New to Web Programming, I want to learn a language

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by xxRAG3, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. xxRAG3
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    Member xxRAG3 GBAtemp Fan

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    I really want to learn PHP, but reading around I hear that durr PHP is stupid
    I was thinking about learning C++ or Java, but I hear they are bad starters.
    Which do I learn to build a website? [​IMG]
     
  2. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    To build a website you need to learn (X)HTML first.
    Then CSS.
    Then, you can start learning PHP (or ASP, but it's a private language of microsoft. both are working, but you need a special server to interpret asp where almost all web hoster provides PHP support)
    Then Mysql for Database.

    After html+Css you can also start checking Javascript to make your website more interactive and dynamic.



    PHP is not stupid. It's stupid maybe because you search for "programming language", and PHP is not a programming language like C, C++, but an interpreter language because it need the interpreter to be active (the Apache server for example) to interpret the PHP structure you created. So maybe you read from geek programmers "PHP is stupid because you can't program with it !". But for website you need it.
    C and C++ don't need a server to work, they create standalone compiled binaries software as .exe
     
  3. tj_cool

    Supervisor tj_cool Stuff

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    I wouldn't say C++ and Java are bad starters (I started with Java myself), maybe it's even the other way around (Although you probably better do C# before C++)
    But either way they have nothing to do with web programming (unless you want to make Java applets or something).

    If you want to make websites, start with (x)html, then css, like Cyan said. These are VERY easy to learn and use.
    JavaScript shouldn't be too hard to learn, but it helps if you know some Java (although they're not completely the same).
    You can then either start PHP or SQL (I don't think if you need to learn those in a specific order)
     
  4. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    I try searching an english teaching website to learn html, like a good French tutorial website.
    I found this one which seems not ugly, and good enough. (but doesn't follow the newer norms like xhtml1.0, or html5.0 etc.)

    I didn't search for learning PHP in english, but I can already suggest http://php.net
    You can learn/search keyword easily by putting the keyword after the url

    if you want the help for str_replace go to http://php.net/str_replace
     
  5. mayhem366

    Member mayhem366 GBAtemp Regular

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    I agree with the earlier posts, HTML is a must for web programming (seeing as it is the building blocks of all web pages) and then CSS and PHP can be done in unison in my opinion. I am currently in the process of doing my first (proper) web project using PHP and also java script.

    The thing is with Java and C++, yes they can be used for web programming but are not usually associated with it. I have been doing java for over a year now and have never used it online, PHP and mySQL acheive whatever is needed.
     
  6. Demonbart

    Member Demonbart GBATemp's guitar hero

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    Yeah, (X)HTML is the best start, it's easiest to learn too. Once you've got it mastered, learning CSS will be much easier.
     
  7. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    What others said*, for a tutorial site go to the source:
    http://www.w3schools.com/default.asp

    *a couple of years back you would have never caught me saying this but it seems CSS might be worth learning at the same time as HTML as it replaces a good chunk of HTML as far as making stuff look pretty goes.

    Oh and http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/14...of-the-problem/ is a nice link I came across the other day, I would not suggest it right away but once you have the basics have a look (some of the basics stuff that is taught is ultimately contrary to good security practice).

    Secondly have a go at setting up a server (there are whole distributions of linux for this, for general purpose debian (net install) works quite well. Others will normally sort it but knowing how it works at a base level is very useful.

    Finally find and pull apart websites (the firefox addon firebug is great for this)- pretty much anyone can build a website but I have seen more than a few come unstuck once they have to update or sort a mess made by someone else.

    @Cyan I agree in part about ASP(.net) but I thought some people had reimplemented it in one form or another nowadays?
     
  8. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    PHP is an interpreted language (just like javascript/ASP/JSP), whereas C/C++ is a compiled language, they're all still programming languages.

    Imagine HTML to be the actual spongy stuff of the cake, CSS is the icing and a description of how to arrange/stack the spongy cake pieces, and PHP is your custom-built chef robot to make cakes for visitors. =D

    EDIT: People say PHP is crap because it's loosely-typed and is more lenient on the programmer and allows/encourages things that wouldn't be done in something like C/C++.
     
  9. inra

    Newcomer inra Newbie

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    Although this is true, I tend to think messy / unoptimized code is the fault of the programmer, not the language. Neat PHP is possible [​IMG]

    I can personally vouch for learning PHP first (not counting HTML, of course). It was easy to learn and it made the jump to other languages (c++ etc) much more manageable.
     
  10. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    I see what you mean. But php is great for that way of coding too, like no need to convert variable type, no memory allocation etc. it makes php easier to learn for beginners.
     
  11. xxRAG3
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    Member xxRAG3 GBAtemp Fan

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    Thank you all for helping! I've decided to learn PHP. I modestly understand HTML, but does anybody know any good (e)books to get started with? I have these books currently downloaded, but I would much rather hear someone's recommendation than just downloading the Top seeded torrent on search (sorry for the torrent-talk.)
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Also
    I have heard the other way around in many cases. I guess it applies too.

    Thanks!
     
  12. user0002

    Member user0002 GBAtemp Regular

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    If you're looking for books to learn html & css then you might want to take a look at the following books (at least, I'm sure there are many other good books too):

    The Essential Guide to CSS and HTML
    Stylin' with CSS: A Designer's Guide
    CSS Web Design for Dummies

    Also w3schools (some already put the link out earlier) is a good site for learning html, css, javascript, php etc.
     
  13. Llama Riot

    Banned Llama Riot Banned

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  14. xxRAG3
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    Member xxRAG3 GBAtemp Fan

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    What is the difference between ASP and PHP? Is one better?
     
  15. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    At this point I shall have to ask you what you want out of this web programming- if it is just to throw together a site then that is one thing but if you want to be able to walk into somewhere and know you will be able to sort whatever floats your way that is quite another.

    Anyhow ASP* is the server side scripting language originating from MS, there are partial implementations by others but nothing worth focussing on. It is used widely enough that it is not worth dismissing outright.
    *technically ASP is the old language and ASP.net is the new one.

    PHP is another scripting language that runs just about everywhere, has countless things made using it (forums, blogs, image hosting, video hosting, email newsletter sending and on and on and on). On the flip side I would say the vast majority of the website hacks are ultimately due to faulty php.

    Word to the wise- never ask a programmer "what is the best language" as it rarely has an answer unless you qualify it extensively. If you are starting in this website building game I would say go with php and learn it well, maybe after that thumb through a book/guide on ASP. They both do much the same thing but in terms of "free things I can bolt onto my site" php has it.
     
  16. Bumpman

    Member Bumpman GBAtemp Regular

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    If you have vista/7, you can also install IIS. Mysql has to be installed manually(but it's not that hard) however
     
  17. xxRAG3
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    Member xxRAG3 GBAtemp Fan

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    It's my first time building a site. I really want to come off professionally; I have large plans but It's been a long plan of mine to learn how to build websites and minor in it in the future. I'm not looking at which one is actually better, I'm just saying that this is the first time I've tried this and I'd like to make some of my ideas work. I'm not looking to tack things on; I'm looking to integrate some really cool systems into my site.
     
  18. Salamantis

    Member Salamantis GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I can't really suggest anything since I am completely new and a n00b at anything programming related, but honestly the best way to learn is to have a project in mind.

    If you read a book or take a regular course without anything in mind, you learn something. That's all. You get out of the class with more knowledge but that's it. If you have a specific project in mind, something you want to accomplish, you're more willing to learn, absorb more information, and even if you don't know something but need it, you search and find it, which in itself is still helpful.

    I've tried learning languages countless of times and always gave up because of lack of motivation. Then I thought of a few useful projects here and there that I could make, and started. Searching for information, buying books and gathering useful material. I ended up with something crappy but in the end I learned plenty, and it did come in useful when I wanted to make a new project.

    Gradually, more and more experiments on new projects/sites made me even better, and in the end I could make something that wasn't half bad. With my newfound knowledge I was also able to improve on old projects that I messed up earlier. Surely overall my code was still, well, 'crap' for lack of a better word, but I was certainly at a higher point then I was before.

    I made myself a website. It was with one of those automagical website makers so I barely had to do any work. It looked pretty but it was too complicated for what I actually needed/wanted. I gave myself the project of building a one-page site that works and displays what I want (just an index page, because I use the server for other things). At first it was a basic page, everything on one, no or little javascript. Plain and not very appealing to the eyes. After a amount of time I don't remember, I got enough reading material to make it better. Change by change, it started looking like something usable. Added animations, pretty gradients, etc. Now it's fine for what I want, and I've gotten positive comments about this small, simple yet appealing site.

    With a project in mind, you get motivation to finish it, because you want it to work. Without one, you could just go "eh this is slightly boring" and end up being completely demotivated and not learning much.

    Very recently a friend suggested that I make a little system for use at school to upload "quotes" from different people that we hear a lot. It's a mostly useless or pointless idea but I still took it. I realized that I needed PHP when I heard "upload", because well static javascript wouldn't do the job. After searching a few online references, I got test files up, made them work. Combined it with javascript to form primitive AJAX. The code can surely go through a LOT of optimization, but hey, it works. Used my HTML/CSS knowledge form previous projects and applied them, made something that looks 'nice' and works (here if you care). I even proceeded to add a admin panel for managing users and quotes. You might look at it and say "well this is completely useless". I look at it and say the same. Eh, I learned plenty from making it, and my friends now have something to mess with.

    With that basic understanding of PHP/AJAX I could surely build up my skills, go out and buy a book or something, and then later apply them on new projects, thus making the cycle continue. I don't know if every developer might think the same as me, but I know that this surely helped in my case, since I suffer from "I-don't-have-any-motivation-to-do-anything"-ness.

    (footnote: lol sorry for this small wall of text that repeats itself like 4 times over, tl;dr get ideas for a project before starting anything)
     

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