I don’t remember what prompted me to remember this book, but it was, perhaps, the biggest influence which has shaped my career. I had already been a programmer since I was a kid, and I had already written a couple of well-received programs on my job by the time I bought it, but I had actively avoided learning about databases, in order to focus on other Windows and Visual Basic, and I hadn’t gotten long-enough arms to break into web programming until then. Thank goodness, too, as it was all cgi-bin Perl stuff leading up to PHP. Yuck!
Reading books on programming is never fun for me. I’ve tried to read a couple on Ruby and Rails, and I just can’t get through them. The problem is that the ratio of stuff I already know to the stuff I don’t is so high, I can’t slog through it. I get too bored while trying to get to something new to me, and put it down. This book, however, hit me right between the eyes. It was the perfect book for me at the time. It was very thin, and there was zero fluff. I rewrote my FrontPage blog site in PHP in a week with the help of this book, and I was off and running. I’ve been doing primarily web app programming ever since.
Anyway, I just am fond of the memory of this book, Kevin Yank, who wrote it, and SitePoint, which was started around these books. This version is old and out of print, of course, and he seems to have retired now. If so, good for him. Thanks, Kevin.