Advice on learning PHP

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Can anyone give me advice on how to learn PHP?

Re: Advice on learning PHP

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Install a web server and PHP on your machine, and play with it!  If
you've got programming experience it's quite easy to pick up.

Re: Advice on learning PHP

In our last episode,
lovely and talented Phper broadcast on comp.lang.php:

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I don't know if this is really about learning PHP, but ...

You will see many questions here like "How do I <do something with a web
page> in PHP"?  About 90% of the time, if you cannot do something without
PHP, you cannot do it with PHP.

If you cannot make a mock-up of your page in (valid) HTML, you cannot make
the page with PHP.  If you cannot give the page the appearance you want in
CSS, you cannot use PHP to do it.  If you cannot write a query in your
database client that works, you cannot write a query in PHP that works.  If
some client-side script you want doesn't work when you use an editor to
enter it in an HTML document, it won't work if you use PHP to write it.  In
other words, PHP can make what you are doing easy, if you know what you
doing. If you cannot write a valid HTML document without PHP, PHP cannot
write a valid document for you, and it cannot write magic HTML that does
things that are basically impossible in HTML (such as, from a recent
question, embed a font in HTML).  If you are not too clear on the pros and
cons of (attempted) browser sniffing, PHP won't make that any clearer.

You'll make it much easier on yourself if you write a mock-up document with
dummy values first, and pass that through a validator before you use PHP to
write real values from your database in your document.  Writing queries in
PHP will be a breeze if you first test queries in your database client.

Many, many people who have never written a web page, never styled an HTML
document, never used their database client, seem to think there is something
in "learning PHP" that will enable them to do those things.

Lars Eighner <
                         Countdown: 250 days to go.

Re: Advice on learning PHP

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How to learn any programming language:

   Select a project
   Write the code


Seriously.  If you want book recommendations the O'Reilly
books are always good as are many others on PHP.

Especially good are "Programming PHP" and if you are new
to programming "Learning PHP".  After that, "PHP Cookbook"
and books on what you wish to accomplish, such as PHP and
MySql etc.

Re: Advice on learning PHP

On Thu, 15 May 2008 03:01:35 -0700, Phper sez:
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When I first decided to learn PHP, I checked out five books from the
library on PHP and MySQL.  First mistake - dead tree editions are
obsolete by the time they get to the library.

Then I spent hours and hours on Google looking for the best source of
information, and I found that is all you really need.  Examples,
complete programming reference so you can see all the arguments each
function takes, etc.  If I need an answer in a hurry, I'll fire up xchat
and go to the #php channel on Freenode; otherwise I get everything I need
from  I subscribed to this newsgroup mostly to read other
people's questions and learn from the answers they get.

If you really can't find what you need at, google for php +
tutorial + example and you'll see tons of sites that teach various
aspects of the language.

Peter B. Steiger
Cheyenne, WY
If you must reply by email, you can reach me by placing zeroes where
you see stars: wypbs.**1 at (yes, that's a new address)
** Posted from **

Re: Advice on learning PHP

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First step, change the name in your Google profile to your eral name,
rather than still pretending to be Erwin Moller!

Re: Advice on learning PHP

Captain Paralytic wrote:
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Second step:  don't feed the troll.

Re: Advice on learning PHP

On Thu, 15 May 2008 05:57:24 -0500, Lars Eighner wrote:
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Perhaps you underrate the joys of PHP with a nice ncurses environment.

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What!  
You too?  I thought I was the only one!'"
                --C.S. Lewis

Re: Advice on learning PHP

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I'm actually really curious about the answer to this question.  Where
do people usually start out?

My company has been developing PHP web apps for several years now, and
just released a new training video for beginners.  We're trying the
find the best place to advertise to people just starting out.

Any ideas?

Best regards,

Re: Advice on learning PHP

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Most of the advice is "Just do it".

No one learns to program by (merely) reading a book or
watching a video (sorry).

You just set a project; start coding; then read (or watch)
whatever you have to watch to get over the hard parts.

Problem with most video is that 1) People won't actually
watch it even if they buy it and 2) There is not enough
"intermediate" and practically no advanced material available
this way.

If someone is stuck getting started video might be useful,
but his is mainly people who have never programmed
before and have no real self-motivation to just do it.

Same for "beginners' books".

Books like O'Reilly's Cookbook series or a good 2nd
level book start to make sense as skills develop.

The PHP manual (on the web site) is as good or better
than most any starter book.

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