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- advice ?
Re: advice ?
On 2 Jan 2007 06:27:37 GMT, John Bokma put finger to keyboard and
If you're already an experienced programmer, particularly if you know
C++ and/or Perl, then PHP *is* easy. And SQL isn't particularly
complex for a web author - most of what you're learning is how to
control it using your scripting langauge of choice, rather than the
nuts and bolts of how it works under the hood (which can be
complicated, but only the server admin really needs to know that). But
I wouldn't necessarily recommend PHP as a language with which to learn
programming from scratch; it's too inconsistent and has too many
gotchas for the beginner.
I would expect a good web author to be competant in more than one
scripting language and have the skills to get up to speed quickly in
another if necessary. Having a good grounding in the basics of
prgramming (particularly being able to write both function-based and
object-oriented code) and good comprehension skills (for extracting
meaning from online manuals) are generally more important than
detailed knowledge of any specific language.
Blog: http://mark.goodge.co.uk Photos: http://www.goodge.co.uk
"A pocket full of mumbles, such are promises"
Re: advice ?
Mark Goodge wrote:
But good database design is perhaps 2% about knowing SQL. Of far more
importance is knowing:
- First normal form; how to choose a primary key; when it's
a good idea to create an artificial key, and when it's not;
ability to spot potential multi-valued attributes;
- Second and third normal forms; ability to spot when certain
attributes belong in a separate table;
- When it's a good idea to violate the first three normal forms;
and how you can avoid running into trouble further down the
- The other normal forms; and why you can mostly ignore them;
- What information needs to be stored, and to what level of
specificity and accuracy;
- When to allow NULL values for attributes;
- The mechanisms that your RDBMS provides to ensure referential
integrity, ACID or near-ACID transactions
- The principles of relational algebra; the difference between
inner, outer and cross joins between tables; when each type of
join should be used;
- Boolean logic (lots of ANDs, ORs and NOTs in queries!).
After all, if you don't know SQL, there are plenty of reasonably good
graphical tools to help you CREATE TABLE, INSERT, UPDATE, SELECT and
DELETE your way across a database, but they won't help you design a good
table structure or effective query strategy.
1. "Specific" and "accurate" are by no means the same thing. If I say that
the time now is 06:13:15.100281 on 1st October 1944, then I'm being very
specific (down to a micro-second), but wildly innacurate (more than 50
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
Re: advice ?
It isn't. I understand that it takes a skilled programmer to get this.
Mind I don't mean the syntax, I mean PHP is similar to Perl, but also
confusing dissimilar. It's also how things *should* be done.
Again, it takes someone with sufficient SQL skills to beg to differ ;-)
Toby gives quite a good list why SQL isn't just making a few tables. I
would like to add that even if you get those skills, how things should
be implemented is the next step. This means that one has to know all the
ins and outs of a particular database system. Or: you must know when
it's necessary for your theoretical best design to be changed to make it
pratical. I am afraid that most databases are designed the other way
around. Guessing what's needed, and tweaking the model until it somewhat
fits the requirements. Of course one is then too busy to even document
Most people who crap out the PHP also crap out the database. There is a
reason why so many PHP programs have holes in them that even my mom can
Yup exactly. On the other hand, every programming language I have used
or am still using has a lot of weirdness. Even more so for the languages
that started out like "language X sucks, and we make a better language
I expect a good web author to be able to hire the right person for the
job. Multi skilled people are often underskilled in most parts, or all.
Yes, until you learn more about programming, and then discover that you
can't learn an additional programming language on the job.
A must read on this: http://norvig.com/21-days.html
John Need help with SEO? Get started with a SEO report of your site:
Re: advice ?
I recommend PHP/MySQL not for building Web sites from scratch, but because
many sites one comes across are done in PHP/MySQL and it is invaluable to be
able to find your way through the code and even debug some of it. Also,
there are many PHP/MySQL content management systems like Drupal and
WordPress, and a little PHP/MySQL can go a long way in making some
I once met a guy who "learned PHP in an afternoon". :)
I wouldn't write anything from scratch in PHP. Personally, I hate it...
it's useful to know something about it though.
The Linux version is free. Great program.
Craig's List has a lot of ads for Web designers. Knowledge of Photoshop is
often one of the requirements.
I was thinking along the lines of "$15/hour HTML/webmaster job for
established Web design firm". Start there and work up. 1 year doing that
and you will know your stuff -- especially the business aspect which is
*critical* for success.
> * Version control (Subversion/TortoiseSVN)
Hmm... I have to check out Apache Ant. Sounds interesting.
Agree with all of the above.