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ErikH2000
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icon Best way to learn PHP. (+1)  
quote:
Mouse said:
What's the best way to go about learning PHP?

One thing I recommend is setting up a webserver on your local computer. Or if you are very good with text editors like "vi" that run in consoles, then getting SSH access to your web server to edit PHPs directly is another alternative. Either of these solutions avoids transferring your edited PHP files to the server each time you make a change.

To install Apache/MySQL/PHP on your computer with one installer and a minimum of configuration, you may want to look at The Uniform Server.

After that, I think it's a question of your preferred learning style. Some people like to follow through tutorials. Some people (me) like to make their own projects. Some people like to take community college classes.

-Erik

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11-17-2005 at 11:36 PM
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jamie
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I totally agree with Erik - you need to either have direct access to your webserver, or have php installed on your local system... -- you need to be able to tweak things without having to upload every little change every time.

What is your programming background ?

If you know C or javascript you'll find php quite easy - all you'll need is command/syntax checks -- I 'learnt' php simply by relying on the 'function documentation' on the php website.

For web stuff, a good knowledge of http, or "how the web works" is advantageous.. Remember, php is "just another language" that can be used without a webserver. However, as it's designed for web usage, it tends to have inbuilt functions to handle typical http-related functions.

Finally, if you (or any other DRODers) would find it useful, you're welcome to a login account on my server which has php and apache, so you can learn via that.

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11-18-2005 at 03:18 AM
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trick
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Yes, nstalling a webserver w/php on your own computer is definitely the way to go. Also, have you read the manual ? It's got a little tutorial and explains how everything works, so if you haven't read it yet I'd start with that. There's a nice function reference there as well.

- Gerry
11-18-2005 at 10:55 AM
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Mouse
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icon Re: Best way to learn PHP. (+1)  
Thanks for this, guys.

To answer your questions:
-My programming background is Visual Basic 6, Progress, WebSpeed, Javascript, HTML, and minimal C, SQL.
-I've downloaded the manual and have been reading it.
-I've got Apache, MySQL and PHP downloaded but only PHP installed.

I was mostly asking because some languages can be a challenge to teach yourself. Sounds like PHP isn't really one of them, so I'll go ahead and teach myself.

Thanks! :thumbsup
11-19-2005 at 05:00 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Best way to learn PHP. (+1)  
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Mouse wrote:
I was mostly asking because some languages can be a challenge to teach yourself. Sounds like PHP isn't really one of them, so I'll go ahead and teach myself.

Yeah, it sounds like you're going to breeze through it since you've already learned those other languages. PHP is one of the easiest languages I've learned. I think Visual Basic is actually trickier because it has event-based programming to figure out. Logo was easier to learn than PHP. I can't think of any other languages that are easier than PHP. Oh, maybe Mike's scripting interface in the DROD editor. :)

Web programming concepts, which don't really have to do with any given language, are trickier. I often find myself writing code that outputs code that outputs code (publishing template outputs PHP which outputs HTML) or, on a crazy day, even 4 levels deep (publishing template -> PHP -> client-side Javascript -> HTML).

I like how web programming is mainly based on open standards, and I'm not at the whim of some large software company's marketing department. I got tired of learning a succession of wildly different APIs that brought a small amount of new functionality. So lately I've been pretty gung-ho on PHP/Apache/MySQL. And then there's the AJAX techniques that are suddenly really viable because the last few generations of browsers support them, and Google made it easier to pitch it to your manager for programming projects. So to me it doesn't seem like a bad time to be a web programmer. Now 1885--that was a bad time to be a web programmer.

Sorry for the tangent. Mouse, I'm curious about why are you learning PHP?

-Erik

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11-19-2005 at 07:05 PM
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Mouse
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icon Re: Best way to learn PHP. (+1)  
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ErikH2000 wrote:
Web programming concepts, which don't really have to do with any given language, are trickier. I often find myself writing code that outputs code that outputs code (publishing template outputs PHP which outputs HTML) or, on a crazy day, even 4 levels deep (publishing template -> PHP -> client-side Javascript -> HTML).



Been there, done that. As I mentioned before I've programmed in WebSpeed so you end up writing Progress code to generate other Progress code which generates HTML with Javascript that creates more HTML.
The worst thing about doing it is remembering which language you're in at different points in your code. Oh, and your code comments get complicated.

quote:
ErikH2000 wrote:
Sorry for the tangent. Mouse, I'm curious about why are you learning PHP?



Why not?
Seriously though, I'm a professional analyst / programmer and a lot of people talk about PHP as being a good skill to have. Also I always really liked working with WebSpeed (a sort-of equivalent made by Progress) but it's really, really expensive. I thought that learning PHP with MySQL would be a good way to extend my marketablity.
Oh, and I'm bored with Visual Basic.

11-19-2005 at 07:23 PM
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jamie
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Now 1885--that was a bad time to be a web programmer.



Indeed - Electricity supplies were still quite ropey, and trying to find an ISP that knew what you were talking about was quite a challenge! :P

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11-20-2005 at 02:17 AM
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StuartK
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icon Re: Best way to learn PHP. (0)  
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jamie wrote:
quote:
Now 1885--that was a bad time to be a web programmer.

Indeed - Electricity supplies were still quite ropey, and trying to find an ISP that knew what you were talking about was quite a challenge! :P

About the only available avenue was spider training, and it was a niche market at best.

http://www.coffee.co.uk/spiders.html
11-20-2005 at 02:26 AM
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