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I have heard people rave over PHP and really want to take the time to learn.
1) can someone new to programming pick this up?
2) any advice on the best books to get
3) any general advice
thanks in advance
edited to avoid confusion ;)
[edited by: jamsy at 4:35 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2002]
Though if you are really interested in PHP, check out php.net, it's a great place to start...as for books, you don't need one for PHP or Perl, to learn and use them.
Somebody new to programming would find it as easy or hard as they found perl :) which is to say, that it's a parsed and not compiled language, so it's relatively easy to learn.
General advice? Don't have any, see the bit above about perl instead of php :)
This forum is for Perl and PHP - and believe me, there are lots of perl buffs in the crowd who'll jump in on any perl related concerns you have.
Here's a quick perl tip:
print "Hello World\n";
that's usually the 1st program in any language that people do..it'll print 'Hello World' to STDOUT, which is the screen. (standard output, that stands for).
See how easy that is? :) The rest is just as simple...of course, if you are really stuck on PHP, we have plenty of people who know that well here too.
Books I might reccomend include O'Reilly's _Learning_Perl_ and _Programming_Perl_.
There are some good books popping up in the last year for php, when I started over 2 yrs ago there was only one.
I always go for the O'Reilly ones. The sams one looks good. I haven't used any of them just php.net. I always look at them in the book store but haven't been able to fork out the cash yet.
My best advice for learning any language is finding a project. Find something that you want your website to do and then do it. Rewrite all your form mailers or rewrite some other existing scripts on your site in php/perl. It gives you something to base your understanding on and gives you practical knowledge.
You could flounder around for months with out picking up anything applicable to a real working scenario. Find a problem, dream up an answer and then use php/perl to make it happen.
And there are many resources online like the zend.com, you may wish to check out their articles and tutorials too.
newbie helping newbie. :)
From the Amazon website about this book:
Authors Ratschiller and Gerken purposely designed its content to appeal to coders who already are proficient in PHP, but in need of advanced programming techniques and high-level application-development skills. Assuming a strong programming foundation, this book can be considered a next-level PHP tutorial.
I bought this book when I knew next to nothing about PHP. Most other books I looked at covered only the basics and almost no programming concepts. They mostly repeat the info that can be found for free at php.net [php.net]. This book, however, had some nice infos in it although their chat program is a bit lame.
For Perl books I rely on O´Reilly. However, Programming Perl seems to be mostly a rewrite of the basic perl documentation as well. The cookbook is more useful.
I use books mostly as a reference. Follow Adams advice as far as finding a project is concerned. When it comes to his advice on using PHP you might as well ignore that ;) Jeremy usually has the better advice when it comes to choosing between Perl and PHP. ;)
Learning Perl has the additional benefit of learning a programming language that can be used for much more than web development. Writing your own useragent is very easy in Perl and I find it very useful for a lot of quotidian tasks of a webmaster. CPAN [cpan.org] (the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) has far more ready to use modules than PEAR [pear.php.net] its PHP equivalent.