If you've been watching the Web for a while you've probably noticed it is changing. When the Web first entered into the public consciousness, it was a way to distribute documents. These documents were pretty easy to make. Anybody with a weekend and a text editor couldget a Web page up and running. Building a Web site in the early days was about making documents. Today the Internet is much more than that. Interesting Web sites are not simply documents; they are applications. They have much more complexity and power. You might think the Web is no longer a place for individuals or beginning programmers. Many of the software development tools available are expensive and complicated.
To me, the most exciting thing about the Internet is its social implications. There is a large community that believes in powerful, easy-to-use, free software. That community has produced a number of exceptional programs, including PHP and MySQL.
PHP is a powerful programming language that lets you build dynamic Web sites. It works well on a variety of platforms, and it's reasonably easy to understand. MySQL is an impressive relational data management system used to build commercial quality databases. PHP and MySQL are such powerful and easy-to-use platforms that they make Web programming accessible even for beginners.
In this book, I will teach you about programming. Specifically, you will learn how to write programs on Web servers. You'll learn all the main concepts of programming languages. You'll also learn about how data works in the modern environment. You'll learn commands and syntax, but you'll also learn the process of programming.
If you've never written a computer program before, this book will be a good introduction. If you're an experienced programmer wanting to learn PHP and MySQL, you'll find this book to be a gentle introduction.
Programming is hard work, but it's also a lot of fun. I had a great time writing this book, and I hope you enjoy learning from it. I'm looking forward tohearing about what you can do after you learn from this book.