[thelist] intro and beginner's question!

Diane Soini diane at dianesoini.com
Fri Mar 26 18:15:28 CST 2004

On Thursday, March 25, 2004, at 07:47 PM, 
thelist-request at lists.evolt.org wrote:
> 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.
Welcome to the list. People here are pretty helpful, but some times 
they can be intimidating, too. For one thing, probably most of the ones 
who post frequently never use a wysiwyg editor to do web design, and 
many are repulsed that anybody still uses tables for layout.

> 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?

You mentioned that you are studying Macromedia studio mx, and then 
asked if there is something to use, or an approach to use, to edit a 
php script.

Studio mx is only a tool and your knowledge of what to do with it will 
probably always be somewhat limited by how much you know about what it 
is doing for you. So first of all, learn the html and all the other 
code it's generating for you. Use the split-screen view so you can see 
the code being produced as you edit.

As for how to edit a php script...The best way is to open up the files 
and read them. If you use Dreamweaver code view (forget the design 
view) the code will be colored so you can see more easily what things 
are variables, what are strings, what are functions etc. Then it's up 
to you to try to figure out what's going on.

Fortunately (actually, quite unfortunately) php seems to lend itself to 
mixing the html in with the php. This is actually a bad thing, but for 
you, if you know a little html, it will allow you to see better what 
the code is doing because you can recognize what is happening where, 
and tweak the code here and there and see the changes.

The more you tweak, the more you learn. Use the php.net web site to 
look up php programming syntax. Also super helpful is to install an 
Apache web server on your computer (and install perl, php, and mysql, 
too) so you can run php locally. If you use a Windows computer, 
installing this stuff is quite easy. If you're on a Mac, some of it is 
already there, but the rest (like mysql) are not so easy to install. 
You might find someone to help you.


> Thanks in advance, and l'm looking forward to becoming part of the 
> group :o)
> Gabbie Coburn
> Melbourne, Australia

Don't be afraid to try something new. An amateur built the ark. 
Professionals built the Titanic. -unknown

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