Written on October 10, 2003
If you’ve never used a UNIX-like system before, or a programming language, you will have some trouble with this book. If you are somewhat familiar with one modern programming language and know at least the rudiments of the UNIX filesystem, this book is a great introduction to databases and these two popular database tools.
The opening chapters outline the basic concepts really clearly, and walk you through the short course in database design. If you are creating a small database with one of these tools (MySQL or mSQL) this book will get you started in fine style. The chapter on installing the tools is comprehensive and very well laid out. The basic style of the prose is easy to read and very comforting if you are new to the topic.
The big problem with the book is that it is organized with the information about the two tools explained in parallel. This is quite simple to understand and easy to read, but once you start trying to flip back through the book you realize that you get hopelessly snarled by the subtle differences between the two software packages. MySQL and mSQL are so close in function, and implement SQL so similarly, that it is easy to get confused by the tiny differences in syntax and structure that that these two systems demand.
Filed in: book.