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What Do You Need To Read Before This?


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#1 ashez2ashes

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Posted 1 December 2011 - 2:09 PM

I was under the impression a person just needed to learn html/xhtml/css before learning PHP. However, when I started to read this book and got to the part about the PHP Manual the book started throwing tons of computer terminology at me it assumed I would already know (ex. function, variable, string, integer value, etc). Do I need to learn/read something else before starting on this book?
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#2 Larry

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Posted 1 December 2011 - 6:41 PM

Did you start reading this book--"PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide"--or the "PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide"? Your forum posting in for the former but your Amazon comments were for the latter.
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#3 ashez2ashes

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Posted 1 December 2011 - 7:51 PM

Oh shoot, I apologize. I posted here in the wrong forum. I actually ended up buying both (I know to read the PHP and MySQL one later), but my question pertains to the Quick Start Guide. Sorry again. Is it possible to move this thread to the appropriate section of the forum?

If I need to learn C first or just find a tutorial on basic concepts that's fine. I would just like to know before I spend money on another ebook. I actually started with reading "PHP and My SQL..." and read in the introduction that your PHP Quick Start Guide was better for beginners who already knew html/css so I bought the PHP Quick Start Guide instead.
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#4 Larry

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Posted 1 December 2011 - 8:03 PM

Sure, I can move it. Did you buy the third edition of the PHP book or the fourth? Thanks for the interest in my books, by the way.

In answer to your original question, though, no, I didn't expect people to have read anything else before the "PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide". You do need to know HTML and CSS, but everything else is covered by the book, I believe. If you can give me a specific example or issue, I can help illuminate what I wrote.

To be completely honest, though, the keywords you mention--function, variable, integer, string, value--are ones I would think would be fairly obvious, without any extra explanation. They all get talked about and explained in detail throughout the book, but I'm surprised that just using those terms in an early chapter would be so overwhelming.
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#5 ashez2ashes

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Posted 1 December 2011 - 8:32 PM

I bought the fourth edition ebook. I admit, I just started reading it. The part that got overwhelming was the explanation involving how to use the PHP Manuel. There is a lot of terminolgy there that the book hadn't covered. If the book covers that terminology in context later, I'll keep reading. I understand though that its probably there to help someone who already knows a programming language or two get into the book quicker.

As an example, this sentence isn't something a complete programming beginner is going to understand: "In this example, the first value, int, says that print returns an integer value (specifically, print returns 1, always). Within the parentheses, string $arg states that the function takes one required argument, which should be in the form of a string. You’ve already seen this in action."

Before that everything was making perfect sense and was quite easy to understand. I know that this a description of how the manuel presents information, but the terminology within that description hasn't been explained yet.

Thanks for replying to my questions so quickly.
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#6 Larry

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Posted 2 December 2011 - 1:51 PM

It sounds like you're getting bogged down by one specific and minor thing here and you should probably just move on in the book. Yes, you are not expected to know any of those terms in a programming sense, but some of them, such as integer, come from basic math and other common bodies of learning. And, yes, you'll more formally the meanings of these terms, but you really shouldn't feel that flustered by being stumped by one sentence, and there's nothing more basic that you could or should read just because this one sentence has thrown you.

Not to try to invalidate your feelings or frustration, but I will say that I wholeheartedly disagree with your assertion that that sentence "isn't something a complete programming beginner is going to understand". I've sold somewhere north of 100,000 copies of this particular book and you're the first person to have express confusion over that particular sentence or section. Again, it's fine to be confused and frustrated by something--it happens to us all, but of the things I know I've made overly-complicated in my books, that one is not on my radar.

Anyway, again, I'd just move on and trust that what's written there will make sense in time.
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#7 ashez2ashes

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Posted 2 December 2011 - 11:29 PM

Okay. Thanks.
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#8 timpearson26

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Posted 5 December 2011 - 4:37 AM

to ashez2ashes,

I started this book (PHP for the web: visual quick start guide) about 2 months ago and I am now in the middle of chapter 8. So far I have found this book explains everything very well. BTW, I am a total beginner. When I started this book, I didn't know html or css, but as I have been going through the book, I think the html and css used by larry in the book is pretty self explanatory. If it was not, I did minor research on the web (but again this was because I did not meet the pre-reqs of knowing html and css first).

But I do see where you did get confused. Larry reccomends to go look at the php manual early on in the book. When I did that I found it to be very confusing. One tip though. http://tw2.php.net/m....prototypes.php Look here. It is on 'how to read a function definition' . I found this very helpful in understanding the php manual. Frankly, I think page should not be so deeply buried.
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#9 phpRob

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Posted 5 December 2011 - 7:10 AM


But I do see where you did get confused. Larry reccomends to go look at the php manual early on in the book. When I did that I found it to be very confusing. One tip though. http://tw2.php.net/m....prototypes.php Look here. It is on 'how to read a function definition' . I found this very helpful in understanding the php manual. Frankly, I think page should not be so deeply buried.


I too got a bit overwhelmed using the php manual to begin with, especially reading the User Contributed Notes, as a beginner I don't recommend reading those as they'll probably confuse the heck outta ya! . This is a helpful page on reading functions though thanks :)
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#10 Larry

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Posted 5 December 2011 - 1:10 PM

Thanks for letting me know. I had no idea that the PHP manual was that confusing. Or, I know it was confusing, but was hoping to overcome that. I'll reevaluate when I do the next edition. Thanks for the input!
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#11 ashez2ashes

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 4:20 PM

Just wanted to follow up. I don't know if this will be helpful or not, but I'm on Chapter 7 and I think I just now fully understand the php manuel definitions (from what I've read at least).
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#12 Larry

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 5:11 PM

Great. Thanks for letting us know.
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