Perl; as its inventor , Larry Wall, has often said, "There's more than one way to do it."
That remark applies to the whole of Open Source Web development as well. The techniques and tools introduced in this book overlap and complement each other; you need not master all of them to do tremendously productive work.
James Lee and Brent Ware have provided an excellent introduction to Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl, PHP, and more. With the help of this book, you can get down to work immediately with any of them. I am sure you will find the book as useful as I have.