SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast joshpape's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    An old fashioned html writer wants to upgrade!! looking for advice.

    Hi,

    I have been writing my web pages in html for around 5 years now. Slowly branching off a little and playing with javascript (kind of, more a little manipulation though!!) and have began to realise that xhtml seems to be becoming fairly standard.

    What should I be teaching myself?
    XHTML
    CCS
    PHP
    Javascript

    There was mention somewhere that XHTML and CCS are closely linked (or was that DHTML?). My problem is really that my regular html skills are very strong but started to feel limited. Just looking for advice I guess.


    Thanks for any help you can give me

    Josh

    http://www.sayling.host.sk (Current site design I am playing with.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Posts
    5,011
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would say PHP, and here's why:

    XHTML, DHTML, CCS and Javascript are all things that you can utilize with Dreamweaver or GoLive. Sure, you can unlock more possiblities by writing your own stuff and the time learning problably would not be wasted but you aren't going to see a tangeble leap in your skillset from any of those.

    However, learn PHP, ASP or any other back end language and tie that together with minimal database skills and you can start adding dynamic, database driven features to your websites. These will add functionality to your websites and often make life easier for you.

    Of course it all depends on what you need. If you never need or could benefit from server-side scripting then don't bother learning it. However, after some learning, I bet you can't imagine website development without PHP.

    Just some thoughts
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru tombempty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    688
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Cool Me Too!

    Josh,
    I took have been working in html for quite some time and decided to go PHP. I just started to learn because I heard it was the way to go nowadays. It is really a preference I think.

    Try it. I seem to be getting it better than I thought.
    ********
    Regards,

    P

  4. #4
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    2,067
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Learn CSS first. It will fit well with your existing knowledge of HTML, and is pretty much essential if you want to go on to XHTML later. Good CSS learning resources include:

    www.w3schools.com/css/
    www.westciv.com
    http://thenoodleincident.com/tutorials/css/

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Beyond yonder
    Posts
    2,384
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, I guess it really doesn't matter which you learn first--all of us will tell you something different...

    Anyway, XHTML is pretty simple to learn, and I suggest that be your starting point. In fact, why not learn it right now?
    • Quote all your attributes ( <a href="http://a.com" title="A.com"> );
    • Close all your tags ( <p> </p> and <img ... /> );
    • Nest tags logically and properly ( <p><em>text</em></p> );
    • Learn about which tags and attributes were dropped in XHTML (particularly 1.0 Strict).
    It's really simple...really. ;-)

    Out side of that, I tried to learn PHP once upon a time, but could never motivate myself enough to learn very well... But that's just me and I'm lazy. It may be right for you, or you might prefer ASP or even JSP. That's all really personal preference (and which ever you can afford).

    CSS seems to give some people fits, also. It alway seemed easy enough to me--as long as you play with it for a while. When you go for CSS, learn about the cascade/inheritance, which seems to give the most people troubles.

    Hope This Helps! :-)

    ~~Ian

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast joshpape's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks guys. I think I will learn the standards of xhtml as it only seems to be a stricter form of html so it wont take long then I will look at css and php.

    Thanks for all the replies.

    Josh

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast morgion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    54
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by joshpape
    Thanks guys. I think I will learn the standards of xhtml as it only seems to be a stricter form of html so it wont take long then I will look at css and php.

    Thanks for all the replies.

    Josh
    Learning CSS is a sinch; all you need is to learn the elements you use most frequently: color for font colors, background-color, link attributes...

    http://www.ambientshadow.net/Templates/styles.css

    Those are some of the basics I use, and for those just beginning, that's an excellent start. Remember, some of the classier things you'll want to do won't work in older browsers...

    DAMN YOU NETSCAPE 4.76! YOU ARE MY BANE!

    *clears throat* Anyway, get Dreamweaver. I know, I used to be a hard core hand coder myself, but learning the wonders of the GUI will make you more efficient. And you can teach yourself from the code DW creates. You can develop and learn simultaneously.
    Lord Morgion
    Paranoia is just reality on a finer scale. - Strange Days
    [ MacOS X | Mozilla | 1280 x 854 (15" PowerBook G4) | Millions ]
    [ www.ambientshadow.com | www.gerbilmechs.com | www.gogeek.org ]

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict ThomasAesir's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    214
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Sayling

    What's Sayling going to be?

    A book? online game? 3dgame?

    It sounds pretty interesting. It might also give us a better idea of what you should be learning.
    Thomas Oeser - Blueprint Software
    Web Scripting Editor v 5.2 One cool Web editing tool.
    3dcomputergraphics.com Coming Soon!

  9. #9
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas
    Posts
    2,067
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When you learn CSS, make sure you get the hang of selectors. They're probably the hardest thing to learn about CSS (with the possible exception of positioning) but once you understand them you will be able to use CSS proficiently in all manner of circumstances.

  10. #10
    . Ruchir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,863
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    just to add up. doing CSS and XHTML helps . but PHP and ASP and other back end languages are very important in this area. thats where we get to score !! then u can easily go onto graphics part where u need the talent to experiment !

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast joshpape's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wow... more replies!! This really is a great forum.

    Sayling (The name is far from final) is a project I am hoping to start up which will try to pull together graphic and concept artists (from other forums I visit) and hopefully some ambitious writers to try and create a fantasy world. Its not as ambitious as it sounds as it is more a way of giving these artists a starting point for their work and somewhere for them to show off there work. The world will be a high tech fantasy one (i.e. lots of hot air ballons and large wooden contraptions!!) well thats enough about what the site is about I guess as this isnt a 'show off you site' forum. As for what I would like the site to be able to do...

    I plan to install phpbb2 onto my host and create a new theme for that. This is were I have begun to learn a little about php through the adding of mods to the forum etc. I have used php for includes before but I would really like to be able to make skins for the site to add a bit more visual interest to it. As you may have understood it could hold quite a lot of graphics. I would like to learn php so that I can do things like store a lot of content in a database and then pull it into the pages where it is needed. This has always appealed to me, I just have never got around to learning. This way I can have the whole site design and just pull in the content I want from the database for that page. A bit like how forums work I guess.

    By the sounds of things xhtml is going to be very easy to learn and css wont be too hard. Does any one have any good tutorial sites for a beginner? As for php I have tried to find tutorials a little before but not been to sucessful. Again if anyone knows of any sites it would be much appreciated. I have never really programmed before so some of the tutorials I have started on got me fairly lost.



    Sorry for the length of the post. Please read the bottom paragraph if none of the others as that could be a great help.

    Thank you so much.

    Josh

  12. #12
    + platinum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    6,441
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey Josh,
    Have a look at this article by Kevin Yank... it's a great start, and there's are a lot more you can read through as well! You might want to order the book which contains much more than the articles...

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast joshpape's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you. Thats a great couple of links. I will get reading on the articles. I didnt know that sitepoint had a main webpage as well!

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict w3exit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    331
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think PHP is a must if you want to create automated features ... XHTML - not very sure about it .. tried XML but waiting for wider adoption before I switch.

  15. #15
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    A Maze of Twisty Little Passages
    Posts
    6,316
    Mentioned
    60 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes, I'd agree XHTML is easy to learn, as is CSS; however there are still a few of quirks with various browsers relating to some aspects of CSS - not just the older version fours and fives.

    It more a case of what you want to achieve and I'd also say PHP is a good choice for server-side scripting.
    Last edited by xhtmlcoder; Jul 1, 2002 at 02:19.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    4,810
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by xhtmlcoder
    however there are still a few of quirks with various browsers relating to some aspects of CSS - not just the older version fours and fives.
    Yup yup, which is why php is a great way to go - server side browser sniffing and custom .css is the way forward - aaaiiiy
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by TheOriginalH


    Yup yup, which is why php is a great way to go - server side browser sniffing and custom .css is the way forward - aaaiiiy
    way forward? isnt that the way backward? Standards (ala XHTML and CSS) are meant to stop the need for multiple codings, which is what your ss browser sniffing and custom css is doing.

    In my personal opinion, If you havnt allready started learning php then start with XHTML and CSS, it will be alot quicker to learn then php, meaning you can then incorporate nice clean code into your php scripts, rather then learning php, developing the scripts only to have to re-code large portions of the html when your done.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    4,810
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by iTec

    way forward? isnt that the way backward? Standards (ala XHTML and CSS) are meant to stop the need for multiple codings, which is what your ss browser sniffing and custom css is doing.

    In my personal opinion, If you havnt allready started learning php then start with XHTML and CSS, it will be alot quicker to learn then php, meaning you can then incorporate nice clean code into your php scripts, rather then learning php, developing the scripts only to have to re-code large portions of the html when your done.
    Nope, it's far from the way backward. If the gentleman already knows "html" inside out, then xhtml is half an hour of reading. css is not much longer (with the help of our friends at www.w3schools.com ), which leaves only the issue of whether these lovely new technologies will work for EVERYONE in the same way that his trusty old html has. The answer is simple. They won't. Which is why the php is the way forward.

    In the corporate world, anything which is not cross browser compatible is simply sub-standard. Just relying on the new standards == no cross-browser compatibility == the way backwards for many.......
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  19. #19
    Non-Member Siltrince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    304
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You don't really have to learn XHTML if you know your HTML wel ( and use it once and a while )
    It's just stricter HTML.

    With CSS it depends, using CSS to adjust tables and text is pretty easy but making a complete CSS layout with positioned DIV boxes is a whole other thing.
    If you are interested >>
    alistapart.com

    So after learning basic CSS i would recommend learning PHP ( i'm gonna start learning it myself in a couple of months)

  20. #20
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    349
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree that the jump to XHTML will be a breeze since you've been working in HTML for awhile ... like an earlier post said, it's just a stricter form of HTML.

    CSS will also come fairly quick, and you mentioned some dabbling in JavaScript. You can then combine the two for some DHTML tricks if you want.

    But I'd really suggest sitting down with PHP/MySQL for awhile ... the Kevin Yank articles/book is a great start ... it will add an entirely new dimension to your site building at almost no cost and generous learning curve.

    With this skillset you won't be an "extreme" developer, but you'll be solidly set above from many other so called web developers/designers who are nothing more than WYSIWYG hacks.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by tdev; Jul 11, 2002 at 08:20.

  21. #21
    Non-Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    USA - WA and NY
    Posts
    176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    php....

    Well I can answer your question as someone who has also been hand coding since 1999 and stopped creating sites for others about 2 years ago (I do some maintance now).

    I hired someone to automate my site and take it to the next level. What he is doing with PHH is amazing <g> It's not only going to automate things for my visitors, it's helping me automate my articles, forms, etc. It's all PHP, with a little Java, and dymanic HTML.

    So that's what I'd suggest you learn next.

    Best of success,

  22. #22
    SitePoint Enthusiast joshpape's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all the new replies - I hae been away for a little while which is why I have not replied sooner. I would really love to get my hands on Kevin Yank's book, all I need now is a bit of cash!!

    I also had my first site validate properly on the validator at w3c under xhtml 1.0 transitional which was quite good so I feel happy that I have grasped that now. I am still learning CSS but I get all the basics fine, just have to use a bit of reference sometimes when trying to do some things. PHP is certainly the next step.

    Thank you all for your help

    Onwards ...
    Josh

    Base20 Podcast
    http://www.base20.com


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •