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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot SEO Canada's Avatar
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    PHP learning resources written in plain English?

    I bought a book, but it doesn't have enough practical examples to really help you, imho. So I'd like to find some PHP tutorial sites. The problem is they all use jargon. Can someone direct me to good learning resources written in plain English? And yes, I've already been to W3C. It's not practical enough. Too few examples.

  2. #2
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot SEO Canada's Avatar
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    Those look good, but still featuring a bunch of jargon. I'm talking about something that starts at the beginning and has no fancy terms like CakePHP, PEAR, regular expressions etc.

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    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Ummm....you won't find anything without those really. Want to learn any programming or technology related be prepared to learn the jargon.

    CakePHP and PEAR are both programming frameworks designed to reduce the about of code you have to learn.

    Regular expressions is something you should really get to grips with, its very very valuable in programming.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru Rob_D's Avatar
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    Or try this, which has a 30 day money back guarantee (I haven't read it though).

    Or look here: http://www.google.com/search?q=dummies+php+mysql
    It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
    Arthur C. Clarke

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEO Canada View Post
    I bought a book, but it doesn't have enough practical examples to really help you, imho. So I'd like to find some PHP tutorial sites. The problem is they all use jargon. Can someone direct me to good learning resources written in plain English? And yes, I've already been to W3C. It's not practical enough. Too few examples.
    The problem with learning this stuff on your own (aided by online tutorials) is that you're working in a sort of vacuum. Depending on where you live, I bet you could hire a PHP expert to actually sit down with you for a few hours for $100-$200. You could ask any question that pops into your head and get an instant answer, and s/he could give you working examples and watch you manipulate them. They could immediately tell you what PEAR is and how it fits into the big picture.

    I confess, I've never hired such a tutor. But if I could do it all over again, I'd certainly do just that.

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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    You have plenty of choice now, I remember buying the ONLY php book at that time!

    What works for me now is to go to the biggest bookshop I can find, and leaf through all the books on the subject I am learning 'till I find the one that I best understand, or I can see contains examples which are relevant to me and my situation.

    Choosing the right book(s) is critical.

    (then all you've got to do is read them... Hmmmm)

  9. #9
    [Biped] LJK's Avatar
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    Hi -
    I've found Larry Ullman's books to be straightforward & basic.
    Integrated with mySQL in a lot of them; to learn in tandem.
    [There's a supptg. site, too w/ errata, etc.]

    Have fun,
    El
    F-Fox 2.0 :: WIN :: el design :: US

  10. #10
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite View Post
    I confess, I've never hired such a tutor. But if I could do it all over again, I'd certainly do just that.
    that's right, you got yours for free, but over an extended period of time, by asking hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of questions on public forums

    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    that's right, you got yours for free, but over an extended period of time, by asking hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of questions on public forums

    No, that's not what I was talking about. Public forums are wonderful, but they also have limitations. Working with people up close and personal is an entirely different ball game. You can pick up tips merely by watching them.

    In fact, I did a hire a person to help me with a project once - and merely watching him work was an educational experience. Keep in mind, also, that people who offer advice on forums can make mistakes, or perhaps they don't explain things clearly. Having a person sitting next to you who can actually whip out a script or show you how to public a database table to the Internet is worth a lot.

  12. #12
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite View Post
    I confess, I've never hired such a tutor.
    Quote Originally Posted by geosite View Post
    In fact, I did a hire a person to help me with a project once
    hard to take you seriously, geosite, when you contradict yourself like that

    but your point is well taken, an onsite consultant can be worth every penny

    to the original poster, i say: you might be onto something here -- when you find your "plain english" tutorial, or accumulate the necessary knowledge, perhaps you might consider writing a jargon-free tutorial yourself

    apparently it might be very popular

    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    hard to take you seriously, geosite, when you contradict yourself like that
    I never contradicted myself. In common usage, a tutor is someone you hire to TEACH you something. If you hire someone to DO something, like paint your house or set up a security system in your computer, that is not the same thing, even though you can indeed learn from such a person.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    Recycling your house-painting analogy, when someone asks "am I doing this right?" and the conversation has to painstakingly pare down motives in order to extract the salient facts in order to discover and spell out "no, you don't hold the bristles in your hand and paint with the pointy bit of wood" the connection between just asking a question and being tutored for free is pretty flimsy.

    Buying and studying the right book in the first place should be a pre-requisite for any professional or hobbyist.

    The fact that some people don't seem to have the propensity to do this amazes even more than the kindness and patience that others on this forum show to those that don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cups View Post
    Recycling your house-painting analogy, when someone asks "am I doing this right?" and the conversation has to painstakingly pare down motives in order to extract the salient facts in order to discover and spell out "no, you don't hold the bristles in your hand and paint with the pointy bit of wood" the connection between just asking a question and being tutored for free is pretty flimsy.

    Buying and studying the right book in the first place should be a pre-requisite for any professional or hobbyist.

    The fact that some people don't seem to have the propensity to do this amazes even more than the kindness and patience that others on this forum show to those that don't.
    There's a place for online forums and tutorials. (COMMON SENSE)

    There's a place for books. (COMMON SENSE)

    And there's a place for real live tutors. (COMMON SENSE)

    The fact that some people have such a hard time grasping this amazes me. The people who DO understand it probably includes those who study computer science, graphics or similar things in school.

  16. #16
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    The fact that some people have such a hard time grasping this amazes me.
    The point is that why spend hundreds on a session with a PHP programming tutor, when you could page a dozen or more dollars for a book (which you can still use as a reference after you understand the language).

    Then again, that also seems a waist of money. I've never even touched a book about PHP, I started from the simplistic W3Schools.com tutorial, and learned more tricks of the trade from Sitepoint itself. Not a bad investment - Learned it for free and I use that knowledge to earn.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    The point is that why spend hundreds on a session with a PHP programming tutor, when you could page a dozen or more dollars for a book (which you can still use as a reference after you understand the language).
    There are things you can get from tutors (or teachers) that you don't get from books. Tutors are also a little more likely to be up to date than books - which you can generally check out from your local library, by the way.

  18. #18
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    disagree with that last part

    books are by definition leading edge -- no publisher in his right mind will contract an author to write a new book on mysql 4

    where do you think tutors get their "up to date" knowledge from?
    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  19. #19
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Tutors have their own style of programming, and all styles have their flaws. The person learning from them will inherit these.

    Granted, alot of tutorials are biased like this, but the one at w3schools.com acknowledged widely as the best start to PHP you can get - and it doesnt have bias towards a certain programming style.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    where do you think tutors get their "up to date" knowledge from?
    Peers, tutors, teachers, forums, books, etc. And, given the fast pace of technological "progress" in the high-tech arena, it's awfully hard for a book to keep up with a real live person. Even online resources are often a little behind, particularly relating to the latest upgrades.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    Granted, a lot of tutorials are biased like this.
    Yep.

    In the meantime w3schools.com may offer a wonderful introduction to PHP for most people. But what about people who need more advanced help? Or what about people who are struggling to get PHP and related software installed and configured on their computers, perhaps due to problems with their computes they aren't even aware of?

    For crying out loud, there are many thousands, probably millions, of people who are studying programming, web design, etc., each one with their own learning style. If books are the only way to go, then maybe they should all boycott SitePoint - and forget about studying computer science or graphic design in school.

  22. #22
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    To be honest, a book should teach you the syntax of the language and the main functions you will need.

    The way I (and i can say this for alot of people) keep upto date is through the sitepoint forums. I would probably still be programming procedural and using a for($key=0; $key<count($array); $key++) loop to cycle through arrays.

    There aren't really that many teachers around - mainly because PHP is an easy language which can simply be learned from internet resouces.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  23. #23
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    For crying out loud, there are many thousands, probably millions, of people who are studying programming, web design, etc., each one with their own learning style. If books are the only way to go, then maybe they should all boycott SitePoint - and forget about studying computer science or graphic design in school.
    As I previously said, books arent the way to go. Online resources are.

    And I'm sure studying computer science is much more than learning a programming language.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    Tutors have their own style of programming, and all styles have their flaws. The person learning from them will inherit these.
    I mean I can really see how having your own tutor would really work for most people learning (Isn't that half the reason we are attracted to certain jobs? Certainly that would be my main motivation ATM).

    But very often it'd be like asking a stuntman to teach you how to drive.

    "Right, cross both lanes, at the cusp throw the car to left violently, pull the handbrake till you get to about 45 degrees then throw opposite lock and let it sliiiiiiide, during that slide, blip the throttle and cogswop down to third and back on full gas ..."

    "Er, I think I got that, but which pedal is the clutch? Its that one on the right isn't it?"

    Just because someone is a good programmer does not mean they are a good teacher.

    And if lets face it, if the teacher was a good programmer, then she would be out making some real money.

    Quote Originally Posted by r937
    where do you think tutors get their "up to date" knowledge from?
    Something like : Books 70% Blogosphere 30% ?


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cups View Post
    Just because someone is a good programmer does not mean they are a good teacher.
    No one's forcing anyone to hire a bad teacher.

    And if lets face it, if the teacher was a good programmer, then she would be out making some real money.
    Are you serious? There are gazillions of unemployed and semi-employed programmers, along with students, amateurs, and on and on. There are also many clubs or organizations of that nature, some which charge membership fees, others which are free.


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