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Php, Mysql, Css, Html One Happy Family?


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I know my problems have been aluded to in more than one thread, but I just can't seem to find it. Actualy, I am a bit bewildered by the jargon being tossed about and decided to post first and search later...poor form, I know, but hey..Im envoking my newbie rights.


First off...


I created my website by handcode html back in 1997. It's been through quite a few modifications as I fiddled with tables, frames and finally frontpage. Its been up and funtionable for two years without any major revamps.




(btw I know the nav bars and title bars aren't working. I've posted a question up on another section in this forum on that. please help there if you can)


I quit my job in japan, moved to australia and decided to redo my webpage with a bit of pizazz...you know, PHP, SSI, MySQL and perhaps even a bit of CSS (ha!)


Some concerned friends bought me books on Dreamweaver (as well as a copy of Dreamweaver MX), fireworks 4, PHP/MySQL 4 Dummies (can I actually list titles) and now after reading them and attempting several test pages, I can now say I'm confused.


So basically I wonder if PHP, MySQL, CSS, SSI, CGI's and CSS can be used together. Would it be overkill. I've read the books and I got a general idea of PHP, MySQL, CSS and a few tutorials of CGI's and SSI's. but Im afraid I cant see the forest bc of the trees.

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This is the type of question that will get a bazillion and one different responses to. The bottom line IMHO is that it's just a matter of preference.


PHP, SSI, MySQL and perhaps even a bit of CSS (ha!)
I would suggest you tackle this in a different order. If I had it all to do over again, I would learn these pieces in this order:
  • html
  • css
  • php
  • mysql

I'm still learning all the neat stuff that css can do.


Now... to get the most bang for your buck, I'd learn just a few tricks with PHP and then refocus all your attention on CSS until you've got it down.

  • include() header and footer
  • date() for today's date

I would leave the more advanced php and mysql stuff for last and only attempt to learn it when you have plenty of time to toy around with it.


So basically I wonder if PHP, MySQL, CSS, SSI, CGI's and CSS can be used together.




CSS pretties up your html and gives your page structure. PHP works on the server to add extra functionality and interactivity to your pages. It also forms the glue between your site and MySQL.


SSI is something I've totally overlooked because I'm not aware of anything that SSI can do that PHP cannot. But I'm willing to admit I'm wrong if someone would like to correct me.


Your post makes it sound as if you are trying to bite off too much at once. If you follow my recommendations, your time won't be wasted on confusing code but you'll still get some of the best benefits of PHP.


Best of luck to you.

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PHP, HTML, MySQL, SSI, CGI's and CSS can be used together
Technically yes, they can all be used together, although that brings us to another point, just because technology is there, does not mean you have to use it, as you so rightly say, can't see the forest for the trees.


However, many of the above do link together.


PHP/HTML and CSS are all markup languages (I know thats stretching it) which define how a page looks and feels. These three can work very well together and some of the tricks you can produce are outstanding. If you want to learn these correctly, learn HTML first with CSS afterwards then do PHP as PHP is alot more technical then HTML is. You would do well to get a book on the up to date recent HTML/CSS.


SSIs are something that these days, although still heavily used, have the same job done by other languages, in this case PHP. They are in the sense, the granddaddy of such "servers side" technology.


CGI and MYSQL add different types of technology to a website. MySQL is a database format, whilst CGI allows you to run various scripts.


Can they all work together then? The answer is yes? Do you need to use them all? No, but if you do, you site will be very interactive!



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Thanks for your quick and informative response.


I guess my problem, the problem of most hobby html'ers, is that we lack a clear plan of our site. This is further compounded by the "wow" factor. I know enough html to make a functionable static site. What I want is a dynamic "WOW" site. Call it techno envy, but my site is my car and I wanna drive a porche not a ford festiva.


Because Im not sure of all the nifty things you can do with PHP, MySQL, and CSS how can I plan to include them? Know what I mean?


So, does anyone know of demo sites that showcase some of the perks of using these mark-up languages?

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Set up some scripts like phpNuke, phpPostNuke, Mambo, PHPwebsite, or any other Content Management System.


(You'll only want to set up one of the above, so maybe you should play with phpNuke since there's a one click install in the CPanel)


When you see something you like, open up the files on the server and see if you can figure out how it was done. If you get stuck, buy a book.


That's exactly how I learned it.

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I learned it roughly the same way. I would see something I liked and go "mmm I will have that" so looked at the source to see how it was done.


Basically create a static website to get you going for now, then you can work on your next more dynamic site (maybe not porchse standard yet) and you can keep on adding to it.


A decent book though is very useful



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I wanted to clarify something that might have sounded snotty


If you get stuck, buy a book.


Everyone at TCH is very helpful and will do what we can to help folks with scripting concepts.


But when you have a language that will stop working if you misplace one ; or leave out one } in 8000 lines of code... it's not the type of thing that you can learn in an afternoon... not completely anyhow.


I have several books right on my desk because... I reference them often.


So, to clarify, we are all very happy to share our knowledge, but if you want to learn PHP, Perl, Javascript, or what have you, then a book will REALLY help. And it's a rare bird that has mastered any of these languages without ever investing in a book to speed the process and learn some new tricks.


I've only suggest to two people that they buy a book... both indicated they really wanted to learn php.


I feel better now. :)

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Yup, Surefire is right, having a good book by your side when you need it really helps a lot. I've learnt PHP/Mysql by reading up books from the library and then getting the books when I find that it is really useful. That way, we don't have to spend on books that are too expensive/shallow/deep etc.



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Yeah, I think that like surefire said, it's important not to confuse what each one does.


This is how I see/use them.


HTML/CSS are all about how things look. Whether you use tables or divs or whatever, these two are simply there to make things pretty. I'd certainly start by learning this first (I didn't and am still no good at css).


PHP is used to do things. This could be processing a contact form on your site, or a poll that you've setup, or simply retrieving information from a database to display. PHP doesn't care what the info looks like, it just processes the info/text.


mySQL is simply a database to store your data. That's it.


I personally don't use SSI or CGI.


In practice (for me at least), it all works like this. mySQL stores all of my data for my pages. php connects to mySQL and gets that data. HTML puts that data in somesort of layout. CSS then makes it all pretty. :)


Hopefully that makes a little bit of sense.


- Vendlus

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