Thanks for the reply. Funny seeing the word "dude" again. Havent heard that
in quite a while, since moving over here to Italy. :)

I hope I didnt come across as thinking I can just learn this in a week or
two. I'm bright, but I'm not a genius. I know, and realize that it is a long
a frustrating process. What I don't have is the real opportunity here to
learn this like I could back in the states. There isn't a lot of info here
on the topic in English, no classes to take, etc. I can't just walk into the
local bookstore and buy a PHP book. While I am fluent in Italian, it would
be that much easier if I can get my start in English obviously.

As far as Apache is concerned, I looked at the website, yet couldnt find the
exact server software, so if you could provide me with a direct link I'd
appreciate it. It would be to my benefit however, if I could not only serve
myself html pages as http:// but also as file:// as internet costs here are
ridiculously high (no unilimited $24.99 2/7 packages here yet)

I have read many docs and downloaded many scripts to try to familiarize
myself with the language, and while I grasp many of the concepts, I still
have lingering questions that I havent been able to resolve. So I have been
trying to just have some of my fellow netizens to just point me to the right
door in the HUGE hallway of doors that will get me into the proper room in
which to learn. So thanks again


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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