Messin’ with MYSQL – Session 2

I learn that MYSQL is just for handling the database and that something else interfaces with the SQL queries. That something is PHP. Now I will be reading up on PHP as well. This is turning out to be more involved than I originally thought, but I am not disheartened.

Since I have used Eclipse before, I will likely use that IDE for my PHP builds. Since I am on my work laptop, I will have to do this when I switch to my old Dell, if she still boots.

Here are the website I have been checking out so far:

http://www.planet-source-code.com/vb/default.asp?lngWId=5 [lots of code templates]

http://dev.mysql.com/tech-resources/articles/ddws/20.html [Offical how-to, written for Novice/Intermediates – good]

http://www.w3schools.com/php/php_intro.asp [They have certifications available – I might consider it]

http://www.web-tech-india.com/articles/php/compiling_php_apache/ [saving for a rainy day]

http://www.microsoft.com/express/Database/ [maybe….I’m skeptical]

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2 thoughts on “Messin’ with MYSQL – Session 2

  1. kilbot says:

    Dude! This is my playground, this is what I do! Well kinda… most web developers don’t deal direct with MySQL calls – as you’ve mentioned we use PHP to grab the data, process it and then spit it out to HTML. What’s more, we usually don’t even use the MySQL functions in PHP, we’ll use a database class or library to make the syntax, security and error handling even easier (very small projects or small websites might use straight up PHP/MySQL functions but if you don’t know what you are doing you can easily leave security holes to a database which may be storing passwords etc, etc).

    The WordPress blogging platform uses a custom PHP class called $wpdb to handle all the database calls (http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wpdb_Class). This $wpdb class is actually built on ezSQL which is a PHP library of functions to interface with MySQL as well as PHP-PDO, mySQL, Oracle8, InterBase/FireBird, PostgreSQL, SQLite (PHP), SQLite (C++) and MS-SQL. Using ezSQL you can swap out the database (say from MySQL to MS-SQL) with out having to change the PHP code. (http://justinvincent.com/ezsql).

    PHP is only one way to interface with MySQL. Perl, Python, ASP, C++ could all connection to a MySQL database, but PHP and MySQL is the most common on the web today… it forms part of the standard LAMP stack which most servers run, LAMP being Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP.

    You can set up Apache, MySQL and PHP on you computer pretty easily with MAMP (http://www.mamp.info/) for the mac or XXAMP for Windows (http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp-windows.html). Both these installations come with phpMyAdmin which is a web interface to MySQL using PHP … so you can add databases, select Primary Keys etc all from a nice GUI.

    So you see, you can go all command line and really get stuck into server query language… but just know that in the real world most web developers deal with databases either through a web interface like phpMyAdmin or via PHP libraries like ezSQL.

    http://xkcd.com/327/

    • Thanks so much for that useful advice! You’ve made some good points – your comments help me refine what I am trying to accomplish.

      It’s kinda like wandering around a dark room…being C-happy in an html-ish playground. The EE in me wants to stick to low level. Overall, I would like to be proficient in both PHP and MYSQL across the board, but we shall see how far i get with that.

      Using a W3C tutorial [http://www.w3schools.com/php/php_install.asp], I tried to install an Apache server, MYSQL, and PHP. It was the “chicken or the egg” problem since the install for one seemed to depend on the install of another…but in the end, I did not have anywhere to host it online. I googled ‘free php domain’ and found http://www.zymic.com. Kinda like what you said, I can graphically manage the database, which tames the learning curve significantly. I’m finding that managing an existing database and being a database administrator are different levels of involvement.

      I find tutorial that lists the code for a simple php forum. I copy/paste that (and after some trial/error) and presto – a forum. I’ve created no code of my own, but I am learning some debug tricks with ‘echo’ and ‘if’ statements scattered around. Do you know of an IDE where I can single step through code in a debug mode? It’s really annoying to write code in Notepad++ and drag that into my ftp client.

      The ezSQL sounds right up my alley. Thanks for that recommendation! I guess I had to learn the hard way a little bit longer.

      And MAMP sound like a BAMF. Thats exactly what I am looking for!

      For now, enough of the hard way (command line). I will likely start with ezSQL using MAMP and perhaps and go from there. Eventually, I would like to be well versed with the GUIs as well as command line style coding though. This whole “web programming” arena is new and exciting for me since my current knowledge dates to Web 1.0 (maybe 0.6 even). I’ll keep posting my learnings!

      My dear Aussie friend, your advice is greatly appreciated! I hope all is well with you. Any Austin trips planned soon?

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