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Where is the best place to start?

PHP newbie looking for insight

     
4:39 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have had a longstanding desire to dive into PHP, but everytime I start, I get frustrated, because I don't have the proper tools. I am using a very well known (non-MS) WYSIWYG html editor that has PHP capabilities, but I am really at a loss at where to start learning, and better yet, APPLYING that knowledge to my sites.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

4:45 pm on Sept 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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php.net [php.net]
phpbuilder.com [phpbuilder.com]

it is also good to have a specific goal that you would like to accomplish then you are not overwhelmed by the enormity of the whole language. You can then concentrate on specific parts.

Construct a form processor that checks fields and emails you the contents or make a counter or some other piece of coding you might find useful.

You also have us ;)

4:55 pm on Sept 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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stuntdubl
I would suggest to use EditPlus or PHPEdit. Is is not a WYSIWYG editor. The reason I suggest this is because you will be forced to learn the language instead of having the word done partly for you. This way you will know what is going on and if ever anything goes wrong with your code you will be able to correct it.

One thing I do strongly suggest is to read through the PHP Manaual. Of course do not read through it entirely but bits and peices of it. You would be amazed how much good info there is in there. The online version is even more help because it has user comments.

Get a book called "PHP Developer's cookbook". It's an excellant book covering all the basics. Also it has basic code you can use to learn how PHP works.

5:39 pm on Sept 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I get frustrated, because I don't have the proper tools

Tools.... All you really need is Notepad, but you will be a lot happier with some more stuff

- HAPedit. I really like this editor best for PHP - and it's free. I own some well-known, expensive commercial editors and I've downloaded lots of the free editors, but this is the only one I ever use anymore except sometimes NotePad or EditPad for real quick stuff. Partly I like it because the developer keeps taking my suggestions and actually implementing them, so it has a lot of the stuff that I really like (e.g. brace matching).

- Install Apache/PHP/MySQL on your local computer. That's essential.

- a grep tool (regex search and replace).

- CVS installed on your computer. A steep learning curve at first, but so worth the investment.

- a local copy of the PHP and MySQL manuals. This too is essential.

*** Getting started

The Devshed tutorials are good. Also, there are many many free scripts out there. Find one that does roughly what you want. Install it and then try to modify it to do exactly what you want. After a while you'll be building your own stuff with confidence.

Tom

1:47 am on Sept 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the great tips.

This will give me a great starting point to get moving.

I had not thought of installing MySQL, PHP, and Apache on a local machine.

Is it possible to load those on a Windows XP machine?

If not, I have a spare machine I can load linux on, but my primary computer is a laptop with XP.

1:50 am on Sept 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>>possible to load those on a Windows XP machine

yep

8:36 am on Sept 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Try www.firepages.com.au for phpdev5 which installs php/mysql. There are a few bugs but it works on XP!
11:31 pm on Sept 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I've had incredible luck with a book called "PHP Fast & Easy Web Development" ... a no-nonsense book with step-by-step tutorials that cover everything from user authentication to database management. At 25 bucks or so, I highly recommend it.

Plus it comes with all the neccesary software to install PHP, MySQL, and Apache (also available on the web).

 

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