At first glance, the purpose of this book seems obvious: MySQL is one of the most popular open source applications of all time. One of the biggest complaints about open source projects is the lack of comprehensive and comprehensible documentation. In the case of MySQL, however, lack of online documentation is rarely a problem.
MySQL has a wonderfully complete and free online reference manual available from the web site, at http://www.mysql.com. This manual covers the full MySQL SQL syntax, installation, and its C API, as well as database administration and performance tuning.
To make matters even more complex, MySQL is a moving target because of rapid development. In fact, “moving target” is a euphemism. Thanks mainly to the efforts of Michael “Monty” Widenius, MySQL is moving about as fast as an SST. So be prepared; you may find that some of the information in this book is either ahead of older versions or behind newer versions.