Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Developer Center > Where can I learn PHP? How hard will it be?

Where can I learn PHP? How hard will it be?
Thread Tools
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 4, 2001, 08:58 PM
 
2 simple questions.

1) Where can I learn PHP?

2) How hard would it be to learn? How hard in comparison to HTML?

BNuts.net
It's not cheating because it's your dog. Because it's YOUR dog!
     
Senior User
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: France
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 5, 2001, 04:15 AM
 
if you read some parts of the manual (that you'll find at www.php.net ) and read one or two tutorials (search "php tutorial" with www.google.com for example), then you will be able to do interesting stuff.

If you know other languages like C, you'll have no difficulties to learn php.
If you want to use databases with your webpages, check www.mysql.com

-noliv
     
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 10, 2001, 12:55 PM
 
Check out: http://www.phpbuilder.com there are a bunch of tutorials and forums to help you out...

------------------
Promote Chicken Randomness
     
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 10, 2001, 06:00 PM
 
thanks for those links, you know with all these programming languages that are coming out it hard to stay on top of technology. Is it possible to learn and use applications created by PHP, AS etc?
     
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 11, 2001, 11:57 AM
 
Take a look at http://www.hotscripts.com for a bunch of PHP apps. Some are really cool.... Last time I checked they had just over 1900 php scripts available for download...

enjoy!

------------------
Promote Chicken Randomness
     
kzo
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 18, 2001, 09:21 PM
 
I would highly suggest buying a book. After reading through it, examples on the net and information at php.net make a lot more sense.
I would say it's a lot harder than HTML. I had a class in VB where I learned a lot of the basics of programming that allowed me to learn PHP better. If you get a good resource on PHP you should be able to learn it.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jan 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 19, 2001, 03:08 AM
 
I'm in the same boat as you, imkornuts. I would recommend staying away from Beginning PHP by wrox. There are too many typos in the syntax to be a good resource. I don't know how many hours I spent pulling my hair out when I couldn't get a script to work right only to find that they had forgotten a semicolon somewhere. That's pretty damn frustrating and lessens my confidence in the rest of the book. OTOH, it's got some good scripts that I've adapted successfully to use on my site. For me, learning by example is the only way to go, so I tend to look for books that have alot of examples. That's just a personal preference though.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 8, 2001, 07:43 PM
 
read most of the documentation on php.net, look at other people's scripts, get php developers cookbook by sams.
     
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Boston, MA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 9, 2001, 09:35 AM
 
There's no real need to buy a book. All of the stuff you ever wanted to know (and a bit more) is all over the web. Just do a search for "php tutorial" to get yourself started, then head on over to php.net
"Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain" (Schiller)
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: zurich, switzerland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 2, 2001, 08:33 AM
 
PHP is very easy to learn and has a syntax similar to javascript. It can be a real pain to install in apache if you have a strange linux distro. the default PHP that comes with Mac OSX is broken. But there are installers available :check either http://ww.macosxhints.com or here in the OSX usage and support section where people have been through this trip before.

What is a pain in PHP is when you start to find all the small bugs, and there are quite a few. But the links given above, especially http://www.phpbuilder.com are very helpful, apart from which you can always ask for help over here.

------------------
#ex-dotcom#
#job anyone?#
weird wabbit
     
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: the third paradigm
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 4, 2001, 01:48 AM
 
Another little note that isn't all that useful, but could be...:

You can set your webserver to understand .phps files such that if a file is .phps (linked from the actual php file or something), when you view it with your browser it displays the actual code of the page and it is color coded. That's a pretty good way to learn things.

This is a fairly common thing, but it's not easy to find just by guessing things.

I know of at least two websites that do this with their code though. The best of which is redigital.org. On the main page of that site there is a "sources" link and it gives a list of all the pages on the site. Those links display the code of the pages. Because of course viewing the source gives you only the HTML that the PHP pages passed to your browser.

Hope that helps. I've been to hotsripts.com and phpbuilder and I agree they are both great resources for learning. PHP.net is a site that I go to about 30 times a day (I'm a programmer and DBA profressionally), it's a great site and, once you get a good PHP base, it will answer all your questions. It has a great user contributed set of lists below most of the functions.

Good luck!

when you look this good, you don't have to know anything
     
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: the third paradigm
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 4, 2001, 01:56 AM
 
I just re-read your question and realized I didn't adress part "b", and I'm not sure anyone else has either.

HTML is a static language, for the most part. I'm not sure if you've played with server-side includes or whatnot, but for the most part, HTML is a vehicle to display content only, and that content must be supplied directly by you.

PHP is a real programming language (it can be compiled to run command-line, too, for those of you who didn't know) like C or Perl as someone else pointed out. It's very powerful. It has a library of functions for communication with all major relational database servers as well as pretty much any function that you'll find in any other language. It has the ability to create gifs, jpgs and pngs (with the right libraries compiled), access and manipulate the file structure of the system on which it runs, and it can make beautiful women appear naked in your lap!

Ok, I made that last one up. But to answer part B, how hard is it to learn compared to HTML, the answer is "It's kind of a different animal." It's not that it's harder to learn, it's just that it does SO much that it will take a while. You're going in the right direction with PHP though, I find it much nicer than Perl (havne't played with C much). PHP is "web-centric". It was created with use on the web mind. The "FI" in PHP/FI stands for form interpreter.

Ok. I'm done now. But I'm about to post about Openbase on OSX in this forum so if you know anything, please go there!

P.S. Both of the sites listed in my signature are written with PHP.

when you look this good, you don't have to know anything
     
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 5, 2001, 04:10 AM
 
Here are a few books that are worth looking into. Like everyone has said, everythign is online really, but I think it's more than worthwhile to get a book to walk you through things and teach it to you properly.

This is especially true for those who have little or no programming experience at all. Even so, if you've never done any type of web programming, an introductory book may make more efficient use of your time as you tackle the learning curve.


PHP 4 Bible
PHP Fast & Easy Web Development
PHP & MySQL Web Development
Beginning PHP4
PHP Developers Cookbook

and many many more.

good luck to you! php is a godsend....
     
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 9, 2001, 02:40 PM
 
PHP is easy to learn if you know the funadmental concepts of procedural programming. (functions, operators, arrays, and so forth). The syntax is similar to C.

Once you learn the basics of PHP, you can move on up to using PHP in a object-oriented manner (using classes and methods). PHP is not a true object oriented language. Can't have multiple constructors, polymorphism, or stuff like that, but theres ways to work around those limitations.

I've found PHP really useful in many web applications I write. Its a much faster knowledge ramp-up than learning JSP or Java. And its really flexible with a great source of online resources. I find the best books for learning PHP are "PHP Programming" by Wrox, and a good book for reference would be Core PHP. A good book for "how-to" stuff for experienced developers would be the PHP Developer's Cookbook which gives you good answers to various problems.

My suggestion for learning PHP.. approach it with a open mind, take the time to let the concepts sink it, and dont give up. It's really easy after you get over that initial hump.
     
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: E. Brunswick, NJ USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 15, 2001, 04:42 AM
 
I found an excellent tutorial on webmonkey.com
From there, I culled information from php.net and phpbuilder.com . The message boards are great on phpbuilder.com, and there are always people there to help you. I was stuck on a problem with my code, and within an hour after posting my problem online I was sent a solution by a fellow programmer.

It's not as easy as html, I'll tell you that much. If you're used to wysiwyg tools for designing your web page, you'd better brush up on your hardcore HTML coding, because you'll need to be on your toes when you're writing php!
James Kass (no, the other one...)
james@nycomedyradio.com
http://NYComedyRadio.com :)
     
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 15, 2001, 09:45 AM
 
Just another recommendation:
check out Thickbook
     
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Boston, MA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 16, 2001, 10:49 AM
 
Moving over to Web Dev.
"Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain" (Schiller)
     
   
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:45 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2015 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2