Bought developer book stack (5 for 1) looking for some advice

Hi all

First off I am a complete novice to HTML and custom web design, I say custom because I have used Drupal once where I built a very basic plugin powered forum!

I noticed the 5 for 1 sale at sitepoint and so bought the following books:

  1. Database driven website using PHP & MySQL

  2. JQuery Novice to Ninja

  3. Simply SQL

  4. The PHP Anthology

  5. Simply Rails 2

My experience:

Linux (RedHat Enterprise & CentOS - Linux is no problem) // Basic Apache // SQL Server 2000/2005/2008 // basic Perl (custom Nagios scripts mostly) // shell scripting // basic C# // Infrastructure i.e SAN’s, Virtualisation, Windows cluster etc etc

Close to NIL experience:

HTML // CSS // Jquery // Java // Javascript // Rails …

I’ve dedicated 2010 for studying hard (mostly in the development area) and PHP & MySQL have been two subjects I have wanted to pick up for a long while; so I have started reading this Sitepoint book first (book # 1 - half way through) and so far so good, really enjoying it and learning loads.

I have installed VMware on my rig and have a couple of Linux servers with MySQL and Apache as my lab.

My question is this:

I have an idea for a website that I wish to design (completely customized) that will integrate with MySQL, it needs to be both statistically useful (graphs which can be user controlled // generated on the fly, hence PHP // MySQL, this will come from data polled from several sites on the internet which uses Perl to load into MySQL) and look really really impressive…

In what order (read book 1 first, then jquery, then ruby etc) based on my experience (and lack of in the HTML world) should I read the books I have purchased? I’m also thinking of a second 5 for 1 purchase and looking for recommendations as to my next 5 books with a final order of study that would give me the best “ladder up” from novice to as close to expert as I can get.

Thanks all - much appreciate any input you can provide :cool:

Start with a good book on html and css, such as Ian Lloyds’ Build your own website the right way using html and css, 2nd ed.

Because until you can use the methods in that book, you can’t really make good progress with just the others. You could end up making very non-standard pages otherwise, full of bloated code.

After that, try book 1, book 3, book2 (or perhaps book 3, book 1, book 2, as learning the sql basics before combining them with PHP might help)

Thanks John - thats pretty much along the lines of what I was thinking that I could really do with some solid HTML // CSS knowledge otherwise the back end stuff is pretty useless.

I’ll order that book then, can you recommend another 4 to go with it? (5 for 1)


the art + science of css
principles of beautiful web design
fancy form design
css anthology

Thanks! :slight_smile:


Thanks again for your help, I purchased the 5 books you mentioned - currently reading both the PHP book and the html and css book you recommended (spending about 1-2 hours on each a day, I wish I could read them quicker as I am itching to start), having flicked through the web design books they do look excellent but I’ve not noticed anything regarding graphs // graphing data in a web page, for example what if I wanted to take the data from MySQL using PHP (which looks fairly simple now) and display it in a custom graph in real time (PHP ofc would provide the dynamic data - I am talking about the animation of a needle moving in a RPM style graph // gauge and updating dynamically)?

I.e I would like to present some data in an RPM style gauge graph, obviously I would need to draw the image but how would I make the needle move depending on the data?

This is a bit above me right now, but it is in my long term plans.