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Managing and Using MySQL George Reese, Randy Jay Yarger and Tim King
Published by O'Reilly and Associates
442 pages
£ 28.50
Published: 10th May 2002
reviewed by Mike Smith
   in the December 2002 issue (pdf), (html)

``2nd Edition'' ? - but I don't remember the 1st edition ! It was all explained on that page with the printing history (the bit you usually ignore). The first edition had a different title ``MySQL and mSQL'' - ahh, I already had that. This first version only scraped the surface of MySQL (and indeed mSQL) and I thought it was quite poor - trying to cover too much ground and ending up being pretty useless. I don't know about you but I kept forgetting to do a ``mysqladmin reload'' when I changed user access levels, that sort of thing should have been covered in big red letters - its frustrating when you don't notice this stuff. (Actually, you don't have to do that anymore as long as you use the GRANT and REVOKE statements.)

There's a discussion on database design first, but I like to get down to the practical stuff - create databases, populate them, tips and tricks and the like (in fact I find entity relationship models even less interesting than network theory, but that's another review). This (ie the practical stuff) is indeed covered in chapter 4 onwards.

There's a chapter on performance tuning which I liked, and agreed with (eg the biggest tuning impact is at the application level.)

Perhaps more should have been made on backups, and some example scripts for showing how online backups can be performed would have been good. Maybe its too easy, as mysqlhotcopy does the hard work, but even a walk through of this would have been interesting.

I've never got on well with the online manual at I don't know why (I like the one at, so I should). Anyway there's a reference section included, but as you'll appreciate the book covers much more than this.

Later on we cover integration with PHP, Perl, python and Java - again with reference tables. There's also a chapter on writing your own functions (which you can use in SELECT statements) - I didn't know you could do that - very cool.

In summary, this is so much of an improvement over the first version of the book. It still tries to cover a lot, delving into various programming languages, but thats good to give you an overview of the different APIs. So, yup, I like it.

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