I have been studying PHP part time off and on for a month or so and I get it a little, but I really want to know how to build software and I am pretty much the world's most novice programmer.

Does anyone out there know of the best free way to learn PHP in a pratical environment. Please do not point me to php.net...i really can't navigate to well there. Anything else would be very much appreciated.

Have a Book and try to understand the examples, then work for a project in PHP, for example a website etc..

hmmm, I started out with trying to understand existing code and doing small modifications to existing apps. The best way to learn in my opinion to challenge yourself with a small application. Try to build a simple web form that has a simple login page. Let the page on a successful login, take you to another page that prints out a message.

Then you can build from there. There are lots of good tutorials that are based around small web apps (shopping carts, guest books etc).

That gets you involved with lots of different aspects of php and seeing how they come together.

A good website to check out is phpfreaks.com (as far as project style tutorials go)

Good luck!

hmmm, I started out with trying to understand existing code and doing small modifications to existing apps. The best way to learn in my opinion to challenge yourself with a small application. Try to build a simple web form that has a simple login page. Let the page on a successful login, take you to another page that prints out a message.

Then you can build from there. There are lots of good tutorials that are based around small web apps (shopping carts, guest books etc).

That gets you involved with lots of different aspects of php and seeing how they come together.

A good website to check out is phpfreaks.com (as far as project style tutorials go)

Good luck!

For Guestbook Tutorials and Some small Applications You can visit here :

http://www.programmingtutorials.org/category.php?CategoryName=PHP_and_MySQL

Yep, I agree with jamshid and Sabia. To start the best thing you can do, it is trying to modify, or better, improve existing scripts. To do this, I'm sorry for you :P but you need to explore php.net as it is the best resource you can afford out there.

I'm still learning too, at this time I've learned how to write some code by myself, but now I need more: good basics to speed up and secure my code. It's time for books, I think, at least for me.

Last but not least: continue reading topics in this forum, you can learn a lot from users experience.

bye

for learning completely from the ground up, the examples on the site are designed for intermediate level...for example


I want to know how to reverse an array. I went to php.net http://us3.php.net/manual/en/function.array-reverse.php
and checked out the example and this is it:

<?php
$input  = array("php", 4.0, array("green", "red"));
$result = array_reverse($input);
$result_keyed = array_reverse($input, true);
?>

if this is my array, how do I reverse it:

$fruits = array('apple', 'orange', 'bananna');

or if this is it:

$fruits = array('red' => 'apple',
     'orange' => 'orange',
     'yellow' => 'bananna');

you see the example on php.net has an array with in an array(I think?) so it throughs me off.

if this is my array, how do I reverse it:

$fruits = array('apple', 'orange', 'bananna');

Here you can create a new variable that contains the reversed array, once you have done simply print it:

<?php
  $fruits = array('apple', 'orange', 'bananna');
  $aaa = array_reverse($fruits);
  $bbb = array_reverse($fruits, true);

  //display results
  echo '<h2>Array $aaa</h2><pre><code>';
  print_r($aaa);
  echo '</code></pre>';

  echo '<h2>Array $bbb</h2><pre><code>';
  print_r($bbb);
  echo '</code></pre>';
?>

or if this is it:

$fruits = array('red' => 'apple',
     'orange' => 'orange',
     'yellow' => 'bananna');

you see the example on php.net has an array with in an array(I think?) so it throughs me off.

As before, just reverse $fruits:

$fruit = array('red' => 'apple', 'orange' => 'orange', 'yellow' => 'bananna');
$ccc = array_reverse($fruit);

//display results
echo '<pre><code>';
print_r($ccc);
echo '</code></pre>';

:)

I'm just learning myself and I found the best way was to get easyphp it puts a mock apache server and php5 and mysql on your computer it's pretty cool for learning how to use different php functions and utilize mysql database functions, plus it also shows the debugging messages, some servers have this shut off.
Another great sight is w3 schools -php tutorial or tizag - tutorials.
php.net is an awesome sight basically the manual online . With a good imagination you can do a lot with this server side script and if you have a mock server on your computer you really don't have to worry about screwing up live pages or websites. If something throws you off try different combinations you have to remember it's basically based on algebra and geometry and different math subjects. Variables and functions and classes are pretty much a hierarchy listing.
I say it's like math because before I write a script I start with a word problem and a possible solution. You can also use the I.P.D.E. ( Interpret, Predict, Decide, Execute ) method I write the word problem out and I look for certain things in this word problem, like certain constants and certain variables and if I look close enough I'll find different functions to incorporate into a solution, some functions are already in php and some have to be made.
Going to other websites and looking at the scripts and descriptions also helps too.
You can also check out O'Reilly's books they're pretty good and you can find used ones pretty cheap.

Yeah...thanks for the tip...I run WAMP on my desktop instead of easyphp. I also run phpdesigner 2007 (bought it for like 35. pretty cool i think) There is another app for php coding called jedit.....I hear its pretty cool as well, and I believe it is FREE

Here is the link to w3schools They have some excellent tutorials on php. They start off with the basics and have hundreds of examples, e.g over 20 on arrays from simply setting up an array to sorting the items in an array - there already is a php function to do this.

They are also good for many other web skills from HTML to .NET

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