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  1. #51
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikeo
    This is one of my pet peeves ...
    some one comes into a PHP forum and SPECIFICALLY asks about learning PHP but some random guy tries to get him to pick up Ruby or some other flavor of the month programming language ... sigh ... I guess things will never change.
    I have over 1000 posts in the PHP forum. When did I become the random guy?
    In those 1000+ posts, I have mention Rails in 3 of them. Does that make me an evangelist?

    I didn't just pop into a random "I want to learn PHP" thread and suggest Rails. The reason I did in this instance was because the thread starter seems to be looking for a system that does more out of the box. Look at post #43, the man is basically talking about scaffolding. I don't know, he seems impatient too, like the type who wouldn't mind making a fairly functional website the first hour of learning a language rather than a week to a month later.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  2. #52
    Non-Member coo_t2's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think Ruby On Rails was a valid suggestion. But if he goes that route he'll miss out on all the premade scripts that PHP offers. He might end up having a tougher time once he comes across a problem that the Ruby On Rails framework doesn't solve. But I'm really just basing that assumption on PHP's popularity vs Ruby's popularity and the apparent availability of free working code that PHP offers.
    I think this is one of the things that has kept me from seriously getting into Python for several years. There is just soooo much free information, free code, and free support that comes with PHP.

  3. #53
    Web developer Carl's Avatar
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    I don't think rails is a good choice even ruby itself is might be too much. A beginner may find themselves really frustrated by the fact that Rails forces MVC. As a matter of fact a true beginner to programming probably would not know what MVC does or why Rails uses it.

    A beginner should learn the filesystem object and how to write good procedural code before moving into OOP, patterns and databases. Even though an education in programming should include OOP, I don't think learning a full OOP language right of the bat is good thing.

    Having said that the only other good choice is C language which is not much good for build web frontends

  4. #54
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl
    A beginner may find themselves really frustrated by the fact that Rails forces MVC. As a matter of fact a true beginner to programming probably would not know what MVC does or why Rails uses it.
    I wouldn't expect a beginner to understand MVC right away, but I also wouldn't expect them to be any more frustrated then if they were to use something else. For every extra step that is added by using MVC, Rails gives you back something. For example, doing things in three places might seem like a pain at first, but not having to write queries right away is a gift. Having CRUD taken initially care of by a scaffold is a gift. And, although the beginner doesn't know it yet, separating model, controller, and view is a gift.
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl
    A beginner should learn the filesystem object and how to write good procedural code before moving into OOP, patterns and databases. Even though an education in programming should include OOP, I don't think learning a full OOP language right of the bat is good thing.
    Why?

    It's not too difficult to start with OOP. It's not going to stop you from learning ground level stuff later, if you need to. I honestly don't know the drawback of letting object oriented abstraction do the work for you on day one.
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  5. #55
    Web developer Carl's Avatar
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    Mostly because the lines within each Class, its methods and functions are procedural. You can go back and learn it though most doing so would ask themselves why did they not learn it from the beginning. Procedural coding is a basic as is the file system and knowing the protocols used in networking. Jumping right in to OOP you some how loose the thoughts of simplicity and using less code.

    I am going from first hand experience also. I went to a programming course at a Swedish highschool where the first programming language was Java. Most of the students had blank looks on their faces even after 3 months of doing exercises. When the teacher turned to c language as a preliminary to learning c++ in the second semester then you could see smiles of understanding come into the room rather than scoules of confusion.

  6. #56
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    I think I can see where you are coming from. In fairness, lots of people learn things in different ways so you are almost certainly right, at least some of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl
    Most of the students had blank looks on their faces even after 3 months of doing exercises.
    Here's where I think Rails might be different from your example. After 3 months, were these students producing fully functional practical applications?
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  7. #57
    Web developer Carl's Avatar
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    No, but that is not what the expected result was to be. They were supposed to learn how to program. Whether or not they produced anything was secondary. To put it more simply, No one would recommend learning any web programming without learning HTML first. You don't have to know HTML to produce a good application. You just have to guess around and put tags in and juggle the result until you get what you need. The webrowser is not going to complain much, especially not IE. You can always go back and learn solid html after you produce the app. Well, you can see where this is going and it probably explains why to this day many first time php applications are filled with font tags and badly formed tables.

    I am putting procedural coding and the filesystem coding in with having to learn HTML and other basics.

  8. #58
    SitePoint Addict peterb's Avatar
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    I am an old school programmer and although still learning php & mysql searched for a small program on this site and basically analyzed it to see how it works.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmmike
    I started all those years ago, right here on Sitepoint by reading Kev Yank's "Build your own Database Driven Website using PHP & MySQL" tutorial.

    The series has been kept up to date and is now in it's third revision. It's a great starting point, walking you through the steps for setting up a simple CMS. For me this worked great as a starting point because it allowed me to see the code come to life, walking me through the steps needed to actually make something that works rather than just reading reams of code about the more complex aspects of PHP that might scare a beginner off.

    This series helped get me bit by the PHP bug and I'd reccommend it highly. The url is http://www.sitepoint.com/article/php-mysql-tutorial
    I started also with this tutorial, hehehe

  10. #60
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    I don't think Ruby on Rails is good for beginners. Rails tries to get interesting results first, and code later. When you try to learn a starting programmer to make a web-app, you shouldn't start with a full CRUD application. Thats way too much. Instead start with a simple hello-world. Now how easy is this in PHP? And how overwhelming in Rails? I am not saying Rails is bad, it's just not for starters. One can't skip such a step. It's the same as reading a french novel without knowing any french words.

    And another thing: I haven't seen any big applications done in Rails. It seems Rails is perfect for standard CRUD, but how does it perform with other applications?

    And finally: no SQL is NOT a gift. I've seen no Rails applications that use SQL? Is it possible to write your own queries? That would be great, because SQL can really make things simpler sometimes.

  11. #61
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    what i did was
    learned html first
    then searched on google 1400 tutorials
    they are excellent

  12. #62
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenrir2
    It's the same as reading a french novel without knowing any french words.
    Or maybe it's more like learning French by going to France, which is very effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenrir2
    Is it possible to write your own queries? That would be great, because SQL can really make things simpler sometimes.
    Yes, of course you can use your own SQL if you want. But common things, like nested set queries, are built in so you don't have to write those queries unless you really want to.

    You know, I really believe what I'm saying, but I admit that it is all based upon my opinions. Without a Pepsi challenge of sorts, all we have is speculation.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onyx
    You need to learn the fundamentals and the structure. That means understanding what variables, data types, operators and functions are (nothing there is PHP specific). Structure is about understanding where and how you can use those things you just learnt.
    Every PHP book I pick up seems to be a reference manual (the ingredients). Can you folks recommend some books/tutorials that focuses more on php design structure/architecture (the recipe).

  14. #64
    SitePoint Guru
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    Every PHP book I pick up seems to be a reference manual (the ingredients). Can you folks recommend some books/tutorials that focuses more on php design structure/architecture (the recipe).
    I really like MVC (like Rails ;-)).
    There are helpful things on http://www.phppatterns.com

    Maybe this?
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...91318?v=glance

  15. #65
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  16. #66
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    Also a Newbie

    I'm also a newbie to php, but also to this forum. I can see where you can reply to a post, but I can't see where you post a new topic.
    Thanks..and sorry for putting this question in the thread.
    Julie

  17. #67
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    best way to learn is by following others examples. I suggest www.snippetcollection.com. They submit fresh snippets every day!They are still small but they are very helpful!

  18. #68
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Below is all you need. Watching a video, where someone talks and walks you through is unparalleled in learning. Lynda is only $25 for full access to the whole site. So you're paying the same amount as a book, but can jump from PHP, to flash to Photoshop.

    http://movielibrary.lynda.com/html/modPage.asp?ID=145

  19. #69
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I say the easiest way to learn php is to be motivated about it and try to apply something you learn to something that interests you.

    I first tried to learn php 2 years ago. I became interested in it because I always wanted to create a phpbb rpg mod for my phpbb forum. I tried learning from php.net, but that place was difficult to learn from. I eventually found this ebook that presented php in an easy way. Problem was when ever I asked for help at this one forum people always replied that it's not possible to do what you want to do in php and that you should go with Java. So I eventually got fed up and went with Java. I found Java very difficult and accomplished nothing.

    This past July I decided to try to learn php again because I wanted to create an auction site like ebay in php. Sadly I forgotten where to find that ebook that I tried to learn from before. I learned the basics from zend.com. I was surprise that I could actually code some things on my own. I then took a break for a couple of weeks and decided that an auction site is just to big for me to pursue since I'm a begineer. So yesterday I picked back up on it and decided to make a blog site instead. So far I can create a registration page, a login page, a logout page, and a page where you can submit information/images and that information/images will be displayed on another page. For the past 2 days I've been reading a great deal about sessions. Originally I had my login and a profile page recognize a user by cookies, but learned that it should be by sessions.

    I believe I'm actually getting somewhere with coding a language. The only problem I have right now is this:
    A user logs into this member site. Once the user logs in, the page is directed to a profile page that only that user can go to. On this profile page are links that only that specific user can access. These links are links to pages where that specific user can edit their account information.

    I'm still reading about sessions from different sites, but the sites I have gone basically explain the same thing as each other. Hopefully the understanding can click in my head and/or I can find a site that can explain how to do that. If anyone can help that would be great.

  20. #70
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by auger123
    I'm also a newbie to php, but also to this forum. I can see where you can reply to a post, but I can't see where you post a new topic.
    Thanks..and sorry for putting this question in the thread.
    Go into the forum you would like to make a new topic and click the "New Thread" button, found at the top and the bottom of the page!

  21. #71
    SitePoint Evangelist sputza's Avatar
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    Why do you want to learn php? Did you start by looking at PHP code and wanting to change that? I think you first need to know why you want to know something before you go about trying to learn it. After you know why, follow these steps:

    1) Get a good starter PHP book (Keven Yanks book is really good to start)
    2) Read the book and follow the examples
    3) Take the examples you did and try and change them
    4) Get a better book with more advanced teachings in it (Good Book: Beginning PHP 5 and MySQL: From Novice to Professional (Paperback)
    5) Try to create scripts you would use without using the books for help
    6) Use SitePoint to learn more and get help

    Hoped that helped.
    Steven Watkins
    Chief Web Ninja
    Code Monkey Interactive
    lowgravity.ca

  22. #72
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    w3schools.com

  23. #73
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerezDesignGroup
    Below is all you need. Watching a video, where someone talks and walks you through is unparalleled in learning. Lynda is only $25 for full access to the whole site. So you're paying the same amount as a book, but can jump from PHP, to flash to Photoshop.

    http://movielibrary.lynda.com/html/modPage.asp?ID=145
    I wouldn't recommend Lynda's PHP tutorial to anybody - although I highly recommend ANY Lynda tutorial OTHER than that one lol... I think it was a half @ssed Tutorial done for a quick buck. VTC's Video's by Joshua Mostafa (sp?) are probably the best Video's you can watch about PHP.

    Although, after months trying to really grasp PHP - I read Luke Welling and Laura Thompsons book "Web development in PHP and MySQL" was the best thing I ever did... by the time I got to page 100 (first night) I learned more during that time than I did from reading ANY other books - Sitepoint as well...although PHP Anthology is a good book when you get the time

  24. #74
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    I think one of the best things to do when learning something like PHP is to have a goal first. This could be as simple as aiming to create a database driven 2 page website.

    That way you have something to get you motivated as well, this works for me. I used to spend day after day trying to learn all the code and different software and then I realized I was not making any money and everyone else was although I had more skills than most back then.

    So I then decided I would learn as I work but I was lucky to have enough skills I had taught myself to get up and running with a website business.

    I also have a lot to learn with PHP coming from ASP but I was lucky to get a 3 month contract early this year which got me involved with PHP and I learnt the basics fast.

    I actually learnt ASP by using Dreamweaver a few years ago and it was easy as they had great tutorials that would step you through it. So I would also try DW if you have it just to get you started. I know that the ASP code DW spits out is pretty crap so it might be the same with PHP ? but if you just want to get a feel for it and using database's etc then its probably worth a shot.

  25. #75
    SitePoint Zealot Anagram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadofgage
    I totally agree, Kevin teached me PHP and ./me lub him
    If pigs could fly, the prize of bacon would reach the sky.

    www.dosspirit.net - Norwegian
    reviews of DOS games


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