Kaolin Fire with GUD Issues 0 through 5

kaolin fire presents :: PHP 101 :: assumptions tested

Assumptions of Kaolin's PHP/mysql Crash course


Assumptions Tested

Assumptions of the rest of the lessons will be a rudimentary understanding of html, the ability to learn from mistakes, and the ability to set up somewhere to test (so either a local server with php and mysql, or a remote server with php and mysql and knowledge of ftp). You should also know how to use a text editor or IDE of some sort. I use vim, but would recommend Crimson Editor for just getting started, because you don't want any extra hassles. For ftp/scp (file transfer to/from a remote server), I recommend Filezilla.

Basic understanding of HTML

You should be able to write a simple html page, with no formatting, and no errors. That means, in this day and age, giving a doctype (I like going with the XHTML 1.1 standard), using a proper html tag, a head, a body, and closing every tag that you open. A <p> should always have a </p>. Some tags close themselves, such as <br /> and <img />. You should understand how to read an html file, even if you don't know what everything does. A bonus if you're an html and css whiz, but we'll cover a little of both anyway. Very little, still.

Basic understanding of HTML Forms

Dynamic web development is pretty much all about forms. We're not going to do anything fancy, and if you don't have this down that just means the first bit will be a little steeper of a learning curve. Use google to help you with these lessons. Look at sample code, and reduce it to its simplest, as best you can. You'll need to understand, to some minimal extent, the <form> tag, with its "action" parameter, the <input> tag with "type" as both text and submit. There's a good chance any html form tutorial will have you well acquainted with those in about five minutes. I recommend the one at w3schools, as it's simple and concise.

Ability to learn from mistakes

You are going to make mistakes—typos as well as fundamental errors of understanding. I'm going to make mistakes, too, though I don't plan to make any on purpose. You'll have to figure those out on your own. Sample code you find online will have mistakes as well. Don't trust anything you read, unless you can really make sense of it. And even that, be very aware that the sense a person makes of something may not be the true sense of it. That is, you might be wrong, still. And so might they, and so might I. Always, always, always test every assumption.

Ability to set up or have set up a development environment to learn in

I really don't want to get into this. There's got to be some good hits on google for how to set up a php and mysql development environment, either on your local machine, or on a shared server somewhere, if you have hosting. Most if not all free hosts will not give you php/mysql access. Probably most cheap ones won't. But you've got a computer and an internet connection, so you can just download apache httpd, php, and mysql. There are tutorials out there. I know it's a big hurdle when all you want to do is start learning, but it's there. Go figure it out.

Some links that may be helpful




I am soooo fake pre-loading this image so the navigation doesn't skip while loading the over state.  I know I could use the sliding doors technique to avoid this fate, but I am too lazy.