The Acid Reflux :: Introduction :: Development Course
Development Course: Introduction | Starting towards some web development

Ever wanted to do a bit of programming? Webdevelopment or such? Not too much, just enough to do a few things? Let's see what we can do

Hey there! I'm Jeroen, your regular coder and tech guy around these parts.

In the past few months I've been working on training my fellow staff people to get some more indepth knowledge of how things work around here - proper HTML, PHP, SQL and so on. Not the basics - who doesn't know how to bold something in HTML these days? - but a step beyond. And I was thinking, I'm sure there's more people who'd like a bit more info and could do with some additional training.

Down the line, I'm hoping to go through most of these (hopefully teaching you enough to not kill your PC or something like that). I'm assuming basic tech knowledge - if you don't know how to do a linebreak in HTML or install a program using a standard installer, it might be slightly more complidated to keep up. At the same time, do ask questions if you want to!

Let's start with setting up some basics. Sure, you can test your HTML by just opening the file, but a little bit of server set up makes it easier to check you got everything right and, even more important, allows us to work on PHP and MySQL later as well.

I'll explain what this is all about, but in the mean time, let's get you set up. You need to set up your 'WAMP' stack (or, depending on your environment LAMP or MAMP stack). One good package is XAMPP, although there's also WAMP server. Those of you on Linux can use your package manager as well, and if you have a similar setup in something else, that works too - as long as you know what you're doing.

The LAMP stack is the most common web platform at the moment and the best choice there is when you want to do PHP (which is what we want). The combination stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. WAMP is the name for the same thing, except with Windows instead of Linux.

Now, while you install that, what are these four things? Let's start with Linux. It's an Operating System. It's like Windows. Look it up and you'll know. You sort of should start with that.

Apache is a webserver. It's the bit that runs that actually listens to the requests and sends you the pages back when you ask for them. Apache is the most popular out there at the moment and it just works well. And it's free!

MySQL is our database server. MySQL is a place to store all the information we want to keep. Member data and posts, pages, settings, all that sort of stuff. We'll properly explore this another time, but trust me when I say it makes a lot of things easier and faster... although it takes some time.

Last there's PHP. Learning that will be the bigger challenge - that's where we'll get into actual programming, with PHP being fairly feature complete. You'll see it'll be easy to get into, but there's a lot to do.

Why these? Well, they're free. Not just free to use or download, but open source plenty of liberties free. That last bit won't matter much to us, but it means that these have been used widely and are tried and tested technologies. Just means it's all a bit easier to find out what you need to do.

Beyond that, we'll go into HTML, CSS and Javascript, and probably some other things along the way. More on that when we get there, though.

Page written by Joeno.

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