Path to web design proficiency

Discussion in 'Programming & Software Development' started by zfind, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. zfind

    zfind Member

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    Hey guys,

    I've just started getting into web design by learning XHTML and CSS. Before I started I did a bit of research to find out what the accepted standard was and it (to me anyway) seems to be the above. I'm finding it really enjoyable and easy to learn. I've come from a software programming background, mostly in VB.

    What I'd like to know is, am I on the right track? I'd like to work through the different programming packages so I can cover all the different aspects of web design. My plan after this would be to tackle dynamic pages and databases - Would it be a good move to learn PHP and MySQL?

    I'm really new to all of this so any helpful comments are welcome, thanks!
     
  2. G51

    G51 (Banned or Deleted)

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    i don't see anything wrong with what you're doing. I'd go html>css>php>mysql..
     
  3. cooperx

    cooperx Member

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    it all goes hand in hand really mate..

    basically start with a simple site -> complex site

    dont worry so much about the technology, moreso concentrate on the solutions to things that pop up.

    Easiest way to learn is by doing.
     
  4. Elyzion

    Elyzion Member

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    If your gonna do it as a profession, don't bother with PHP and MySQL.
     
  5. Rezin

    Rezin Member

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    Why not start with something you'd be more familiar with (such as ASP(.NET))?
     
  6. hyperstyle

    hyperstyle Member

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    :shock: WTF. I know your a Microsoft man but I still expected more from you.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    zfind

    zfind Member

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    Thanks for the helpful comments. I've been trying to learn by doing, I agree it is the best way to learn as once you do it for real its much harder to forget. I'm finding XHTML easy, and thus CSS too. I'm not rushing ahead though, when I've created a site I'm really happy with (down the line) then I'll move on.

    As for why I'm doing it, well at the moment it's for personal interest and also for personal development. I love technical work but my career path so far is almost devoid of it. Luckily, I'm studying e-commerce so I will be able to apply these later down the track and hopefully ensure I don't get stuck in a position where I will only be doing non-technical things. That being said, I also plan to improve my SAP / Oracle / Essbase skills this year.

    Can I ask why PHP and MySQL aren't any good in a professional context? Is it just that they're not the accepted standard?
     
  8. OP
    OP
    zfind

    zfind Member

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    Sorry forgot to address this! I checked out ASP.net but for some reason it didn't appeal to me. Maybe because XHTML seemed so simple to pick up and run with? I know I could apply some concepts from VB but this seemed like the best step for me. Where does ASP.Net fit into the web design world?
     
  9. Elyzion

    Elyzion Member

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    When you have done maintaince work on PHP written by someone who is self taught. And factor in the fact Pay/Job opertunities aren't as great. You will understand why i don't see PHP as a viable profession.

    Personally i wanna learn sharepoint and biztalk. As well as silverlight and DLINQ.

    I agree with Rezin, he should be looking at VB.Net, get used to tiered development and oop.

    I had to re-write some VB.net this week. Nothing worse than rewriting someones shit code...

    Dim strProductId as Integer = ViewState("productid")
    ^ COME ON IS IT A STRING OR INTEGER

    I know VB is forgiving and you don't need to cast the string back to an int. But thats still bad pratice.

    If you have to ask where ASP.Net fits into web design, you shouldn't be looking at PHP or MySQL.

    ASP is active server pages, .net is the .net framework. So its Active Server Pages using the .net framework. You said you wanted to "tackle dynamic pages and databases".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2008
  10. hyperstyle

    hyperstyle Member

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    Don't worry i've had my fair share of dealing with shitty code by self taught php developers (and there are a lot of them). But how is that different from self taught ASP developers, the code is going to be just as shit. It's just that php is easier to pickup and learn as it is open source with a huge community. As you would expect lower quality developers get lower pay. There is absolutly no shortage of jobs for good php developers.

    I've been playing a bit with memcache laterly. No one (that i'm aware of) has fully taken advantage of it with a row based caching setup. Cant wait to implement it. As you probably know you can serialise objects in php, hence the objects can be cached. Very good for expensive objects or rows of data :D.
     
  11. Bradzac

    Bradzac Member

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    Come work with me, we've done some Biztalk training and we have a Biztalk guru ;). However we're working with technologies that make it redundant and look like the slow overpriced POS that it is :p.

    We've also touched lightly on Sharepoint a few times (and hours and hours and hours of R&D) but we're yet to find a client who we can justify the cost and effort involved for it. Well, we had one case, but then the marketing department went out and decided DNN was a better technology choice (and actually paid a very large sum of money for a DNN with a skin).

    Back on topic, I'm going to plug ASP.net. PHP was great back in the day when it's biggest competitors was classic asp and perl/cgi, but now php devs get paid peanuts and the language itself is stuck in the stone ages playing catch up.

    Failing ASP.NET, go Ruby.

    Keep in mind, if you do use ASP.NET, you will need to relearn the web programming model. Inline programming is in the past.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  12. hyperstyle

    hyperstyle Member

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    What is the basis that you claim the language is stuck in the stone age? Have you not used php since version 4? php5 is miles ahead of 4 and with the release of 5.3, you will see late static binding which the lack of has been a royal pain in the arse for OO. You may be getting language ability mixed up with framework ability. And i'm not going to argue that there has been a lack of quality frameworks for php. The only framework that i can recommend is the Zend Framework. All the others sacrifice flexibility for simplicity. Zend Framework still needs lots of work though, especially it's db layer (it's got the right principles though).
     
  13. Elyzion

    Elyzion Member

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    http://www.ukuug.org/events/linux2002/papers/html/php/index.html

    Blah i can't be bothered looking up anything more.
     
  14. hyperstyle

    hyperstyle Member

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    Function duplication and naming conventions:
    I agree. There was some serious lack of thought that went on the the naming conventions and function functionality. However very little of this has changed since php3 and 4. This is not where php has been advancing. It's newer php5 OO extensions such as simpleXML are quite nice and do not share the same retardation.
    Yeah i agree again. It is after all a scripting language. The bonus is that that it's quick to develop and deploy. If you have a serious website with load then yes you should be using APC, MCache, etc to cache pre compiled php. For large web apps this helps a LOT.
     
  15. Bradzac

    Bradzac Member

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    I stopped using php a few months before .NET 2.0 came out, and after the transition, php just felt so.. primative. I never looked back, and you hardly hear much about php these days like you do with other languages. Honestly I have no concrete evidence that it is stuck in the stone ages, but I'm yet to be proven wrong. I haven't seen any advancements in technologys (i.e. new concepts) made by the php community in recent times. It seems like the language and it's frameworks are in catch up mode. (Hey, but so is M$ with many of it's technologies ;))

    Java, now THAT community had some GREAT architecture ideas and technology advancements because of it's pathetic performance in the early days. However, as the jArchitects say, write once, run away! ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  16. Nasher

    Nasher Member

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    I don't know what hyperstyle is talking with regards to PHP jobs being plentiful. No decent software houses I know of want a bar of it.

    I always preferred PHP over classic ASP, but ASP.NET (especially > 2.0) leaves it for dead in almost every way. These days I feel a little dirty if I have to touch PHP code.

    Java can take some of the credit for the .NET framework being as good as it is IMO. Microsoft learned from many of Java's mistakes.
     
  17. ACodingFettish

    ACodingFettish Member

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    so do you want to know web design or web development?

    design = html/css/photoshop/making things look pretty
    development = making stuff work.

    the two are separate, you need to know a little of both either way, but if you're a design guy you're a design guy, if your a coding nerd, you're a coding nerd.
     
  18. hyperstyle

    hyperstyle Member

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    Considering how large and verbal the php community is it is no wonder you haven't seen any good concepts and advancements coming from php. 98% of the php chatter that goes on is how to teach newbies how to write functions. Very rarely do you read about design patterns, which is a shame. But all you have to do is look at Java, Ruby etc for ideas. Most of their concepts can be replicated in php. To be honest though they are OO patterns not just Java's or Ruby's or .Net's.

    If you haven't heard of memcache i suggest you read up on it. It was developed by Live Journal. Even though they use perl the php community has adopted pretty damn quickly and in my mind it's just as essential as the database in high performance/heavy load applications. Now take a heavy handed OO approach such as that taken by the Zend Framework (implements most of the Active Record design pattern for db access) and combine that with memcache and you have a seriously mean architecture. It's only been the the last year that there has been some 'urekka!' idea's for scaling php and it's associates horizontally. It is now VERY cheap (baring labour costs) to develop a scalable and efficient web app using entirely open source products with php tying it all together.

    Php is funny. It's very well suited to the casual web master running word press etc while at the same time incredibly flexible and cost effective for large deployments. It's the middle ground that doesn't shine too well (eg the enterprise market). They're always after vender support and think they need the biggest and best because they're a big successful business. But to be honest the enterprise market is small beans in the web world. How big is an enterprise? 1000, 10000, 50000 employees? Facebook has 60 million members running on our good old friend php accompanied by linux, mysql, apache/lighttd and memcache. There are numerous other deployments with millions of members as well.

    I'm not saying it's not possible to do the same with .Net, it sure is, just look at myspace. But can you imagine the licensing fees that go on there. No thanks.
     
  19. Bradzac

    Bradzac Member

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    Whats memcache? I just get links to memcache memory leak on google :S

    Honestly, I can't imagine php as a language of choice for an SOA style implementation, let alone utilizing php to build an ESB (although Blackbird project) (which brings on the topic of "What defines an ESB, right?"). Would you be bound to XML for serialization? Can you utilize message queueing for durable reliable messaging or would you need some other mode of transport? How tightly coupled would your services be? I may be giving less credit to php then it is worth. That said, it would be a rare occurance that you find any enterprise systems built in it these days. Everything I hear is .NET or Java.
     
  20. platinum

    platinum Member

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    Baha. Not the ruby showponies out for a trot :p

    I'll start by saying, ruby is a great language, python is a great language also. The only reason ruby has so much buzz recently is because of rails. Ruby is older than PHP if you want to talk about "back in the day". Rails is actually a huge steaming pile of shit when you use it in the real world, and not for a "create a blog in 60 seconds" tutorial. People are only just starting to realise they jumped upon the rails band-wagon too soon and it drove straight off a cliff.

    ASP.net is great, no issues there.

    Java, is also on the way out, give it another 5 years and it will be used about as commonly as LISP is for web apps.

    PHP is most definitely making huge ground, I can't believe the people who go on about how it's dying, and there is no money in it.

    Every good PHP developer I know is making extremely good money. Perhaps if you think there is no money in PHP, you need to look at yourself and find the cause of the problem is a bit closer to home. ;)

    Sites like yahoo, facebook, friendster, and many other of the webs largest sites use PHP, caching is used as part of it, yep - but that is the way it should be. The underlying code is perfectly sound and not a problem. There are a lot of beginner PHP programmers out there, and because it is quite easy to pick up the basics, sure there are a lot of "crap" developers out there, but this is no indication of how the language compares.

    Sorry if I'm coming across as a bit of a prick, but seriously, it's amazing how short-sighted people can be. PHP has proved time and time again that it is reliable, it's immensely popular, and despite the protests from developers who are blinkered into using a single language, it holds its own perfectly well and there really is no reason to not use it.

    edit: memcaching is a method of holding pre-compiled scripts in memory for serving them faster. Probably the best out there at the moment is called xcache (xcache.lighttpd.net) ... fun fact also, PHP 6 will have memcaching built in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008

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