Learning PHP

Yeah, I know I haven’t written the review of The Incredibles yet. I’ve been working on other projects and promise that it will be soon.

Since I moved this site to a WordPress system I’ve been on something of a web design kick, taking my messy but functional HTML into the realms of XHTML, CSS, and standards compliance. Things like the CSS Zen Garden have become more than just a quick curiosity – I’ll actually take the pages apart and look at how they work. I’m also in the process of taking a WordPress install for someone and integrating it with Walrus to make it into a webcomic system. There have been a few bugs to squash along the way but it’s progressing well, and doing this inspired me to take the leap and begin learning PHP.

Tinkering with WordPress has given me an idea of how PHP works, but I’ve never actually learned a proper programming language. Markup languages like HTML are comparative pieces of piss, but I’ve tried and failed at C and (don’t laugh) JavaScript alongside short-lived dabbling in others. For some reason PHP seems easier to learn, and seeing what can be done with it in making dynamic web pages makes me think that the possibilities for what I could do on future sites are huge. I suppose that web applications just hold more appeal to me than making some computer program which needs months of work to be able to create something even approaching elaborate.

I’m working through the PHP Wikibook (I wrote the section on running PHP under OS X, incidentally) to get a grasp of the basics and then I’m going to check out what Borders have and will probably pick up the PHP and MySQL Bible if it contains my level of information.

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