The Next Step – Collecting my tools
So now I have my laptop all set up so that I can write and test php code. My next step was to collect the remaining tools I need to start, so first I had to decide what I’m going to use to write and edit my code. I’ve always liked Notepad for HTML coding because it doesn’t leave behind any codes or stuff. It’s just a plain clean text editor. But the disadvantage with Notepad is that a lot of debuggers will report errors by line number. Notepad doesn’t insert line numbers, and the last thing I want to do is start counting lines of code. So I caved in and decided to find a better editor that’s more suited for programming.
Several options were suggested to me, but I decided to go with two of them for now, because I have commitment issues and like to have options :). My choices are Notepad++ and PHP Designer 2007 Personal, both free. I also have Programmers Notepad that I’ve used before for other stuff, I might try it for PHP too – alternatives are a good thing.
Finally, before getting down and dirty, I need some kind of goal, a project. I learn best when I have something that I am building, so I picked a book that approaches the learning process by creating something. The book is Beginning PHP5, Apache, and MySQL Web Development (Programmer to Programmer), and I’m going to start with that and see if it works for me. I do have some of my own projects in mind, but they’re still wisps of ideas, so I’m going to borrow the author’s projects for now. There are other excellent books out there, but this is one that I grabbed off the shelf at the Free Library.
I use (and LOVE) Notepad++. Syntax highlighting (for many languages), code block collapse, line marking, regex find/replace, it’s just great (and FREE).
I’ll be interested to know more about your first PHP/MySQL project.