I do not have the original edition, but I do have a review of it in front of me as I write this. We are seeing approximately the same number of pages previously (under 1000), but now there are 287 recipes versus the previous 314, 20 chapters versus the previous 19, and four appendices. I can't say what what was taken out and what was added, so I am wondering if it may be worthwhile to locate the original edition, just in case I'm missing something useful.
Apparently, the original edition did not have much in the way of examples with various language APIs, but this edition has example code for Perl, PHP, Python, Java, and Ruby.
The organization seems typical of other books in the Cookbook series, so it should feel familiar. Though the book's audience is for database developers and DBAs, I think it could be used as an instructional manual, as the recipies start out with very basic MySQL client program interactions and build to using all kinds of useful features. And, of course, if/when you have a specific problem to solve, you can simply page to the appropriate chapter in the table of contents, and see if it's there.
I also found that it was a good book to browse through. I needed a good review before starting a new database project - I haven't actively done database for a bit - and this was great for that purpose. I was able to identify some solutions that are applicable to my project, so that was a definite bonus.
Great book. It will be kept handy while I'm working, and close at hand on my bookshelf, otherwise.
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