A few questions to kick it off

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tjay
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A few questions to kick it off

Post by tjay » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:12 am

What is your favorite book on PHP, classes etc

What is your favorite IDE for coding PHP

If you gain the skills needed what component do you want to try for your first project
(I wanna do a PMS for 1.5)

What are your strengths as a web developer?

Do you learn best from,
  • coding from scratch
  • tearing apart an existing component ( like weblinks)
  • combination
What killer component is missing that we could adopt as an ongoing group project?
Last edited by tjay on Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by louis.landry » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:35 am

I hope i get to play some too :)

1) I can't honestly say what my favorite book on PHP is .... as I learned software engineering in a language-neutral environment I just picked up PHP via learning its syntax -- and that could be done online.  As for object oriented design, there are a few books worth noting ... and I will see if I can help recommend some, but I just wanted to plug one of my most favorite books for software development.

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/hfdesignpat/ ... This book, while more java-centric as far as examples, is really a language neutral book and describes in a very narrative and fun to read way how object oriented design patterns work.  It gives real life case studies and is written in a fun and conversational tone.  I have been as pleased reading a technical book than I was reading this one.  It is perhaps a few levels above where this group is starting, but its definitely one worth checking out at some point :)

2) J!Code is my favorite.  It is an IDE that we are working on with help from the eclipse project and is based on easyeclipse.  You can find the first builds here: http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/jcode/ ... new builds are coming soon and will incorporate some Google Summer of Code work to make life easier for everyone.

3) I abstain :)

4) I am more of an architectural guy ... I love system design ... but at the same time I love linguistics and semantic studies.  ... mostly techy stuff :)

5) I tend to learn best by talking with others and ripping things apart ... I was the kid that tore his first radio apart just to see how it worked then put it back together.

6) I would suggest setting the bar a little lower than "killer component"  ... how about doing something sort of middle of the road so that you can actually see usable progress along the way... also, when working on projects in this environment I would follow the principle of building half a product, not a half-a$$ed product :)

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by tjay » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:48 am

Louis
Cant think of a better guy to have responded first. Thank you
Your comments are well taken. I am off to find Jcode. Is it workable now?

When I start my first project the architecture will be written in concept first. I am starting a 6 month project with a powerbuilder developer building a service parts inventory system. We are in that stage right now. Designing the core tables and processes that will define the coding before we start development.

BTW I am considering a trip back to the big easy Labor Day, it is not written in stone yet but maybe we can catch up and have a beer or something
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by louis.landry » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:16 am

Yes, J!Code is completely workable now ... a great many of the dev team use it currently including myself.  Also, because its eclipse based it has the same interface on all platforms so working with it in a group like this will likely be easier for group therapy.

Careful tjay you almost sound like a real software engineer, "the architecture will be written in concept first..."  It is always good to define what the system is going to actually do in real language before you start coding anything.  Work out use cases ... work flow, etc.  Doesn't have to be formal, but just something you can go back and reference as you build it.

I would also agree with you that after nailing that down it is usually best to define you data model.  What kind of data are you going to store?  How are you planning on accessing it?  Where?  Start high level and work your way down.  I am happy to help people along the process and provide as much guidance as I can.  My favorite university courses in CS were computer ethics and database systems.

Do let me know if you are going to be in the N.O. ... I would love to catch up and chat.

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by pvh123 » Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:28 am

louis.landry wrote: Yes, J!Code is completely workable now ... a great many of the dev team use it currently including myself.  Also, because its eclipse based it has the same interface on all platforms so working with it in a group like this will likely be easier for group therapy.

Careful tjay you almost sound like a real software engineer, "the architecture will be written in concept first..."  It is always good to define what the system is going to actually do in real language before you start coding anything.  Work out use cases ... work flow, etc.  Doesn't have to be formal, but just something you can go back and reference as you build it.

I would also agree with you that after nailing that down it is usually best to define you data model.  What kind of data are you going to store?  How are you planning on accessing it?  Where?  Start high level and work your way down.  I am happy to help people along the process and provide as much guidance as I can.  My favorite university courses in CS were computer ethics and database systems.


Louis
Louis, I really like your your posts in this thread. It is so much the way I think. I have been trained to see the concept of things first in order to understand and than work my way down. All this was my way of life until I became a pensioner last year May.
Anyway I still use Dreamweaver as a tool . This stems from the days I developed in HTML and ASP etc. It works except for the fact that you are not able to do a browser view because of the scripts. But that was also not possible for the ASP scripts. It learned me the concept of templates and to show how easy it becomes to create a website with a "face" .

I have no particular book on OO that I like, but read different books and papers etc. on the subject. It came with the job, so to say.
I might even have a look at your favourite book and see what it is like.
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Last edited by pvh123 on Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by Amras » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:07 am

1. the internet by far, both tutorials and ebooks but i cant choose one source over another, as iam still learning my source for now is http://www.reginscorner.dk/.

2. it is a mix of Eclipse and dreamweaver cs3 since i mostly develop RIA i use Eclipse with Flex 2 sdk.

3.iam already working on my first project witch is a advance flv player with Joomla! backend control for Joomla! 1.5 like the one in my own webpage just with more options.

4. i would have to ask others about that. :D

5. I think it depends on what level you are on atleast for me when i first started learning(1999) html,css and javascript i had a hard time understanding it all loops, functions and so on, i almost gave up at a time but hang in and one day i finaly understod what the fuzz was all about. so now when learning php i find it a more easier to learn and do it in shorter time.

6. The ting i mis is a help component for backend by that i mean when i make Joomla websites for others i would like the option to make my own help section in backend where my clients could get help for the extensions i put and othes thing that a not related direcly to Joomla.
Last edited by Amras on Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by Rogue4ngel » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:53 am

Looks like things are off to a good start.  This is a great way just to feel out some things, but I do think that to start for the 'beginning' group, we'll want to keep things a bit more simple, and work in stages.  I'm going to post up some ideas on how to accomplish this to see what people are interested in.

I think we'll probably end up with a few groups running to start that will be working at different levels.  I have no doubt we'll have people in a few groups.

To answer the questions here:

1) I picked up a few books when I started programming in PHP; they give you easy reference at your fingertips.  I've always started most of my learning with books from O'Reilly.  I wouldn't say they are always the best reference out there, but it was always a good start for me to get my hands ditry.  Having a programming background (although I don't think I'll ever truly be a programmER), these helped to get me in the right direction.  Other than that, I'm all about the internet, and use a plethora (I love when I get to use that word in a sentence) of resourse materials out there.  phpbuilder.com is one I frequent.

2) I typically use Dreamweavers, but I've strayed back and forth with PHPEdit (which is a wonderful program).  I haven't looked at J!code, but I would think that would be a great platform to work with as a group.  Just makes sense.

3) Since I'm a gamer at heart, I'd like to build components that could support a on line gaming league, including match-ups, statistics, etc.. etc... although I don't think that will be my first project ;).  Honestly,  I don't really have any preference.  I'm up for anything.

4) I'm an all around sort of web developer.  I've been doing a lot of graphics for a long time, so layout and design I have a decent handle on.  I have a strong database background, so SQL isn't much of a problem.  Where I need the most work is with advanced PHP and CSS.

5) I'm all about deconstructing other people's work and seeing what makes it tick.  Then I just pull the things I like and get creative.  I'm a total hack! :)
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by ChiefGoFor » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:06 pm

1) I'm a big fan of the WROX books. I'm not really sure why, but they are just easy to read. More like conversational writing than a monotone technical manual. Of course, there is the occasional bad joke.

2) I tend to use Dreamweaver or UltraEdit. I can not say that they are the best. I mainly only use them for code highlighting to be honest. I know there is something better out there, but I have not taken the time to look/learn what they are.

3) I know I want to write something... I just have problems coming up with a good idea that I can do solo. I think I might have to start thinking about a group project.

4) I have a degree in Computer Science. The Core language I learned was C++, but out of college, I landed a job writing Java for a large telecom company in the US. I taught myself PHP from reading books. (Syntax is very similar)

5) If I knew the answer to this, I would have written it already. ;)
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by AmyStephen » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:07 pm

1. What is your favorite book on PHP, classes etc

I don't have one. I do have the book Louis recommended. But, it scared me. I hope this effort will help me not be afraid of it, anymore.

2. What is your favorite IDE for coding PHP

Notepad or Dreamweaver. Looking forward to J!Code.

3. If you gain the skills needed what component do you want to try for your first project

For my first "project", I am happy with a successful concept effort. Something I knew how to use as a model for creating other plug-ins or modules or components, rather than expecting what I product to be usable.

There are so many fun extensions that will be developed for our new framework. Personally, I am very interested in seeing Joomla! advance in the area of blogging and group collaboration. There is are a tons of extensions that could be written just for commenting and spam control. It makes a lot of sense to me to  explore Google's APIs and the YUI Library. Anyone else like this editor? calendar? data table?

We could look simply brilliant by using the hard work of the Joomla!, Yahoo and Google developers - and most people would think it was US!

4. What are your strengths as a web developer?

Years of experience developing applications, databases and websites. I understand computing and how things must fit together, how to debug, how to learn.

5. Do you learn best from:

I learn best by first - coding something from scratch with step by step guidance. Ian's tutorial should be helpful for that. Then, once I understand the "structure" - how things interconnect and how information travels through the system, I learn best from studying well written functions to see how the "experts" expand on basic concepts. Then, I steal everything I can when I get started - but I *have* to completely understand what each stolen piece does.

6. What killer component is missing that we could adopt as an ongoing group project?

I'm not certain where we will all end up with this initiative, but, I am confident some of the participants will eventually produce many killer apps. It's going to be fun!

Thanks much, tjay!
Amy :)

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by bascherz » Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:22 pm

1. What is your favorite book on PHP, classes etc

I don't have one either. I think PHP can be learned relatively easily using the online information on php.net if one already has a pretty good background in programming in C, C++, or Java.

2. What is your favorite IDE for coding PHP

I've been using PHP Eclipse, but am also looking forward to trying J!Code, which appears to be a Joomla-specific customization of PHP Eclipse. The editor/debugger built-into Eclipse is excellent, which means you will not need to use another editor unless you really want to. The trick about using PHP Eclipse (can't speak for J!Code) is that you need to install a local Apache webserver on the same machine and setup a local test Joomla site as well. It's not terribly difficult, but it will baffle some novices.

3. If you gain the skills needed what component do you want to try for your first project

I have a couple handfuls of Joomla 1.0.x extensions that I personally would like to convert to run under 1.5. The source for them is not currently published on joomlacode.org, but I could certainly change that and would be perfectly fine to allow this group to work on them. To see a list of these extensions, visit joomlander.net and click on Demos.

4. What are your strengths as a web developer?

I have 30 years experience developing real-time embedded applications in a variety of languages (Fortran, Pascal, C, Ada, assembly, to name the big ones). I've written a number of Joomla extensions (see above) and cut my teeth on PHP and web development writing them over the past year and a half. Prior to finding Joomla, I wrote sites in pure HTML the hard way and occasionally wrote scripts on my home computer to generate HTML when I had lots of data to work with (see http://geocities.com/chs74class/main.html to see an example of a site built in 1999 using 4DOS scripts and http://geocities.com/chs74class/yb_page ... bruce.html for an explanation of how I did it). I am by no means a Joomla expert, but I probably have a leg up on many of the folks in this group. So I hope to be of some help to the group in that vein.

5. Do you learn best from:

Although I am able to glean enough to hack by looking at existing code, I (like Rogue4ngel) am more the architect type and prefer to do things systematically. Therefore, I learn best by reading books and playing with examples or applying what I read directly to something I am working on. I cannot sit in a classroom and absorb anywhere near as efficiently as having my hands on the code and getting immediate feedback from the computer. I am very much of the mindset "if you don't know then ask the computer."

6. What killer component is missing that we could adopt as an ongoing group project?

I think Joomla needs a really good native forum component. Joomlaboard is okay, but needs more features. And SMF bridges nicely (e.g., forum.joomla.org), but any bridged component ends up being a maintenance headache. Perhaps we could start with a component like this and use it ourselves on a test site. Speaking of which, has anyone thought about where a common test site might be located for this group? Is anyone brave enough to open their hosting account to a group of "strangers"?
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by tjay » Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:46 pm

I resell, so I can set us up a lab account on my server. I would not want to give wide open access but it is available.
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by ircmaxell » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:59 pm

1. I really don't use books much, but two must haves are both by O'Reilly, "PHP Cookbook", and "SQL Cookbook"... Both are really handy references for some oddball tasks that you come across... And they are set up as references, not cover-to-cover books, with loads of examples...

2. I use vim or Gvim exclusevely.  I love the syntax highlighting, and the ability to do everything without needing to touch the mouse is awesome!

3. Well, I can't say first project, because I already have released one major component (and am presently involved in a complete re-write of it)... (Ircmaxell's PageCache for those of you who don't know)

4. I have been programming since a very young age (I just recently got into php, but it's all the same).  My current strengths are in the area of performance.  I've done a lot of research and development in the realm of PHP, Apache (well, lighttpd), and MySQL performance optimizations...

5. I learn best by disecting others code.  I love browsing the code API for 1.5 just to see how they did it and how (if) I would do it differently.  There's no one right approach when it comes to programming...

6. Honestly, I would like to see a complete forum solution.  Fireboard is good and all, but there is A LOT lacking.  Plus I think it's a perfect project, because there are a ton of little modules (code peices, not extensions) that need to be made for it....
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by ianmac » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:26 pm

What is your favorite book on PHP, classes etc
When it comes to PHP, I'm self taught.  The source for most of my learning in recent time has been the Joomla! snippet library (instructions for downloading are at: http://dev.joomla.org/content/view/17/60/).  I do have formal training in data structures and algorithms from university.  I first learned object oriented programming and the whole class idea from a book called Object Oriented Programming in C++.

What is your favorite IDE for coding PHP
For a long time I used GEdit for Gnome.  I had tried Eclipse but found it too slow and too resource intensive.  I upgraded my RAM to 1 1/4 Gigs and now it runs really nicely, and I love it.  I really should make the move to J!Code, as I'm on the team working on it, but haven't done that yet.

If you gain the skills needed what component do you want to try for your first project
currently learning as I'm going, in the process of working on a component.

What are your strengths as a web developer?
Persistence and desire to figure things out.  I've got an engineering background, so I'm not artistic.  I would say I'm thoroughly creative and am able to find multiple solutions to problems.  I love open source because there is so much to take apart and learn from.

Do you learn best from,
    * coding from scratch
    * tearing apart an existing component ( like weblinks)
    * combination
I would say a combination, but the second option is definitely the larger component of it.  I learned MVC by examining the weblinks component and the menu component, but developed my own personal style through coding somewhat from scratch (though I'm lazy and do a lot of copy and pasting).

What killer component is missing that we could adopt as an ongoing group project?
There is not currently a component to take over the world :)  But seriously...  killer component?  I dunno...

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by AmyStephen » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:51 am

ianmac wrote: The source for most of my learning in recent time has been the Joomla! snippet library (instructions for downloading are at: http://dev.joomla.org/content/view/17/60/). 
Ian - I apologize, but I am not finding this snippet library on that page! More hints for me, please! (I am guessing it's obvious!)

Thanks...Amy :)

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by ianmac » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:46 pm

ahhh...  sorry...  should have been more clear there...

Here is the direct link to the download:
http://dev.joomla.org/nightly/joomla_tr ... nk_svn.zip

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by ianmac » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:48 pm

The neat thing is that the Joomla! snippet library doubles as a fully working CMS ;)

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by AmyStephen » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:53 pm

ianmac wrote: The neat thing is that the Joomla! snippet library doubles as a fully working CMS ;)

Ian
That *is* clever and efficient! Those J! devs!  :-*

FREQUENTLY, Ian, I forget your very dry, and well-refined, sense of humor. Gotcha! lol!

Yes, I have the snippets library in several locations. Hooked into the SVN for new and fresh snippitry.

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by dartagnan32 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:42 pm

1)What is your favorite book on PHP, classes etc?
I started to read a bit of an old o'reilly book. That's how I started, but that was a long time ago.

2)What is your favorite IDE for coding PHP
What does "IDE" mean I'll search that but according to the posts I would simply say php expert editor something like that.

3)If you gain the skills needed what component do you want to try for your first project?
Probably a decent gallery for CB

4)What are your strengths as a web developer?
So far none, I just did a few hacks by mainly copy paste and trying to learn from what I saw others did.
Had a small course on php/javascript programming a few years ago so I got some ideas of the basics

5)Do you learn best from,
    * combination: I like to do things form scratch to learn the basics, and look at others coding to do more advanced stuff.


6)What killer component is missing that we could adopt as an ongoing group project?
Well this is difficult. As I said on the post about extensions, maybe something to organize better the content and potentially make an e-magazine as the only good one is I think a commercial one.
There are a lot of other killer components you could think about but a lot are I guess too far away for someone who is just starting to learn how to code.
Last edited by dartagnan32 on Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by uberlandia » Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:35 am

IDE means Integrated Development Environment

You should write code, check syntax, compile (not with PHP, which is parsed), debug, see results, WISIWYG the views ("What You See Is What You Get"), even manage databases, test scripts, build projects, run applications, with additional features as syntax highlighting, code auto-completion, etc., all this in a single program.

The IDE should understand the relationship between the scripts, and be able to treat your multiple PHP files as a whole, organized structure.

I don´t know if there is a "true IDE" with the mentioned characteristics for PHP.

That´s also why it is said that Dreamweaver is not a "true IDE" for PHP, but only an "advanced editor"...

Hope it helped....

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by uberlandia » Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:59 am

1)What is your favorite book on PHP, classes etc?
None. Learned PHP simply using its manual as reference and testing, testing, testing.

2)What is your favorite IDE for coding PHP
I use Dreamweaver to edit my PHP code since some months ago.
I miss the RAD (Rapid Application Development) I had with Delphi...
My dream is a sort of "Delphi for PHP" especially prepared for Joomla sites...

3)If you gain the skills needed what component do you want to try for your first project?
I don´t know... let me think... ah! A 13 moon calendar component!

4)What are your strengths as a web developer?
I think the strength of a web developer is EXPERIENCE... only WORK and TIME can make a web developer strong... by facing the inumerous problems rising from everywhere, and solving, one after another... when it appears again, you already know what to do... but you wouldn´t if it didn´t happen before! Is this more the self-guided path? (most of us, I think...)
So, my strength is my experience. It is not very much, but my latest website LOOK is all based in a single XSL file... the HTML and PHP view files are "compiled" through this single XSL, so I can REDESIGN the whole site by changing a single XSL and runing the script to "compile" the site  :)  It´s some experience...

5)Do you learn best from,
  Maybe "coding from scratch", since I refused to use osCommerce to build an eCommerce website, and built my own system.
  I want to avoid building a CMS from scratch,  :)  so I am trying to integrate myself with Joomla! Code 101 and JOIN EFFORTS!


6)What killer component is missing that we could adopt as an ongoing group project?
  "The Genie´s Lamp"  :laugh:

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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by SimpleNL » Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:56 pm

What is your favorite book on PHP, classes etc
I don't really have a favourite book on PHP and classes (since I have only one), but I get al lot of inspiration from blogs, forums and magazine articles. Once I need information about a particular subject I first go to the PHP.net library, read the commentaries and basically start googling for whatever I want to know at that time. Browsing many articles on one subject really diversifies your knowledge.

What is your favorite IDE for coding PHP
My favorite IDE, hmm... I really like Dreamweaver because of the code highighting, but recently I have been working with Context, which doesn't really provide the best code-highlighting or indenting, but is open-source and best of all, light-weight.

If you gain the skills needed what component do you want to try for your first project
I would like to create a component using any of the javascript libraries that are popular these days (mootools, prototype, jQuery, YUI, et...). If you start browsing these sites you are hit by so much inspiration that makes you wanna create something right away.

What are your strengths as a web developer?
I have a preference for programming everything with interface in mind. I can effectively combine PHP, CSS, xHTML into a neat little component that can be designed by anyone who uses it. I think that it is a strength as a programmer to not only write workable code, but doing it in a way that allows designers to muck around with it. Applying code to the interface (or something like that...).

Do you learn best from... combination
I think writing code from scratch really helps you gain an understanding of the uses of the code in real life. At the same time I often find myself looking at other peoples code to see how they have come up with a solution to a difficult problem. When I look at other people's code I always reflect on my own code and try to figure out if my solution is more or less effective, trying to learn more about the application of the code in its context.

What killer component is missing that we could adopt as an ongoing group project?
Hmmm, this is a toughy... I can't think of anything right now, but if it is going to feature as an ongoing group project it should probably incorporate as many as possible methods and functions. What I mean is, it should have something to do with file-control, something with javascripting, something with user-interface, something with interpersonal communication, etc... I agree that a forum might be the way to go, but I'm also interested in creating a link between Joomla and MediaWiki
Webdeveloper - Van Eldijk Studio's
http://www.vaneldijk.nl

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Alfred
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Re: A few questions to kick it off

Post by Alfred » Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:58 pm

As this is a beginner's thread and I definitely fall into that category here's my 2 cents:

What is your favorite book on PHP, classes etc
Boy, I don't know i'f I'd call it a favorite, but I only have "PHP and MySQL Web Development" by Welling/Thompson

What is your favorite IDE for coding PHP
When I think of IDE, I think of Delphi, which is my other interest, but I use Dreamweaver and even Programmer's Notepad.

If you gain the skills needed what component do you want to try for your first project
Because the website is for a specific audience (pilots) I need specific things, basically that means custom stuff.
I'm working on a contact module and a mailinglist module, a poll module and some other things are on the todo list....

What are your strengths as a web developer?
I personally think my enthousiasme is the only strength I have, everything else counts as a weakness.
Basically I'm sloppy, always dive in at the deep end and all by trial and error  ;) 

Do you learn best from... combination
I try to write from scratch trying to understand the purpose of each line while in the mean time getting a grasp of the bigger picture. I pick a book or two and search the net, but mostly go through other code to see how real developers get things done

What killer component is missing that we could adopt as an ongoing group project?
Well I need a survey module  ;D

So that's me.


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