I dabble with computers. I can take them apart and put them back together. I write code–not a lot. Not very well. I can rewrite other people’s code in languages I hardly know. I wish I knew more.
Specifically, I wish I knew more about PHP and MySQL. I’d like to write in those languages. They’re a powerful combo.
This is a good time for a quick lesson about the web and it’ll be pretty geeky. I’ll understand if you stop reading here.
If you’ve never written a computer program you should know there are lots of computer languages. Most are optimized for a specific task. All the languages are distinct but they are similar.
The underlying programming language on the Internet is HTML–hypertext markup language.
You can create HTML using PHP, another language. The reason you use PHP to create HTML is because PHP is built for databases. Using databases you can insert fresh information into otherwise static webpages.
Think of sites you know that always look the same even though their content is always changing–this one for instance. Most likely PHP (or Microsoft’s equivalent) is working behind-the-scenes to insert the data into pre-ordained slots.
MySQL is a database program. I’m not 100% on the licensing but it’s basically “free to use and modify” software and it’s running some huge websites.
If I knew MySQL and PHP I could develop websites. I’d like to do that. Scratch building websites is a design process not unlike architecture or writing a book. It’s a creative process which appeals to me.
There are online tutorials, but I haven’t found anything yet that is well taught and at the right pace. Distance learning is not for the faint of heart nor the uncommitted.