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ThePiston
Worker
Worker


Joined: Dec 22, 2004
Posts: 135

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:23 pm Reply with quote

I need to learn php so Ican get these websites I'm starting to be actually usefull. Where's the best php tutorial? How about books, they any good?
 
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PHrEEkie
Subject Matter Expert


Joined: Feb 23, 2004
Posts: 358

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:43 pm Reply with quote

It's really near impossible to learn any programming language from a book, but the book is essential and you should buy one or two. They make GREAT reference materials! But if you're tight on money and can't afford some of the better books out, in reality, php.net easily replaces the books and in some cases is much easier to search.

To learn a programming language, you have to have a 'need', not just a want. If I learned Spanish becase I wanted to, but never needed to use it, I would not retain enough Spanish to impress anyone. I would retain the simple stuff, hello, goodbye, how much, etc., but anything more complicated would not be there. Same applies with any programming language. You will know if your 'need' is sufficient based on how many times you visit php.net per day doing research... hehe The mistake most often made is the expectation that it is as easy or even similar to HTML. When people find out that they are realistically going to need to spend hardcore days and nights for several months just to be able to do some very simple things with PHP, they disconnect from the learning process and just resort to posting for someone to solve their problem. There is no problem with a 'student' of PHP posting for help with something, but to be honest, only the most obsessive code-heads achieve success in PHP that has much depth to it. These people can take a small hint or clue and eventually get the answer for themselves instead of asking for the entire solution up front. In other words, you can easily tell a coder-in-training by the way they phrase their 'problem'.

Better than any book is just simply reading and following other's code. I hate to say this, but in my case it was more beneficial for me to see and view BAD code than it was to see very pretty, well-organized and already functioning code. It's the really bad stuff that challenges you to FIX it. If that one little thing that doesn't work just perfectly (yet doesn't break the script) really ticks you off and challenges you to make it work correctly, then you might just have what it takes.

You could read an entire book on Karate moves, but would you end up any good at Karate? Of course not! PHP is no different... reading a book cover to cover will just bore you to death. You must practice young grasshopper! And while it's difficult to find someone who will stand there as you kick the crap outta them for Karate practice, Nuke is available for your PHP practice/punishment! No one can possibly make it worse, and the little things that don't work right are endless! ROTFL

The one book I did end up buying from Amazon was Mastering PHP 4.1 co-authored by Jeremy Allen and Charles Hornberger. I bought it more for the SQL stuff than the PHP stuff (hey, have you EVER experienced the FUN (not!) of trying to research something at mysql.com??), and it delivered big. Putting what little PHP skills I had together with the SQL I learned in there really drove me to much bigger things and very quickly. Reading through scripts became much less cryptic, so I learned even faster from viewing other people's code (and started to benefit more from seeing structured and functioning code). The book itself has been a real handy reference guide, but it's really rare any longer for me to not just go to php.net FIRST and save myself a lot of time (book glosseries and indexes are no match for a functioning site search engine!). So, in the end, all of this depends on how far you intend to go... do you just want to be able to alter the output of a script a little bit, or does writing whole brand new pieces of code sound better? The former requires a good base knowledge and practice, the latter requires pretty intense dedication. Best of luck with it!

PHrEEk
 
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ThePiston
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:15 pm Reply with quote

Well, code can be addictive. I need to learn PHP so I can create these helpful websites. If I happen to want to go beyond what I need, I can't tell you now... but thatnks for the info.
 
VinDSL
Life Cycles Becoming CPU Cycles


Joined: Jul 11, 2004
Posts: 614
Location: Arizona (USA) Admin: NukeCops.com Admin: Disipal Designs Admin: Lenon.com

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:31 pm Reply with quote

There are lots of good places to learn PHP, but the one I find most helpful is:
Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! (Dev Shed)

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Raven
Site Admin/Owner


Joined: Aug 27, 2002
Posts: 17086

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:44 pm Reply with quote

And I always recommend

PHP and MySQL Web Development by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson (second edition)

They have released a third edition but it centers on PHP 5.x
 
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Donovan
Client


Joined: Oct 07, 2003
Posts: 735
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:00 am Reply with quote

The way I am learning is to design a page in Dreamweaver. I then took my html and ran it thru an html => php converter. It made one big echo statement which was sloppy but it was a start. I then cleaned up the html and tags inserting <?php xxxx ?> where needed, so instead of a large echo statement I let the html flow until I got to where I needed to insert php.

Inserting and extracting data from tables is easy enough with some practice. Form controls (check boxes, radio buttons) require some trial and error.

At the start I took a third-party Nuke module and deconstructed it. Learning how it was put together. Some of the stuff is still beyond me but as time goes I learn something new everyday. I really wish I knew more about arrays.
 
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technocrat
Life Cycles Becoming CPU Cycles


Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 511

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:48 am Reply with quote

This site has helped me a bunch: Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login!

Also always remember that google is your friend. Wink

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