Bought Kevin's book "Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site Using PHP & MySQL"... loved it. Learned a great deal from it. Read both 3rd AND 4th editions just to compare and contrast the change in the language over the last couple of years. Been doing some self-study on style sheets... learned a fair enough amount to start playing around with some different designs (and messing with other people's designs to understand how they work).
Now I'm at a crossroads that I didn't anticipate.
Where do I start?
I tried to be so careful about making sure I learned all of the individual pieces FIRST in an effort to not get too-deep-too-fast... but I'll be honest. There is so much floating around in my head that I'm not sure where to begin!
I'm anxious to try out some of what I've learned and learn more as I go along... even took time to write out several website ideas. But how do the pieces of the puzzle fit together? Do I start with the PHP and database design, THEN fix it up with CSS... or should I start with something in basic HTML, style it up with CSS, and write the PHP last?
I guess what I'm looking for is a little tried-and-true advice about where to start... from scratch.
Any ideas or suggestions you guys could throw my way would be very much appreciated.
Personally I do php/mysql first and then worry about presentation.
However before that draw out what you want to accomplish with the website. What features you want/need? How do you want to accomplish those?
then I like to layout my db.
then the code to interface with that layout.
then your presentation.
do you have a project/website already to start with?
I have some ideas put together... and plenty of server space to do it with.
Running XAMPP on my PC and shared server space with GoDaddy with lots of MySQL databases available.
I felt really good about PHP after making it thru Kevin's latest book... but as I start using what I know to dig into apps like Wordpress or Vanilla (getvanilla.com), I'm finding that PHP is an extremely vast language and I don't know half of it!
How did you "learn," cmuench? Digging in other pre-existing sites or tinkering from scratch? Or maybe even formal education?
Not to branch too far away from my original post... but it would seem to me that, given the common tasks many people want to accomplish with PHP, there would be some sort of code repository. For example... login / session scripts... or captcha... or anything else really. Some place with common code that prevented people from re-inventing the wheel every time they needed to do something. Or perhaps that "re-inventing" of the wheel is what helps would-be developers learn?
All that aside... I feel better about my PHP ability than my CSS ability. To tell you the honest truth, I really don't enjoy learning CSS as much as I did PHP, but I recognize that its a necessary evil I must overcome in order to actually accomplish building standards-compliant websites!