MySQL In a Nutshell

O'Reilly's 'Nutshell' books fill an interesting niche as documentation goes. At best, they're the perfect quick reference to have at your side (like the excellent Perl in a Nutshell), at worst they're little more than hard copies of man pages and online resources without the aid of searchability that the online world brings.

It is fair to say that while MySQL In a Nutshell isn't quite as bad as the latter extreme, it certainly only offers little reference capability not also available from MySQL AB's own website, certainly for the core of the MySQL client and server functionality and documentation of the dialet of SQL that My supports. In addition it is actually quite difficult to find what you're looking for in the pages of dense print, and the index is woefully unfit for purpose.

Where it does score well is the handy API documentation at the back of the book, covering the C, Perl and PHP APIs in a clear and concise manner, and its good chapter covering replication setup.

In conclusion while this book might be a handy companion to a DBA who doesn't have ready access to online resources, it is neither a suitable introductory text (though nor should it be), not easily searchable enough for be really useful in paper form.

Stu Teasdale


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