[thelist] intro and beginner's question!

Ralph ralph213 at sbcglobal.net
Fri Mar 26 16:12:52 CST 2004


A few years back I found myself in your shoes. I was an aspiring web
designer and I constantly found myself playing around with PERL code trying
to modify things without understanding what was going on.

It was a bit frustrating wanting scripts to perform a certain function but
not having a clue how to write my own code. 

When I found PHP, I had little programming experience...mostly theory. I
started using PHP to write simple scripts like form processors and scripts
that would insert or retrieve records from mySQL database. Nothing fancy.

The year was 1999. During this time I subscribed to the php mailing list,
read any online tutorial that I could find on PHP, and I purchased the only
two books that were available on PHP.

Little by little I began to understand code written by other programmers. I
then began borrowing ideas and bits and pieces of other code and then
started applying them to my projects.

In the beginning the process was cumbersome and I spent hours...days trying
to figure out why a certain function worked for "that" program but not mine.

Nowadays, I write my own web applications including shopping carts, cms
groupware apps, or whatever type of app I need.

So my advice is for you to start with the basics. Don't expect to write
entire applications right away. Do some reading then take existing
application like oscommerce and try to add or modify things. In the process
of doing this you will begin to learn and understand how everything comes
together. Before you know it, you'll be able to write entire web apps from

If you haven't already, I would strongly recommend that you subscribe to the
php general mailing list.


Then spend some time in the Zend Developer Zone 


Zend has some excellent articles and tutorials in their Resources section
that will get you off to a good start.

Other sites I recommend...

Although IBM requires that you register with them, I think this tutorial is
a must read:

Writing Efficient PHP

Not just PHP related, but you will find a wealth of information here:

And of course, don't forget the manual:

Remember that programming is constant learning experience...to this day I
continue learning better ways of writing code.

Hope this helps.

-----Original Message-----
From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org
[mailto:thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of gabbie
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2004 3:25 PM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thelist] intro and beginner's question!

Hello :O)
l have only just joined the list, and am very glad to have found you all.
l am a trained graphic designer and hopefully one day will consider myself a
self taught webdesigner! (is there an apprenticeship available out there?
LOL!) l am currently studying macromedia studio mx 2004 with the online
course at macromedia university, and am cruising along nicely. l am having
trouble though with dreamweaver and php scripts, l just don't get it!
Currently l am downloading scripts for galleries, cms's, messageboards etc,
and customising them for my clients with their own graphics and maybe having
a play with the stylesheets. But still keeping the basic structure/placement
of menus etc etc, and not playing with the code too much.
However l want to take it that one step further and start designing my own
templates, so that l'm not limited as much and can have some more control. l
just can't get my head around how to achieve this though! Do l need to have
a top notch knowledge of php before l start, or is it as simple as building
a html template in fireworks or photoshop and then slicing it up and pasting
the php code for various elements within the tables? l look at all the files
involved with a script and am really not sure where to start or which one to
attack first! Can someone help me with a recommended tutorial or plan of
attack, and/or is there a basic set of files for editing a php script? l
know this is a very general question and it would be dependant on what
script you are using, but any pointers would be much appreciated. l
currently have dabbled in oscommerce, zencart, coppermine gallery, mambo cms
and postnuke.

Thanks in advance, and l'm looking forward to becoming part of the group :o)

Gabbie Coburn
Melbourne, Australia

some of my current stuff: (l'm very new so be kind! LOL)

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