Ok... i've learned intermediate ASP and am like bored to learn the rest. Nothing really driving me to learn it, so i decided to switch my efforts to php. I personally think it's more important to know an intermediate level of more languages, so if you ever have to do something involving that language, it will be much simpler.

So... (i'm basically talking to incissor), any good resources you think will be helpful for me? I wanna start learning PHP in a few weeks.

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Hmm .... is it better to learn half of a lot of languages, or all there is to know about a few?

I'm a VB, C++, and Java programmer ... and if someone were to ask me to write an application, I'd do it in C++ right off the bat just because I know that language the best.

It's nice to know a few and to know the strengths and weaknesses of 'em all, but then choose your favorite one and continue with it.

Interesting question..

I think that it really depends where you are in life, I mean I'm 20 years old and in university. I also work 2 jobs and run a small business. I often find myself trying to do everything including fixing the kitchen sink. (Design, coding, business aspect, etc.) I really don't have the time/option to sit down and commit myself to one feild, let alone a single language. Clients expect you to be able to handle everthing, and rarely like to deal with more people than what is absolutely necessary. The only way I could find it feasable to sit down and learn absolutely every aspect of a language is if I was paid to do just that, and the learning time would be immense.

I guess my advice would be to pick an area of interest - ie. webdesign, and learn all that you can about it. Don't limit yourself to one technology, but instead try to understand the benefits of all of your options. You can do this and over time you will inevitably end up with a favourite, and you will probably naturally become an expert/guru in that particular language/tech.

Just my idea, it makes sense in my head.. honestly ;)

On a side note I have found this book to be an invaluable resource to learning the advanced topics of PHP - PHP Advanced for the WWW, ISBN 0-201-77597-2

Of course you need to know the basics before diving into this book.. The php.net manual is a good start and an invaluable resource for all things PHP. Also alot of the online tutorial sites will help you get up to speed (www.sitebuilder.com, phpcomplete.com/, ect..) And don't forget about #php the IRC channel, found on both FreeNode (irc.linux.org) and efnet (irc.powersurfr.com) possible on other servers aswell.

Hope this helps!

Aaron Holmes
Gurix Web Professionals

Hmm ... thanx for the info ...

When it comes to programming (for me, anywayz), I think one of the most important things is just to grasp all the concepts. Then you can apply them all w/ different syntax, etc. Of course, this doesn't really apply too much to the different technologies out there, but rather to a handful of similar languages. (e.g. C++, Java both require an understanding of OOP)

I'm also trying to get myself familiar with PHP. I've done a WHOLE LOTTA playing around with the back-end of this forum, for example. inscissor is right, the syntax is very similar to C++! I'm glad I wound up spending my time with php instead of asp (VB annoys me).

I think if you're really considering being a web developer, you should at least be familiar with the basics of the "big five" : Perl, JSP, ColdFusion, ASP, and of course PHP. I suggest writing at least a simple shopping cart in each language. Shopping carts are good applications to practice with because it brings forth solutions that are used in general applications. That is session handling, database access including design and SQL, security, XML; the list goes on. I suggest being familiar with each so you know the ups and downs of each. It's not enough to just follow someone else's opinion... it's better to see it yourself; what's so bad or good about a particular language/method. When the time comes around to handle a problem upon request, you can then make an intelligent decision on what to go with (ColdFusion, PHP, etc.). Of course this comes after seeing what the budget is, who's working on it, who will be maintaining it after you leave, what tools (servers, IDEs) you will be giving, how easy it is to debug/extend/upgrade, and how much time you have.

Bored with ASP? Every language itself is boring, what makes it interesting is how you use it, not the language itself. Every language can pretty much do the same thing, just the syntax is different. If you feel "bored" try to extend whatever language you're using to other technologies. If you haven't looked into these, here are some topics to keep you occupied:

Coding Methologies (component reuse/extending)
Internationalization and Localization
Handling Sessions throughout Clusters
Regular Expressions
Security (Server, Database, Application)
Web Services
Database Theory (Diagrams, Normalization - 1NF, 2NF, 3NF, etc.)
CORBA, COM/DCOM, ActiveX, Services
Application Framework (n-tier, .NET)
WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) - Wireless programming

Of course, you can't forget good ol' JavaScript, CSS, HTML, DHTML, and XHTML. Also, the use of databases, Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sybase, through whatever language you're using.

These are some topics that relate to whatever language you use. I hope you find them useful.

But anyways(man, I REALLY got off topic there... ;) ), you wanted to learn PHP, and wanted some good resources. I recommend two good books which got good reviews at Amazon.com:

PHP and MySQL Web Development by Luke Welling, Laura Thomson

A Programmer's Introduction to PHP 4.0 by W. J. Gilmore

Some good sites are (besides php.net):

Another tip is no matter what technology you're "mastering," always keep up to date with other technology. You don't have to use it, but just keep up with what's new by visiting Builder.com, Slashdot(which sometimes I despise, but I'll let that go for now), C|Net, etc... you can think of others.

kudos for the post dan

Why thank you. :shock:

This is a post that I have very little time to make but would like to put my 2 cents in on for this thread. 1st off - i definitely 2nd the KUDOs to inscissors on the post - nicely done. but, 2ndly, as a good techie should ;) i need to voice my differing opinion :!: the following is a very rough sketch of what i want to say, and i'll polish it w/some edits over the next coupla days.

cgi via pearl

Access/ColdFusion/Domino/Oracle/other web-centric db (record-locking or distributed-replication, as needed)


gif/jpeg solution
mov/mpeg solution
avi/mp3 solution
compression solution


hmmmmm, but which order? & this is just s/w oriented - w/much more out thre, nver mind things like ssl & vpn, & i completely ignored bilateral communciations techs like emails & chats... so much to know, so much to learn, so much to show, so much to earn!

Well, because Alpha brought up ASP and PHP, I decided to talk about server side technologies only. Knowing server side technologies is not enough to become a web developer. You have to have some web design experience too (basic techniques, tools). Also, some business knowledge helps.

Here's a list of tools/technologies that I list in my resume.

Visual Basic
Bash Unix Programming

Web Page Design
Macromedia Dreamweaver
Visual InterDev
ColdFusion Studio
NetObjects Fusion
Microsoft Frontpage
Adobe GoLive
Macromedia Homesite
Netscape Communicator
AOL Press

Adobe Photoshop
Aldus PhotoStyler
Adobe LiveMotion
Caligari trueSpace
Ulead Cool3D
Macromedia Flash
Swish 2.0

Microsoft Internet Information Server
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Personal Web Server
Apache HTTP Server for Windows
Apache Tomcat
Macromedia ColdFusion
MySQL Server
Oracle 8i
Xitami Web Server for Windows
WarFTP Server

IDEs (GUIs) for Programming
Visual C++
ColdFusion Studio
Visual BASIC
Borland JBuilder
Borland Turbo Pascal 7.0 (DOS)
Borland Turbo C++ 3.0 (DOS)

Office Skills
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Access
Microsoft Excel
Adobe Acrobat
Windows 2000, 98, 95, NT

Music/Audio Editing
Sonic Foundry Sound Forge (WAV/MP3)
Sonic Foundry Acid (WAV/MP3)
Audio Catalyst (WAV/MP3)
Dance eJay (WAV/MP3)
Techno eJay (WAV/MP3)
GoldWave (WAV)
music@passport (MIDI)
Recording Session (MIDI)
Noteworthy Composer (MIDI)
Digitrack (MOD)
Fasttracker (MOD)
Cubic Player (MOD)

Other Tools
Multimedia Builder
Norton AntiVirus
Norton pcAnywhere
ZoneAlarm Firewall


Yeah! QBASIC rulez!

Anyway, back to the topic...
If you want to learn PHP, you might want to download a free websever. That way, you won't need to keep uploading your code to test it... it can be very tedious to find that the error you searched for for half an hour is a missing ')' those damn semicolons that I keep forgetting to append to the statement.

Try Fireserv. It is Apache, php, MySQL, and Perl all ready setup. I can't compliment it's interface, indeed I designed my own for it using VB. Now if only I could get that Icon working...

Yeah, I used to be a QBASIC junkie. I remembered how thrilled I was when I found out about version 4.5 and it's "make executable" option. I remember making a few cheesy games back in the day with other friends and we needed a way to hide our code. This was a thrill. I stopped following QBASIC after 7.0. Sometimes I'm still amazed what you can do with such a restricted language.

Anyone remember the game Gorilla? Immortal Kombat? Nibbles? BalloonX? Those were damn good games. =)

I would most definately promote PHP over all languages listed above. Partly because I first learned PERL, and the transition to PHP was beautiful. No CHMOD, no specific beginning syntax (such as shebang), and best of all I could just close the tag and start writing HTML (with quotes!). The second reason being because I don't know ASP or ColdFusion, I looked into both however I couldn't get ahold of either for free..so there goes that idea.

I've had my eye on VB6, although I can't get ahold of an install file that will actually install for free, and I don't feel like spending $100 on the standard edition. If anyone has an install file that will actually install (Visual Studio, or Visual C++) it would be greatly appreciated. =]

I got a nice warez version of CodeWarrior, so I can at least look into C++. I have a book on C++, although PHP projects absorb all the time I would otherwise spend on the book. Until further modivation...

I think each language has their strengths. Here are my feelings towards PHP, ASP.NET, Perl, ColdFusion:

PHP - Most growth potential out of all. Rapidly gaining more and more followers. The best choice for small to medium sized businesses due to its price and wealth of free resources. Highly compatible with many OSs.

ASP.NET - Currently a hot technology and medium to big business are questioning its potential. Because it's Microsoft branded, it's here to stay. Also, it's probably the highest in demand when it comes to web development jobs.

Perl - Good language to do administrative tasks on Unix/Linux operating systems. Low development cost compared to other languages. Highly compatible with many OSs. Contains good parsing and a huge amount of resources, like CPAN.org.

ColdFusion - Easiest and fastest way to do web applications. A lot of functionality comes right out of the box, rather than installing modules or components. Great error trapping/reporting. Can integrate with anything written in Java and therefore has most of Java's advantages because all CF pages get compiled by a Java engine and handled as Java Byte code.

Some good sites for php would be
hotscripts.com (for example code)
google.com (hehe, lots of stuff there)
or get a book, some good ones are
sam's teach yourself php in 24 hours
beginning php
Those are just some ones I liked. Ultimatly, PHP is a good language to know for web development. I don't know asp, so I can't really comment on that :P

On PHP books for some quality learning, this is where I'd point you.

The KEY book that can take you from beginner to intermediate PHP programmer IMHO is:

PHP and MySQL Web Development (Welling & Thompson) - I have the first release of this book, and they put out a new one a few months back that I haven't been able to pick up yet... This book is EASY to read, easy to understand, and the code examples are great for a beginner, and they explain it every step of the way.

Other books I own & recommend:

PHP Functions Essential Reference - my library wouldn't be complete without this book... it includes every PHP function, with descriptions, usage, etc. I'd consider it a reference for a intermediate to advanced PHP programmer.

PHP4 Bible - This book is antoher must have for beginning to intermediate PHP programmers.

Professional PHP4 XML - Gets into advanced PHP for use with XML, XSL, XSLT, etc.

Professional PHP Web Services - Advanced level PHP with usage on web applications including SOAP, XML, WSDL, UDDI, XML-RPC, and more... This is the main book I'm still working with on learning some of the theory behind web services.

I love PHP simply because of it's open source nature, quickly growing base of users, and with any other programming background, it's really easy to implement your own coding style into PHP.

Could anyone give me some sources about ASP and PHP??

E-Books, Code Archives, Examples ( No amazon Books)..

An excellent thread!!!
As for the matter of installing Apache server on your computer I reccomend using EasyPHP
It's easy to setup, a click here, a click there, and you're done. And it has a built-in MySQL server as well.

hi well ihave learnt php apache and ,ysql lately, i can say i was really exited all about it. because i think php is hignly in demand and easy to use. now i am learning jsp and i dont have any java programming background so that is veyr hard tpo grasp especiallyy when you have to do shopping carts and ecommerce transactions

anyway wish you luck 4 ya lesarning.

i know a good book php 5 the authors?/ i will find out and tell you

I found w3school a good site to start from. they also have online tutorials where you can explore on the code by modifying its lines...

I suggest you to go for learning any one full language with all features first. Then you can just migrate to any other language of your choice. because most of the languages will have almost similar features with a few differences in coding / application.

There's lots to be said about all of the technologies listed in the replies above. Still, I prefer a simpler approach. Begin with XAMPP and Firefox. XAMPP is a PHP/Apache/mySQL package that works on various platforms. I choose the Firefox browser because there's all sorts of development tools available as addons, including:

  • Web Developer
  • FireFTP
  • Colorzilla
  • IE Tab

I prefer hand-coding, since I find it quicker than trying to remove the "fluff" that's added by WYSIWYG editors. I'm migrating to Eclipse since it's available cross-platform (I work on Windows at my job, and Ubuntu at home), and has plugins for the various languages that I use, including PDT for PHP.

A last suggestion I'd have is to focus on PHP 5. Yeah, acceptance has been slow, but I think that might be about to change. Plus, the added OOP support will come in handy.

Just a few thoughts....

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