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web publishing
PHP resources and projects

PHP is a server-side, cross-platform, HTML embedded scripting language. At its most basic, it looks like a complicated HTML tag; like HTML, it uses angle brackets to indicate the pieces that require interpretation, as opposed to the actual content of the web page. PHP interacts more gracefully with HTML than most scripting or programming languages.

As a non-programmer, I've been able to do things (and understand the how and why) in PHP that I could never accomplish in Perl and Javascript. I feel confident building an application from scratch, rather than taking what someone else has done and modifying it until it sort of does what I need it to do. In short, it has enabled me to think like a programmer (and actually want to, something that the C++ programming course I took a few years ago couldn't accomplish).

Put it together with MySQL (or any SQL database backend), and PHP is the killer app.

Resources

Just a few places on the web for advice, documentation, software, pieces of code, full-blown applications, and support.

I went to the bookstore to find a book on PHP that I hoped would cover some stuff I don't yet know, but not too much of the stuff I already know or that I can easily look up on the web. I think I found one that does a pretty good job:

Beginning PHP4 (WROX), written by five guys, most of whom look too young to be out of high school (their pics are on the cover). It's part of the publisher's "Programmer to Programmer" series, and is full of code examples and practical applications that can be generalized to almost any project. Eureka!

Another one that's getting good reviews from my colleagues as they embark on their own PHP adventures:

PHP and MySQL Web Development (SAMS), written by Luke Welling and Laura Thompson. The key to good books on this stuff is lots and lots of examples and snippets of code. This book walks you through development of an e-commerce application, and assumes that you're already an experienced programmer.

Projects

These are a few of the projects I have developed:

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