Looking beyond HTML. . .

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I maintain a couple of "brochure" web sites. Looking to the future though, I
can see a need for some sort of interactivity. For example, one business
would like to have the ability for people to register for their courses via
the web site.

So I'm looking for opinions or suggestions on the following:

(Keep in mind I know nothing beyond html and css.)

1. Should I bother to learn some sort of scripting for this purpose? Or, can
I use some sort of online service for this process?

2. If scripting is recommended what sort of scripting do you suggest?

3. Can this sort of thing be self-taught? Can it be self-taught easily?

4. Are there website tutorials / sites etc that you can recommend.

This is all kinda vague I realize. I'm putting the cart before the horse but
at this point website design is more of a hobby -- albeit a paying one --  
than a profession. Perhaps my question should be:

If I wanted to make website design a profession, beyond html / css what do
you think would be the next thing I should learn and what steps would you
suggest to achieve that?


Re: Looking beyond HTML. . .

Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "Michael Laplante"

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It seems to me everytime I have a client that wants something, and I try
to find a script or service for it, it's not quite what's needed so I
wind up rolling my own.

You should absolutely learn some server side languages, even if to only
be able to tweak a script you found somewhere.

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I would suggest (PHP or ASP) and SQL. SQL is Structured Query Language,
for manipulating databases.

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Yes, it can.  I am proficient in ASP and SQL, and am sharpening my PHP

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For PHP, go to the source, <http://www.php.net , or go to
<http://www.w3schools.com where there are tutorials on PHP as well as

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I would start out simple, get your feet wet with a few includes and some
if statements.  Then you can try your hand at SQL.  SQL is not really
very difficult, and once you get used to having things in tables, you'll
want to put everything in them (but resist).

Adrienne Boswell at Home
Arbpen Web Site Design Services
Please respond to the group so others can share

Re: Looking beyond HTML. . .

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I was chatting to someone on MS messenger last night who told me about
XAMPP <http://www.apachefriends.org/ :

"Many people know from their own experience that it's not easy to
install an Apache web server and it gets harder if you want to add
MySQL, PHP and Perl.

XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP
and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use - just
download, extract and start."

It might be a good way of getting everything in one shot.
Martin Jay
Phone/SMS: +44 7740 191877
Fax: +44 870 915 2124

Re: Looking beyond HTML. . .

Martin Jay wrote:

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It's actually *not* that hard at all. At the command line (on my OS):

    urpmi apache php-mysql perl-DBD-mysql

Then it's all installed and configured with reasonably sensible defaults.

Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me  ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact

Re: Looking beyond HTML. . .

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Personally I'd council against ASP, because Microsoft have moved on and its
successor ASP.NET is much better. Perhaps that's what you meant.

The choice between PHP and ASP.NET probably comes down to the platform.
ASP.NET ties you into Windows/IIS hosting which is more expensive than Linux
hosting. (I know mono promises the possibility of ASP.NET on Apache/Linux,
but how many hosting companies support it?) PHP can be used on virtually any
web server.
Brian Cryer

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