Learning PHP by the Seat of My Pants

– Posted in: PHP

I’m not adept at writing in PHP. I have a very basic understanding of the scripting language. It’s called, “Learning PHP by the seat of my pants.” Many years ago, I wrote some web pages in PHP using your basic ‘include’ & ‘require’ functions. I even had some if/then statements that I added to the mix… I tried taking time to learn PHP because it has some neat tricks that can be useful in web design. However, I was never able to wrap my head around it. I’m more of a visual learner, which means I like to see how to do something whilst you explain why you do it that way.

Well, over the course of this last year or so, PHP has upgraded to a degree that something, or perhaps, all of my scripting is obsolete. I’ve spent the last few days/weeks researching a way to fix my broken sites but the only response I get is, “Read the manual.” Can I just say, “DUH?” Or perhaps … “DOH! Why didn’t I think of that?” Why do people make assumptions and jump to the conclusion that you’ve not done your homework? Perhaps I’m asking the wrong questions in these forums. Perhaps I’m asking the wrong forums.

I love when you preface your post with, “I don’t admit to being adept at writing PHP,” or”I’m a noob at PHP,” or even… “Hey! I inherited this code and don’t know how to fix it.” So you paste in the code for the forum to review, only to read posts of laughter and “Wow! That’s old code!” You’re tempted, or should I say, I’m tempted to voice my opinion with numerous expletives. Perhaps I should. I should respond in kind by saying, “Gasp! Really? There’s a manual? OMG!! I never knew.” Or like this, “Oh, yes I read the manual. It’s all Greek to me so I thought I would come here to this forum, ask my questions, and get tongue lashed instead of helped.”

Coding with PHP

It’s all Greek to me!

You know, I’m not usually sexist, but it never fails, the people responding with the stupid help are men. I’m not sure if I ooze estrogen hormones in my posts that say, “Hey, dumb woman over here needs help.” But I do get treated that way every single time. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not dumb and I’m not your typical female. So, why treat me as such?

By the way, it doesn’t matter how you right your code, whether it is HTML, CSS, PHP, or the English language… There is <u>always</u> another way to write it. Your way is <u>always</u> incorrect too. Doesn’t matter if it is or not. It just is.

The other day, I was setting up to jump into an IRC (Internet Relay Chat). First, let me side step here… I haven’t used an IRC in years! This is nothing like Skype, MSN, Yahoo, AIM. No, this is more like typing on a command line in those old BBS forums. So, I had to try to remember how to do it. Last time I used one was 20+ years ago. As I read the instructions on how to use the OFTC WebChat, and saw on one of those many pages, something to the effect of “Feel free to join in a WebChat. PHP engineers are standing by doing nothing but answering questions.” So, if they’re standing by waiting for questions, why do they always answer with, “Have you read the manual?”

Well, guess what? I have read the manual… mostly. I’ve Googled my queries & functions and I can’t find an answer. Therefore, I’m asking you. Oh, yes… and, if you’ve read the manual, and you think I have not,then please post your reference to the manual with an explanation. Thank you!

Meanwhile, I continue my search to learn how to fix my code, or how to write it all over again. As a last word here… YouTube is a great resource for anything you need learn about, including PHP.

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