Hello Chad,

I started PHP from a book.
I believe a book is a good way to start as it organized and well written to
make sure you're progressing chapter by chapter.
After that, I read articles and tutorials as I needed to expand my skills.

just my 2cents,

"Chad Winger" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote in message
> I need to learn PHP and databases. If I had those skills, I would be so
> more succesful with my web designs. What I usually do, is make the html
> templates, and then hire someone, usually expensively, to do the PHP and
> MySQL bankend.
> Unfortunately, my programming skill is ZERO. Ok, maybe not zero, I do have
> little bit of PERL experience, but it mainly comes in the form of
> downloading prewritten scripts, and lots of trial and error in editing
> using common sense and drawing on my experience of BASIC which I learned
> when I was 6 years old!
> I have browsed hours on the net looking for help in this sort of thing. I
> have downloaded programs, I have read hours of documents and "manuals",
> still, I am no further along than where I started. Programming and
> are more of a mystery to me than women are. I'm absolutely CLUELESS.
> So basically, I need to learn this stuff as soon as humanly possible, but
> have NO IDEA where to start. Let me tell you first what I have done
> First thing I did was download something called mySQL Max version 3.23.49
> directly from the website of mysql. I was under the impression that this
> program would be something along the lines of MS Access in the standpoint
> user interface, and it would allow you to create tables etc. (I do know
> to create some rudimentary tables in MS Access). So after I installed this
> program, I clicked on the icon to start it, and to my surprise, the only
> thing that happened was the an MS-Dos box popped up for about 2/10ths of a
> second and then disappeared. So to me it was a waste of 2 hours of
> downloading.
> After a bit more of prodding I saw that there was some configuring to do.
> For the life of me, I have no idea where to look, and even if I did, I
> wouldnt have any idea what I need to configure anyways. Basically I want
> have this installed so that during my learning process of PHP, I can test
> and run things on my local machine, and not have to connect to the
> upload files etc.
> Secondly, I downloaded something similar, called Easy PHP. The website
> it would install this and that and then something else that would allow
> to run PHP scripts on your local machine as well as being an editor to
> you write scripts. So I downloaded this as well. So 27 MB and 3 hours
> I have yet another useless program with no interfaces nothing. Just
> something that runs in the background.
> So now I talked with my roommate and explained these issues to him. He
> pointed me to a software called CodeCharge. So I downloaded that and spent
> hours looking through the "templates" and what not, and although I can see
> this is a step in the right direction, it still leaves me with more
> questions than answers. It wants me to specify DNS or ODBC or ASPI etc etc
> and I have no clue what that is, what it means or what is does.
> Furthermore I see no way to use existing html files that I have created as
> templates. Just existing ugly templates that come with the software. I'm
> sure there is a way to do that, but I haven't figured it out.
> So what are my questions? Basically want to do is create sets of HTML
> templates for various sections of sites. Then using the templates, code
> PHP to pull the correct information from a database, manipulate it, and
> return it together with templates. For example. On this a site that I am
> working on, there is a section that will contain headlines to various news
> stories. In the HTML it looks something like this:
> <A HREF="1.htm">HEADLINE</A><BR>
> All this would simply create is something that looks like this Below:
> Headline
> September 12, 2002
> Obviously clicking the headline would take you to another page that would
> give you the entire story. To me, drawing on common sense, what you are
> really saying is this:
> HERE}</A><BR>
> Makes sense no? So really for this template, it would use 2 sections from
> the database: "Headline" and "Date" and the PHP tells the server where to
> put what depending on which templates is being used
> I don't want to drag this on, but in other words for these sites that I am
> creating there are basically 1 thing that I need to accomplish.
> #1 is that I need a "control panel" that is somewhere that I can go to any
> computer and log in to. When I do that I can log-in and that will bring me
> to and ADD/EDIT/DELETE form for any section of the site, and if I go to
> then I will type the various bits of info into it, click submit and
> automatically that info is added to the database. The edit and delete
> features are self explanatory, but the end result is simply saying that
> now I've entered the info into the database, Now, Mr. Server and Mr. PHP
> when the time comes for this info to be used, you have the info.
> To me this isn't brain science in concept, but I have no friggin idea
> to start. So? Where do I start?
> Ok, so hopefully you've read with me so far. And I do appreciate it as
> always. So now, let me pose my actual questions.
> Creating a mysql database:
> #1 What do I have to install on my machine to be able to eventually run
> scripts on my local machine? Where can I find it?
> #2 How do I set it up?
> #3 Is there a software that has a user interface such as MS Access that
> creates the actual database? If so, where can I find it? If not, how do
> actually create the database?
> PHP scripting
> I have downloaded various "manuals". The one I've seen most mentioned is
> one at PHP.net, so that is the one I have. I can understand certian parts
> it. But it's all in PHP speak. What I need to learn first, is knowing when
> to use what. Look at this code below:
> class news
> {
> var $entries;
> function news($disp)
> {
> global $news, $news;
> $tp = fopen($news['template'], 'r');
> $loop_code = fread($tp, 4096);
> fclose($tp);
> $count = 0;
> $this->entries = '';
> foreach ($news as $entry) {
> $data = explode('||', $entry);
> $data[1] = date($news['tformat'], $data[1] + $news['toffset'] * 3600);
> $this->entries .= $loop_code;
> $this->entries = str_replace('{timestamp}', $data[1], $this->entries);
> $this->entries = str_replace('{author}', $data[2], $this->entries);
> $this->entries = str_replace('{authoremail}', $data[3], $this->entries);
> $this->entries = str_replace('{subject}', $data[4], $this->entries);
> $this->entries = str_replace('{body}', $data[5], $this->entries);
> $count++;
> if ($disp != 'all') {
> if ($count == $disp) {
> break;
> }
> }
> }
> }
> }
> To me it's just a jumble of characters. Why are things indented? Why are
> some things inside quotes and others not. What is a global variable? What
> does parse mean? etc etc. Some many questions...
> I do know what a variable is, and I know that the above coding is just
> basically manipulating them. I have managed to "write" one simple script,
> borrowing some code from a prewritten script that will take the contents
> a 5 field html form and print them in a text file like so:
> |match date|match time|Home team|Away team|match result
> So I managed to figure out what fopen(), fread(), fwrite() and fclose()
> So now that I have this text file on the server, I want to be able to
> manipulate the info between the | character. If I can figure out how to do
> that, I can learn the syntaxes and coding functions fairly quickly.
> I know using an editor is "cheating" in a sense, but I also know that I
> learn the same way I learned BASIC when I was 6. By deconstructing the
> I really need to learn this stuff. I have no idea where to start and it's
> really making me lose time and money. I don't want anyone to hold my hand
> and do it for me, I need to know where to start. I have no idea what to
> but downloading MB after MB of software that doesn't teach me anything
> going to help me get to where I need to be. Honestly I think I can learn
> this fairly quickly with just a little bit of guidance. It's tough when
> go to a PHP channel on IRC and all they tell you is "read the F*****G
> manual!". I just don't want to be fiddling with SSI and text replacers for
> the rest of my life, if you know what I mean.
> Anyone who has any thoughts, please reply via email or this forum. I
> sincerely appreciate it.
> Cheers,
> Chad in Florence, Italy [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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