For example, they introduce & discuss the object model in Part I (chapter 6). Object-oriented programming (OOP) supposedly represents a new way of thinking, which differs from the old 'procedural' method.
I especially like how they point out 'common mistakes' (.. cuz I make them all).
Every reference I've ever read on the subject of PHP (including this book) always begins by noting how PHP allows you to serve DYNAMIC web pages (*.php), as opposed to 'static' pages (*.html), which don't change (.. unless you change them yourself).
PHP allows you to craft pages that change according to virtually any criteria you can imagine .. which is what makes it so powerful and useful. The book puts it this way:
If you've built websites using plain HTML, you realize the limitations of this approach. Static content from a pure HTML website is just that--static. It stays the same unless you physically update it. Your users can't interact with the site in any meaningful fashion. Using a language such as PHP and a database such as MySQL allows you to make your sites dynamic: to have them be customizable and contain real-time information.
But the fact remains that web authors still need to generate quality content. No matter how you might happen to retrieve & arrange & display the data stored in your database, the content is only as good as what goes INTO your database.
No amount of programming wizardry will turn krappy, poorly written content into a silk purse. (Wouldn't it be great if it could?) That's the thing staring me in the face, sobering my lofty techno esthusiasm.
••• today's entry continues here below •••
I really enjoy learning the lingo of programming. For example, a function inside an object is called a method. I like being able to read a text full of geeky jargon and actually understand what it's trying to say. I like being able to communicate with programmers and craft an intelligent question.
The most prominent aspect of this book is how the authors focus on learning the language to perform REAL-WORLD applications (.. even in the introductory chapters), and not simply explain how the language works.
One guy (Richard) said he read it in "somethng like 3 days." (The book is 1,000 pages.) He grew up in Scotland, before moving to Silicon Valley.
The only potential downside I could see was where it said:
This book is aimed at readers who already know at least the basics of HTML and have done some programming in a modern programming language before but have not necessarily programmed for the Internet or used a relational database. If you are a beginning programmer, you should still find this book useful, but digesting it might take a little longer. We've tried not to leave out any basic concepts, but we do cover them at speed.
But this is what helps the text move along at a nice clip. They explain basic concepts; they just don't labor them. If I need more background on a particular topic, there's always Google.
It's called the 'backtick' (`), located on the same key as the tilde (« which I use as shorthand for 'about' or 'roughly' .. as in » "the Rad community forums contain ~ 50K posts"). I thought,
No way is there a character I haven't noticed.
PHP uses these 'backticks' in pairs in what's called the 'execution operator,' which executes the code placed between them at your server's command line .. as in:
Lastly I learned that the difference between a programming language that's weakly-typed (such as PHP) and one that's strongly-typed (such as C#) has nothing to do with how hard you bang the keyboard. =)
In other news, the boyz at YaBB released a special '10th anniversary edition' of their forum script (written in Perl), which I installed » here. (That link will go away after the upgrade is complete.)
Before switching over I need to wait until they patch the mods I use so they work with the new version. Radified has been using YaBB since June, 2001. Think we have ~ 50K posts in 5,000 separate threads.
For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » best book to learn php mysql programming