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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Hey everyone,
    I want to start learning PHP, and was wondering how you guys learned it.
    Book? online tutorial? what?

    Please give as many details as you can, like if it was a book then name it, and if it was a tutorial then give the URL, etc.

    Thanks all!!

  2. #2
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    If you already know how to program in a structured or OO programming language then PHP is a dead easy to pick up. Especially if you know any C.

    However, if you are new to programming then PHP is a very easy language to learn to program in. The thing that you may find dificult about learning to program using PHP is that debugging is hard without a nice debugger as part of an an IDE (integrated development environment) which you have in MS Visual Basic or Borland C++ Builder, for example.

    BTW, I do remember reading something about a PHP debugger - but my mind is like a sieve and I think it was for windoze - and I don't use windoze often these days. Does anyone have any info?

    As for learning PHP - I started in January with Kevin Yank's legendary tutorial. The link along with many other useful links can be found by following the link in my sig (thanks to Skunk). I supose that you will want to learn how to use PHP in concert with mySQL - as the power of web scripting is unleashed by this combination of tools.

    Anyway, you've come to the right place - there are some very smart php and sql hackers here.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Thanks so much for the wonderful reply.
    I searched the forums before posting this but couldn't find anything....
    Thanks for the link

  4. #4
    Bored One boredboi's Avatar
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    i read the beginner's tutorial at www.builder.com
    and a few of them at www.devshed.com
    and more at sitepoint

    the php manual helps a lot as a reference
    i use it all the time

  5. #5
    AdSpeed.com Son Nguyen's Avatar
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    I remember I learnt PHP from www.devshed.com
    and then went to amazon.com to hunt for a good book, ended up with Prof. PHP Programming by Wrox, which is pretty good.
    Also, before knowing any PHP, I found the documentation @ php.net is amazing, simply can't live without!
    - Son Nguyen
    AdSpeed.com - Ad Serving and Ad Management Made Easy

  6. #6
    Non-Member
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    I downloaded a web server, downloaded PHP, downloaded the PHP manual and read/experimented with code examples.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member
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    Started a month or two ago with Kevin's Great Tutorial, it lays out everything, step by step, very clearly, with explanations, no "just do it this way because that's the way to do it" from Kevin, he takes the time to explain why you should do it that way. I would have no problem recommending it to someone who had never programmed at all before. I can't personally say it was my first foray into programming of any kind, but I would say that I'm not a "programer" and not particularly skilled in programing of any kind, and it got me started with no problems at all. Also, bookmark the PHP Documentation Page, it's invaluable, one of the best online manuals I've ever seen, I like the online version with comments, but they offer it in a bunch of downloadable/printable versions too, (be careful printing it though, the PDF version is well over 1000 pages). You should also check out Skunks List of Resources for Learning PHP, it's full of great links to more information, book recommendations, etc. it should keep you busy learning for quite awhile.

    Hope this helps,
    Halsey
    Last edited by Halsey; Mar 25, 2001 at 02:47.

  8. #8
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    I was going to point you at my learning PHP thread, but I've been beaten to it

  9. #9
    Feel my RewiredMind KMxRetro's Avatar
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    To be honest, I was pretty fluent in ASP and CGI before I started. I was forced to use PHP when our new hosts decided to move us onto a UNIX server and said that ASP couldn't be installed on it. Yeah right.

    Anyways, I wouldn't change back now as I reckon PHP is faster, more stable and certainly easier to use. I started with a book from SAMS called "Teach Yourself PHP in 24 Hours".

    It's not the most detailed book, but after reading the first 3 or 4 chapters, I used the book as a reference alongside http://www.php.net .

    I found it quite easy going, certainly not as hard as ASP. Once you get into it, you'll be blazing away at the keys!
    If you need a starting point, try http://www.hotscripts.com

    Download some scripts, see how they work and check the syntaxes (?) etc and you should have a decent enough idea of how everything works.

    Hope this helps,

  10. #10
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    I am quite good at c and c++ and I find that PHP is wonderful.

    PHP is almost the same, except is it a scripted language so the types are not very important, etc. A few things I have to watch for: 'function' declares a function (in c you declared a function just by stating its stype and adding ()). Also the "global" thing. You need it inside functions if you're going to use vars you created globally.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru prequel's Avatar
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    i have never programmed in life so as a newbie i bought 2 books that were recommended to me and am just starting to read through them and practise on my home pc with an install of www.nusphere.com

    books i bought were

    PHP Fast and Easy by Meloni

    and

    MySQL by Dubois

  12. #12
    imagine no limitations exbabylon's Avatar
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    I read through Kevin's tutorial about seven weeks ago, and at the same time I built my first CMS; skipped the jokes db and did something usefull. I did not know any scripting language, not even JavaScript.. I knew HTML, but that's nothing. So I had a cold start. Kevin's tutorial is by far my favorite. I have tried to read others, and stopped, basicly because his was the best, and taught me all the basics I need to know for PHP. I actually didn't read it all the way through, but skimmed, and such. I think I may be an exception at the rate i picked up on it. It was/is very easy for me to work with. And php.net is the absolute BEST resource. I use is ALL the time. In fact, for all of you who haven't yet set up the PHP fast search in your browser, DO IT! I use
    Code:
    php function
    ALL the stinkin time!

    DevShed is also a great place.... but I'm biased tward SitePoint. Also, freddydoesphp TWTCommish, Freakysid, and others have been a tremendous amount of help!

    God Bless

    Alex
    Blamestorming: Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

    Exbabylon- Professional Internet Services

  13. #13
    midnight coder
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    I first got into PHP when I read WebMonkey's wonderful articles, they were a bit hard to understand, but let me got the general idea:

    http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/programming/php/

    Next I met DevShed's PHP 101 course, there're five parts I think, they were WONDERFUL, dispite the cryptic titles, they were really easy to understand, I really meant that:

    http://www.devshed.com/Server_Side/PHP/

    Then I found Kevin's article, after reading previous texts, Kevin's article allowed me to do most of the basic stuff I wanted to do, like creating dynamic pages using MySQL.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Hi,

    I like to learn with books, rather than online tutorials. I used "PHP Essentials" by Julie Meloni as my main book. It gets you doing neat things right away. But, when I learn a new language, I like to have two books so that if something is confusing in one book, then I can use the other as a reference. I use "Beginning PHP4" as my reference. I think that book is great as a reference, but I noticed that after the first few chapters, the examples got so complicated, I could not figure out what was going on. Who needs a two page script that is so complex, it is impossible to follow, when all you need is a simple example to explain the concept. More complex scripts allow you to see the possibilities, but for a beginning book, you just want to know how to use the features in as simple a script as possible.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Check out this faq :

    I'm new to PHP, where should I start?
    http://www.faqts.com/knowledge_base/...id/2836/fid/51

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict zoordaan's Avatar
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    I used the tutorials at webmonkey and the book core php programming.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I learned through doing - through necessity. I cannot become highly comfortable with a language through a tutorial, book, or even both - they serve as starting points.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast poil11's Avatar
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    i started with learning how to hack codes to fit what i wanted to do with them. then when i found out that i liked doing that i started to do online tutorials which didn't help me very much. i didn't understand at all what was going on, and i needed a beginners beginer book. which i purchased and i bought 3 books after that and i am hooked.
    I will Tell you what is wrong with your website and maybe what you can do to make it better.
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    look at my other reviews, to see what i have done.


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