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How Did You Learn Php?


surefire
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I picked up a big fat book on PHP 4 called "PHP 4 Bible" and then I started testing out my own little scripts.

 

I'd look over the code written by other people and saw the different programming styles. I'd pick up tricks that worked for others.

 

As my scripts got more advanced, I had to refer back to books and compliment my learning with online tutorials specific to the subject I was trying to master.

 

It takes time, but if you've got a good book to reference, the learning curve is shorter.

 

Here are three of my favorite sites for tutorials:

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

http://www.phpbuilder.com/

http://www.php.net/manual/en/

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I have not learned it yet, not all of it anyways. I started because I was looking for an easy to learn robust and free shopping cart. The one I found was written in PHP. Far be it for me to get a book and start reading before I implement something, thats for smart people. I learned trial by fire, I installed the program and taught myself to configure it. Now I am looking for books so I can get a better understanding, looking forward to reading the other posts so I can see who likes what.

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I borrowed a book from the library... I think it was called "Beginning PHP" from Wrox or something.

 

I also frequented PHP.net, mainly for the helpful users comments. I downloaded the PHP manual in the *.CHM (HTMLHelp) format for handy reference.

 

Downloading and examining other developer's opensource code is also a great way to learn.

 

Last but not least, Practise! Practise! Practise!

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one I found was written in PHP. Far be it for me to get a book and start reading before I implement something, thats for smart people.

 

That's how I got started too, the script that I wanted was in PHP, I wanted to modify the code and soon realized that it was sort of easy to understand what was going on by reading the code.

 

But "winging it" only got me so far, and before I knew it... I'm writing my own scripts.

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Now I am looking for books so I can get a better understanding, looking forward to reading the other posts so I can see who likes what.

 

According to many experts... one of the best is Programming PHP by Rasmus Lerdorf and Kevin Tatroe, O'reilly Pub.

 

I used the O'Reilly serious for Perl and loved it.

 

I was on a mini-vacation this weekend and just happened to pop in a bookstore, I bought the above book and the brand new companion PHP Cookbook.... it is time I master PHP (Jack you started something :( ).

 

[note: Rasmus Lerdorf is the creator of PHP]

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dsdemmin:

 

and the brand new companion PHP Cookbook

 

I've got that book and it's all dog eared from looking up esoteric scripts that fit a particular need.

 

At first, I didn't think I'd get that much out of it. It seemed pretty advanced... and it is.

 

But it's so useful to see code written by others.

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It started out because I wanted something and I couldn't find a script to do it, so I took the one that was closest and modified it to make it work for my purposes. While doing this, like many others, I realized how easy it was to understand what was going on just by reading the code. Once I decided to get more serious about it, I picked up two books from Barnes & Noble, "SAMS Teach Yourself PHP in 24 Hours" (I love SAMS books), and O'Reilley's "PHP Pocket Reference" which is really not much more than a complete function reference that really will fit in your pocket. Also, www.php.net and www.phpbuilder.com are two sites I frequent when I get stuck and my books fail me for an answer. Another piece of advice I give, is to save each and every PHP script you write, no matter how small or simplistic and give it a logical name. It's a simple way to make your own reference library for when you're in the middle of some complicated script and can't remember how to do the simplest things... lol Also, drink lots of your favorite caffinated beverage(s) (Dr Pepper and Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha for me).

 

One more thing, for my scripting, I use a program called PHPEdit www.phpedit.net It's a great program, the highlighting features have saved me countless headaches, especially when I have lots of if statements nested in each other and didnt bother to indent... when you put your cursor next to a { it will highlihg the corresponding } for you... helpful when you get those "unexpected" errors on line whatever and you can't find the } you know you missed.

 

One final piece of advice:

 

REMEMBER YOUR SEMI-COLONS!!! I always forget those stupid things... especially on the last line of an if

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  • 1 month later...

I learned PHP mainly from annoying the masters in PHP channels on IRC. I asked for so much help I learned tons Goof Also, the book Professional PHP4 helped me. Good book.

 

Also, Maguma Studio helps because it has a built in php processor so you can run your scripts and debug without setting up a webserver on your computer or uploading all the time :D

Edited by raDeon
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  • 1 month later...

Still learning, but a great help source that I purchased was the "PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites" - a book in the Visual Quick Start series. I have been thoroughly impressed with the level of writing. I'm the kinda person who likes to jump in head first and try to swim my way through; sometimes I drown, other times I can pull through. It's nice to be able to open a book and skip through the book and actually undrstand what someone is trying to explain ( I wasn't gifted with a programmer's mind at birth).

 

I will also second the previous poster's response about Maguma Studios' PHP editory. The free version just blows my mind. Its lightweight, powerful enough to do everything I want it to do. Unfortunately, the debugging feature isn't available in the free edition, but the color coding alone helps any newbie to the world of PHP.

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I too "learned" (and I use that term losely) PHP, and mySQL, on the fly. I looked at various scripts to see what others did, and when I wanted to learn more (and do it on my own) I went to the source at php.net which is actually a good resource.

 

Coming from C++, PHP is a breeze. It makes it almost too easy... Bah! Who am I fooling.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started because I wanted to write a new website and needed a database to run it. I used the three sites the first poster mentioned, plus random information from anywhere I could get it.

 

I found that the best way for me to learn it (besides just getting in and coding) was to get either mods for my forum and look at how they worked and affected the rest of the pages, or to go to HotScripts and download someone's code and go over it (and of course, seeing what I could do to break it and change things). :lol:

 

*edit* oh yeah, I have a background in Java, VB, and C++, so that made pulling the scripts apart easier since I already knew the standard programming constructs. I probably would have resorted to an actual book if I was a true beginner. (Overall, I find the O'Reilly books good, as well as the Java book by Deitel & Deitel.)

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I happened upon Sitepoint through the TCH resource page. I hadn't really thought about PHP until I read the first four chapters available from Sitepoint's "Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL" (http://www.sitepoint.com/books/phpmysql1/). Up til then I had been thinking about learning Perl to write dynamic code. After looking at those chapters I was hooked on php, so I set up a test server with php 4.3.3 and MySQL and built a simple content management system.

 

I used a lot of the site resources that Jack and others mentioned earlier to get me started, and downloaded the pdf version of the php manual from php.net. I haven't gotten anything in hardcopy yet. It also didn't hurt that I have a background in VB, Pascal, and C/C++, so coding is nothing new to me.

 

I learn best through examining code and testing things out, so after looking at all kinds of code examples it didn't take long to get my site up and running - on my test server, anyway. I'm still having issues getting it to work right on here, though.

 

Cheers,

 

Chris

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First

:lol: Welcome to the family Chris :lol:

 

Your background helps a lot. I remember Pascal as the first computer language I really liked.

 

I have a few books, but as you say the web sites that teach, give you a good base as well. But nothing beats building a site and seeing how it all ties together.

 

The family here, are responsible for getting me interested in PHP. And now it is a lot of just fun trying to see what I can do, and there are so many possibilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

oops, my favorite links:

Edited by turtle
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