View Full Version : How did you guys learn HTML & PHP?!

04-28-2003, 04:14 PM
I was wondering how you guys learned those 2 languages cause I'm interested in learning. :D :thumbsup:

04-28-2003, 04:19 PM
HTML: for starters online tutorials, after that I bought a really heavy book which I ploughed through; after that: DIY, this forum, etc.

PHP: For a change, I started with a book; next: DIY, tutorials, Weberdev, php.net, etc.

04-28-2003, 05:53 PM
I learnt HTML coding over the last 2 years mainly, but I have really touched it up over the last year or so, when I joined this place, as I learnt a lot more from other people, their questions and others responses.

Your best bet would be to head over to www.w3schools.com which is the best place to learn HTML, to learn php, head over to like ronald suggested, www.php.net or www.devshed.com which is where I learnt my first bits of php.

04-28-2003, 06:03 PM
Well, my interest in HTML started when I - many years ago - wanted to make this website about a certain celebrity (no, I won't go into details!). I was totally out there, not knowing how to start. In fact, the only person I knew who knew *some* HTML, was my *boss* at work (still is, matter of fact) and he had put together a website for the company I work at (a newspaper). Anyhow, I asked him if he could copy the entire website to me, so that I could check it out and he said "okay".

So there I was, with this company website in front of me and I started by learning all the tags and stuff like that. Ironically, that *almost* same company website is still there even though I have suggested a new version (that I've made) a couple of times already, but he keeps rejecting them! :rolleyes: I wonder why?

My first website was, strangely enough, almost an exact replica of the company one but the next one was *totally* my own. In fact, I have my second design on my computer, and OH MY, that's all I can say! Geez!


04-28-2003, 06:25 PM
I can usually teach myself anything pretty good, so thats how I learned HTML. By playing around with stuff and figuring out how stuff worked. And also by asking questions on here and looking at tutorials.

Also while you are learning HTML, it is a necessity that you learn CSS too. www.w3schools.com/css/ is an excellent place to learn. And since you don't know html yet, you should start out by following the XHTML guidelines since it will be easy for ya cuz you don't have any bad habits. :)

Although PHP isn't my prefered server side language, I tought myself it the same way. And the afore mentioned www.devshed.com website is an excellent source.

04-28-2003, 06:30 PM
Well, I started learning HTML in 2000. I bought an HTML book and just started going through the chapters. HTML is pretty easy, and didn't take long to semi-proficient at it. I've been employed in the internet business ever since -- HTML is part of my daily life now ;)

PHP is a different story. First off all, I took two computer science classes in High School, and one C++ class in college (this was all before my HTML experiment). So, from that experience, I had a very good understanding of all the programming building blocks: primitive data types, control structures, arrays, functions/parameters, etc. With that knowledge, I began learning javascript right along with my learning of HTML. I now know javascript quite well, and since both PHP and javascript are C-based scripting languages, picking up basic PHP was a snap. Expanding on PHP knowledge requires projects -- otherwise you will never find a reason to look up new functions, or seek creative syntax/algorithms. After first starting with PHP in December, I'm quite competent with PHP, MySql and object-orientation.

04-28-2003, 06:47 PM
Excellent thread guys :) Now having explained how you learnt can you tell me, where did you find the time? I feel like I am constantly working on a huge internet project I am building for myself using mostly HTML CSS and JavaScript. Got into off-the-shelf CGI lately too.

But I am going to learn PHP for when I shift my pages to a php enabled server. (I need an online database for making bookings etc).

Does PHP take long to learn? I am not a fikko but when I bought a huge HTML book i read it from cover to cover not understanding a single instruction. Then I started to mess about with a wysinwyg editor and suddenly on about day 4, it started to sink in. I got hooked and now spend most of the day learning from you guys and finding other stuff. Squashes the amount of time left for work which would be good except I work for myself.

I dunno what MySql is. Do I need to know it as well as PHP to make a database online?


04-28-2003, 06:52 PM
I started out when there were just two tags and gopher was still king, so I've pretty much picked it up as time went on.

But I do like O'Reilly's library, and websites/forums such as this.

04-28-2003, 06:55 PM
Well, for the most part, yes. PHP is rarely tied to a DB that isn't MySql. Also much of SQL syntax is the same from server to server (MySql, PostgreSQL, MSSQL) but there are key differences as well. But, most hosts will offer MySql with PHP as the database.

Time? Fortunately, my current full-time position afforded me the time to get up to speed with PHP. For everything else, sleep is usually sacrificed at the altar of my education.

04-28-2003, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by beetle
For everything else, sleep is usually sacrificed at the altar of my education.

Amen. :) I learn stuff at home when I get the chance and I build databases and webpages at work so I get time to learn new stuff there too.

As far as mysql is concerned, depending on your host too they might also provide a GUI for interfacing with the MySQL server, e.g. phpMyAdmin. So you still need to learn SQL but when your starting out, you can use the GUI to construct the database intitally.

04-28-2003, 09:25 PM
A while back I finished the tutorial of HTML in w3schools. So I guess that tutorial in w3schools is all there's to HTML? I guess I gotta start PHP now. What's a good book for HTML and PHP learning?

04-28-2003, 09:42 PM
I started using NCSA Mosaic and Netscape 2, and later (when I had Win95) also Internet Explorer 2. I used HotDog from editor, and learned the syntax from there. I hadn't an Internet Connection back then. When nn3 and ie3 were both out, I had a modem. I began learning more advanced stuff, like *gasp* forms and tables.
In nn3 I experimented a lot with javascript - in ie3 I experimented using frames. I sometimes used the nn3 gold's composer. Ie3 It had a fun parser allowing you to have frames in a document with a rendering body. An update of ie3 killed a bit of that. When ie4 came, I happened on the first css scraps appearing on the net. I began experimenting - I made a DHTML site before I had ever heard of the word DHTML. Nn4 had a good scripting engine, and I still used that. I no longer developed sites for that browser. Ie5 arrived. That's when I found out about the W3C - I began to read the specs and clean my code. Then I laid low some time, not creating much. When Mozilla project changed from milestones to numbered builds, I jumped on that train. It forced me to learn JavaScript far better. I stopped writing ie5 proprietary JavaScripts entirely. I studied the CSS, HTML, XML and DOM specs in better detail. And that's pretty much where I am today - though with a better connection.

In between I bought one html book that I never put to any use: HTML for Dummies.

In short, I created html documents as documents (like word), not webpages at first, and learned the syntax. Then I began fiddling with webpages. Then I began with dhtml. THEN I really learned html, from the specs.

As for php, I'm still not even considering learning it - there are more interesting languages to learn, and I have limited time, student as I am.

04-28-2003, 10:02 PM
I don't think I ever actually set out to learn web authoring. We needed a website for a charity event and someone remembered that I worked in publishing and was familiar with SGML. So I got volunteered :eek:

Since then it's been a case of picking up different aspects and learning different markup as required, usually by using on-line tutorials and then taking advice on which book to buy.

I do generally try to stick with one book on each subject as a learning aid, then add others later as development continues.

So far it seems to work reasonably well.


04-28-2003, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by DawgieDog
A while back I finished the tutorial of HTML in w3schools. So I guess that tutorial in w3schools is all there's to HTML?
You could say that, but experience in using the language is what you really need to understand HTML well, aside from reading on the topic.
Also like said above by my fellow mod, CSS is great to learn/use in conjunction with HTML, so thats worth looking into.

I wouldnt say just because you have read an HTML tutorial, you are ready for PHP.
Mainly because as opposed to HTML, PHP is more of a real programming language and therefor will be alot different.
If you are still in school and there are some classes offering to teach PHP(and the like) thats a great place to begin learning.

Good luck, PHP good choice!
Have you considered any other server side languages?

04-28-2003, 10:28 PM
hopefully i wont get banned for this... but...

i first wanted to make a site for absolutley no reasonable reason what so ever. when i realised that Word could do this task, i went for it. after asking a friend who was in the know what he thought about it, he said it was rubbish and that i need to learn HTML. that was november 2001. he showed me the basics and then i picked up the rest from tutorials and stuff.

i picked up some very basic javascript and then i came over here (well... the JavaScript Kit Help Forum....) and asked simple questions... and i learnt - quick. html very quickly lead onto the need of CSS.... for more power over styling and things (for users with all that enabled, anyhows)...

as i used these languages i got better at them and then about 6 months ago i decided that i needed something that was more "interactive" so i learnt some basics of PHP through tutorials mainly... although i really which i had a host with mySQL support from the beginning because now it feels like ive been wasting half a year on flippin text files...

of course... this all make me aware of xml and many other technologies.... yeah.

that is how i learnt html and php. stick at it. yeah, sometimes you might feel like a complete newbie... i did... and still do sometimes... so stick at it. you never know... i might come up with a good design one of these days :D

04-29-2003, 12:55 AM
Originally posted by cg9com
I wouldnt say just because you have read an HTML tutorial, you are ready for PHP.

Well, I am just trying to find a good book for HTML and for PHP as well, you guys posted some links for tutorials that I will check when I get the time.:thumbsup: :) :o

04-29-2003, 01:55 AM
Books (http://www.awars.com/stuff.jpg) are great, if you are going to learn something programing developing wise, its always a good idea too go and find a good one. Allthough, its not essential due too the MASSIVE amount off information, guides and tutorials available on the web. If the links already given in the thread are not enough (!!) you could always have a gander around the google directory (http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/), or have a look at a set of links I compiled here (http://www.awars.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=958).

Grant Palin
04-29-2003, 02:41 AM
:eek: :eek: Have you got enough books???? There's a small fortune in those!!:eek:

04-29-2003, 02:54 AM
No kidding! You could barricade a door with all those!

*psst, pass me that XML book at the bottom there, would ya*


04-29-2003, 04:24 PM
If you used books for HTML or PHP and they helped you can you please post the names here? Nice collection of books there man. You can build a damn with them :o :D

05-05-2003, 05:40 PM
I started out with HTML back in 1997 with a free GeoCities account. I would use the JavaScript editor to make the pages, then tweak with the source code to try to figure out what was what.

Began with JavaScript in 1999 when I began to take web design semi-seriously. I started picking up CSS in 2000. I learned those pretty much the same way as with HTML. I also went around the net looking for cool sites or parts of sites that I wanted to learn how to do. I think I picked up my first HTML book around this time as well.

In 2002 I began to learn about standards-compliance along with XHTML, XML, and more CSS than just text formatting. I discovered Mozilla for the first time, and started writing everything for standards.

I joined this board over the summer, and my JavaScript knowledge has gone through the roof! Questions that I used to stare blankly at, I can now throw together off the top of my head.

I started checking out XML over the summer as well. The potential there is inexplicably fantastic, but browser support is so limited, that I only use it in controlled environments.

I've dabbled in PHP. I need to get at least one server-side language under my belt before anyone seems to want to hire me. PHP syntax reminds me of JavaScript a bit. I prefer it to ASP or PERL at the moment, but I'm still an infant when it comes to PHP.

I have a couple of books that I use for reference on JavaScript, XHTML, and XML. I'd like to get one for PHP so I can learn more.

05-05-2003, 06:43 PM

For PHP, you should definitely find resources to help you with OOP. The next version of PHP will have much more robust object orientation -- AND from my own experience in learning PHP over the last 10 months -- programming with classes makes life SO much easier -- even for simple stuff.

Right now I uses classes for

DB abstraction
Session management
page building

With those three, making even complex pages is just a few lines of code.

05-06-2003, 07:59 AM
Rad! I'll look into it. I discovered the power of OOP in JavaScript just a few months ago, and everything is much easier nowadays.

I've been looking around for PHP+XML based content management systems to build my sites with. I found one using Sablotron extensions, but my web host doesn't have Sablotron installed with their PHP support.

As I'd said earlier, I'm still an infant to PHP, but I can definitely see tremendously vast amounts of potential in combining PHP with XML.

05-06-2003, 02:13 PM
There's some good, ready to play with classes at www.php-tools.de, including an XML-renderer.

05-07-2003, 03:22 AM
Thanks for the link. The front page looks promising. I'll definitely check it all out!

05-07-2003, 03:35 AM
I've been playing around with Randy (their XML renderer) and man, it's awesome! You can include DB requests right into the XML with the DBC extension -- instead of having to request it with PHP separately!

:D :D :D