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Ninjakreborn

few questions

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I know someone won't be able to answer all of these, but maybe multiple people together can give me all the answers over a few days. I started studying web design, I got really involved and passionate about web design in general, I studied and mastered Xhtml, css. I went on a craze at w3schools, and started getting the kind of "coding morals" to keep the code clean, free from errors, doctypes, and all that stuff. I then mastered css, or learnt css, I am still getting better with it everyday, I use all those standards like I read it's best not to use shorthand so I don't(all this is just some background info before I ask my quesitons so you know why I am asking" I then studied javascript for 2 weeks, and got most of the basics. I built my website, www.freelancebusinessman.com I have built it 3 times, I know I did it too fast, that is one thing I did wrong, I built it each time in less than a day with css and xhtml. I know that is too fast, it takes longer to take a decent website, I also learnt the importance of pre design planning. Now I am at a point I really my difeciencies and want to build on them, so I am studying php, javascript more, more css, and got photoshop, will learn how to chop, manipulate, and play around with images to create banners, logos, and more. But I still don't understand how to bring it all together, I am lost in web design, with lots and lots of questions, taht I decided to take the time to ask here in hopes of just getting a helping hand here and there helping me understand how to bring all of this together. I have basic computer skills, I type 90-120 words per minute, with next to perfect accuracy, I now know xhtml, and css, I also use tableless layout, and try to be as correct as possible, I learnt how to create robots.txt file and validate them, and all that other good stuff, but javascript was a challenge, and I still can't create something myself, and I am still fighting with some of the basics, so as a favor I am asking anyone who happens upon a question or 2 here they can answer, just leave a response, it will help me a lot. I will number them, so I am hoping if someone answers, whichever question you are able to answer just throw in a quick number in front of it so I can know which question was answered, I thank everyone here for the help. So I appreciate it and thanks.
so basically here is what I want
to be the ultimate source for webdesign, I want to know web design, coding, programming, I want to have extensive knowledge in web hosting, and alot of knowledge in web promotion, seo, and submission, and working with link exchange. I just want to master web design everything.
Here is where I Have gotten
I have studio 8 on the way, I hand code everything, I try to follow all the standards as best as I can. That is where I stand, I am getting photoshop< I know xhtml, css,
I am learning javascript php, then sql(and it's variations that I need) and I want to also learn how to chop images, and work with images, and do more with graphic design, and that is my game plan for now. I am working on that at the moment, that is what I am working on.
1. When working with php what is the quickest way to learn, I don't know if I will master all the tags, hopefully I will, but I understand the concept of if, while, and, looping, and other related statements, but not how to use those and principles to write out my own programs, I can't even validate forms myself, actually haven't even yet, I want to master these things, what are the best steps for me to do that, I have went through every tutorial online that could be found and www.php.net manuals. And this site. and the php and the faqs website as well, and no luck, I am learning slowly week by week, but I want to start a full fledged career soon, I will always study new things, but I need the basics.
2. I think I am learning sql first, how hard is it to catch onto the other variations as well after I master sql, if so how long will each variation take.
3. What is all this about databasing, I saw that it is taking Xhtml pages, and storing them in a database, and having php draw them out from the server. What is the difference between doing this and create html pages .php with php embedded in them.
4. When should I use database driven websites and when should they not be database driven should every website I do, have every single page database driven, or should I do the special tasks database driven, like login names, and log in related stuff, or stuff like big search functions, and guestbooks, and forums and things of that nature,.
5. Should forms be database driven themselves
6. I know that I want to learn how to process forms with php, and how to validate them, but I have heard it's better to use javascript to validate, and php to process. Or asp whichever server side you are using, I heard it's best to use javascript to do the validating. is this true or should I do both with php.
7.After I master php, will it be very easy for me to do tasks when given, or build websites then using jsp, asp, cf, or am I going to have to learn all those languages as well, or is it the exact same thing just different sintax and once I get the right idea down, then the rest falls into place.
8. IF that's the case then why do people who know for instance asp, why don't they say they know jsp, php as well because they might as well know all if they know one if this is the proper case.
9. When should javascript be used, and when should server side be used, for instance php can do a lot, so can javascript, I don't know of anything javascript can do that php can't so when should I choose javascript and when should I choose doing something with the server side language instead, is tehre a difference. I see php, asp, jsp, driven websites completely riddled with javascript for various functions, why don't they use only php and drop all the javascript. Especially when it isnt' able to be seen when the browsers have it disabled.
10. I theorize tableless layout is better, that's all I have been using, am I right to choose this, even though I see so many websites using tables, because I started tableless, I am not that good with table layouts, should I use tableless layout but still master how to do table layouts, for clients who need something done on a site that has tables involved. I use tables for things lie sometimes navigation I guess, helps it look better I don't know.
11. I have been fighting with choosing navigational structures for various websites, I am well informed of the different types just not, when and were to use them, I have been told to never use javascript drop down, but honestly I like the idea, I know about the breadcrumbs, top, left, bottom, sometimes right navigation. Using css, or text, having sub menu's and coldfusion create navigational structures. Also about flash navigation, I know there are a lot of types, what are some general rules I should following when choosing type and place for navigation when working with different sites, I believe with web design everything has it's purpose, if my belief holds true, what are teh purposes of ever doing javascript dropdown, and when should they be utilized. How many basic navigational structures should I have per website, some say 1 on left, some say left and top, some say have atleast 3 left top and bottom, some have 4, just some rules to help me keep up with this.
12.Can I create a php file, and save it with a .htm, or .html extension and it still be good or the same effect if so what would be the point, is the .htm or html, or the .php better.
13. What is the difference between .html, and .htm, I always use .htm as default is that the best choice, or should I use .html. As a permanent complete resolution for all things.
14. What is shtml.
15. IS it true that anything dynamic on a website is defined as dhtml, meaning if I create a page in php, it's a dynamic webpage, when it hits the browser is it called dhtml. Either way is dhtml it's own language, or somethign specific I can learn for specific purposes.
16. Should I stay away from php 5 for awhile longer, I was told it has a lot of bugs, and isn't good to use it's functions right now until in the future, should I not use it.
17. Are there any cross browser issues when relating to server side scripting like php, jsp, or asp, or does all php work in all browsers, and all jsp, and all asp, work in all browsers, if this is not true, then what do I have to do with php to make sure I follow all guidelines to make sure it's as close to browser compatible as possible. IF someone is using internet explorer or firefox version 1( I know it's a 1 in a million) would they be able to see all php and asp as well as someone using a new browser, or do certain browsers not use certain server side languages. I have never heard anything about browser compatibility when relating to something like server side scripting.
18. What is cold fusion, what is it for, what's it purpose, it's power what can it do, I have looked online and it didn't make sense, I heard it was another server side language just like php, asp, and jsp, is this true, and if it's true would I be able to easily handle coldfusion as well once I master another language, like php.
19. If I learn really good graphic arts, where I can create logo's banners, and everything else, plus finish mastering xhtml, css, javascript, php, asp, jsp, coldfusion, sql, it's variations. Where do I go from there, is there anything else I can learn that will help, is there anywhere else I can go to learn more, are there any other languages I should start on after that.
20. I have heard of ajax, what are it's purposes and reasons for being, are there any reasons for it, and if so, why have I never heard about it from a client, or other web designer, I have only seen it in one place and that is w3schools.com
21. Ado, is another that I have only seen at w3schools.com, what are ado and ajax for, and what are there purposes.
22. What is the height of php knowledge, how will I know when I can say I have mastered php.
23. How long will it take for me to be able to do my own stuff in php without a lot of checking back with the references.
24. Are there multiple ways to do each thing with server side languages, for instance, with php I see there are like 100 differnet people that create 100 different sets of coding to validate and process forms, does that mean there are different ways to do different things, again meaning there are not just 1 specific way to process forms, but actually many, and if so is this the same for asp, and all the others.
25. What is asp.net, what is it for, and what is it in relation to original asp. Is asp.net something I need to learn or by what I have stated so far, is it somethign I really don't have any particular need for.
Now for the final few questions, that are related to everything as a whole.
26. How do I bring all this together, I know xhtml, I know css, just learning more, I am learning javascript, php, sql(it's variations), and working with photo's as much as I can learn. When I learn these basic core skills, how do I learn to put it all together and make something with it, how do I then learn how to successfully incorporate, xhtml, css, php, javascript, photo's and everything else together within a website successfully where it looks good, works well together.
27. When do I choose one programming language over another once I learn them
28. What is xml, I looked at tutorials and I am lost
29. How do I use xml with xhtml, should I make it a habit of incorporating xml, into all Xhtml, along with my css, and javascript, is it something that would make me a better designer in some way. What's its purpose, what's it for, and how do I learn how to use it, is there any real significance for it's use, or is it just there.
30. IF I took the time to learn xml, how long would it take roughly.
31. If I learnt xml, how long would it take to master all it's variations, if you go to www.w3schools.com and look under xml there are a lot of xml variations, could I master all of those fairly easy once I know xml, or would there be no point in a lot of those.
32. Where can I find a website to help me better understand how to plan a website ahead, and get me situated. INstead of doin geverything all at once, off the top of my head.
33. I want to learn content writing better, I get locked up when I am writing my own content, and do pretty well when I client wants content written, is there somethign I can do to become better at content writing.
34. What is a good way to submit to all search engines without having to pay.
35. What are the best ways to advertise websites, I have a background in marketing, but I don't like it, I just wnat to do, search engine optimization and working with link exchange related things, is tehre anything else that is related directly or indirectly to web design, that I could do relating to marketing, or are those really the only 2 things.
36. What all factors are taken into consideration when it comes time for the search engine to index your website.
I don't want to keep going right now, I want to see which answers I get here, and see if I can sort osme of the information out, I know a lot of people out there answer questions very well, I have been helped by wild teen a couple of times better than I would have though, alsow hen I posted my first post awhile back asking about my website, I had a lot of honest, people tell me what they though allowing me to reevaluate my knowledge, and allow me to decide where to go with my career from here, thanks for all the help, I will check later tonight for any posts here.

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OMG! I ahav never seen such as list of questions this big before! Anyway I will try to awnser a few questiosn for you.

[b]1. When working with php what is the quickest way to learn, I don't know if I will master all the tags, hopefully I will, but I understand the concept of if, while, and, looping, and other related statements, but not how to use those and principles to write out my own programs, I can't even validate forms myself, actually haven't even yet, I want to master these things, what are the best steps for me to do that, I have went through every tutorial online that could be found and www.php.net manuals. And this site. and the php and the faqs website as well, and no luck, I am learning slowly week by week, but I want to start a full fledged career soon, I will always study new things, but I need the basics.[/b]

To get started with PHP look at online tutorial sites such as w3schools.com to get the real basics. Once you have learnt the basics at w3shools.com (make sure you run the examples too). Try to create something out of what you have learnt. You should be able to create someting even its someting that sounds dumb but its a start everyone starts somewhere. When I started PHP I first created a guestbook, however I learnt how to create one first by running through a turorial. I then created my very own guestbook from scratch from what I learnt from learning the Basics of PHP and creating the guestbook. If you get stuck search the manual over at www.php.net. Another way of learn PHP, which most people prefer to do is to download a premade script and play around with it. ALso dont just rely on online tutorials get out there into a libary / book store and have read through a good PHP book. Such as [b]PHP 5 for Dummies[/b]

[b]4. When should I use database driven websites and when should they not be database driven should every website I do, have every single page database driven, or should I do the special tasks database driven, like login names, and log in related stuff, or stuff like big search functions, and guestbooks, and forums and things of that nature,.
5. Should forms be database driven themselves[/b]

You should only need to create a database driven site when your site requires dynamic content, such as a guestbook will require a database to keep track of the entries vistors have made about a site. You shouldn't use a database to show a login form for example, unless you have all your templates stored in the database for truely dynamic site.

Forms shouldn't be database driven no, however the data that is collected from the forms can be stored in database, a flat file database or to be used in general.

[b]6. I know that I want to learn how to process forms with php, and how to validate them, but I have heard it's better to use javascript to validate, and php to process. Or asp whichever server side you are using, I heard it's best to use javascript to do the validating. is this true or should I do both with php.[/b]

Yes I would say use javascript for form validation as javascript can permit a form being submitted if a required form field is not filled in or there is an error in one of the form fields. PHP on the other hand can do the same (accept permit a form from being submitted) but it can be slower.

[b]7.After I master php, will it be very easy for me to do tasks when given, or build websites then using jsp, asp, cf, or am I going to have to learn all those languages as well, or is it the exact same thing just different sintax and once I get the right idea down, then the rest falls into place.[/b]

There are lots of different web programming langauges out there. If you are to provide a service such as you creating websites for people don't overload yourself with lots of programmiung languages chose one langauge that you are compfortable with, one that is easy to use, cost efficent etc which PHP is. JSP, ASP, CF etc are alot more difficult to use and can be quite costly.

[b]8. IF that's the case then why do people who know for instance asp, why don't they say they know jsp, php as well because they might as well know all if they know one if this is the proper case.[/b]

Web Programming Languages can differ dramatically as I have only PHP I cannot comment on ASP or JSP. However these three lanaguages are completely different.

[b]12.Can I create a php file, and save it with a .htm, or .html extension and it still be good or the same effect if so what would be the point, is the .htm or html, or the .php better.[/b]

You can code PHP in a .htm or .html file but your server must be configured to parse .html files as PHP. Webhosts will only allow .php files for PHP, .html for CSS/Javascript etc.

[b]13. What is the difference between .html, and .htm, I always use .htm as default is that the best choice, or should I use .html. As a permanent complete resolution for all things.[/b]

There is no difference between .html and .htm file extensions but .html never used to exist. the .htm extension was used on OS that could only allow upto three letters as their file extensions. This changed since Windows 2000 as OS could use extensions more than three letters. This is why there is far more three lettered extensions, such as .doc, .txt, .inc, .xls, .pdf etc. compared to four lettered file extensions.

[b]14. What is shtml.[/b]

SHTML is HTML on steriods. Well not really but it allows you to stuff like inlude other HTML files in to .shtml document or to should the time other stuff. But SHTML is only limited certain functions. It is rarely used.

[b]16. Should I stay away from php 5 for awhile longer, I was told it has a lot of bugs, and isn't good to use it's functions right now until in the future, should I not use it.[/b]

Who told you that! That is not true! Although PHP5 did have it problems when it was first released. However this has been corrected and fine to use. But unfortuanly many webhosts have not upgraded their versions of PHP (PHP4) to the newer version. So if you are planning on creating a dynamic website for a client before you go a head and create their site for them you will need to check that their hosting account supports PHP and what version the server has, however 90% of the time it'll be PHP4 only a handfull of hosts have PHP5. If they have PHP5 then it doesn't matter whether you code in PHP4 or 5 as PHP5 is backwards compatible.

[b]17. Are there any cross browser issues when relating to server side scripting like php, jsp, or asp, or does all php work in all browsers, and all jsp, and all asp, work in all browsers, if this is not true, then what do I have to do with php to make sure I follow all guidelines to make sure it's as close to browser compatible as possible. IF someone is using internet explorer or firefox version 1( I know it's a 1 in a million) would they be able to see all php and asp as well as someone using a new browser, or do certain browsers not use certain server side languages. I have never heard anything about browser compatibility when relating to something like server side scripting.[/b]

Well PHP, JSP, ASP is a server side language meaning it runs of the server and not the browser. The only thing you should worry about with cross browser compatibility is your HTML, CSS and Javascript as these are Client side lanagues (meaning these are run of the clients computer and not the server it self). Any server sided lanague shouldn't show the true souce (your PHP code) when viewed in the browser by going to view -> source but only the output which will be your HTML/CSS or Javascript.

This what happens when you request a page on website that is a php file.

User click link to see products (products.php) [b]>[/b] browser sends request to server for a file called products.php [b]>[/b] The server checks to see if the file ends in .php prefixif it does it'll send it to the PHP Intepreter [b]>[/b] PHP Intepreter parses the PHP code and returns the output (list of products) to the server [b]>[/b] Server returns the list of products to the browser [b]>[/b] Browser parses the list of products and displays then to the user.

[b]19. If I learn really good graphic arts, where I can create logo's banners, and everything else, plus finish mastering xhtml, css, javascript, php, asp, jsp, coldfusion, sql, it's variations. Where do I go from there, is there anything else I can learn that will help, is there anywhere else I can go to learn more, are there any other languages I should start on after that.[/b]

You dont need to learn every single web progrommaing languages under the sun. I would recommend you to learn HTML and CSS pretty well these are the only two languages that are important for creating a site that looks good in any browser. Secoundly consentrate on another langauges or two which is server sided sich as PHP and MySQL and thats your lot! If you where to learn all the web programming lanagues under the sun it'll take you years to master them you cannot just pick up a lanaguage, click your fingures and say "hay presto!" and be a wiz at that lanaguage.

[b]20. I have heard of ajax, what are it's purposes and reasons for being, are there any reasons for it, and if so, why have I never heard about it from a client, or other web designer, I have only seen it in one place and that is w3schools.com[/b]

With AJAX you can create extremely rich content and display data without having to keep refeshing you browser. For a good example of where AJAX is being used go to [a href=\"http://www.forgetfoo.com/\" target=\"_blank\"]forgetfoo.com[/a]. Click on the links on the left and look at your browser loading bar you'll see it will never appear this where AJAX is really cleaver. Instead of you having to clcik and link and then wait for your browser to refresh the page instead AJAX tacks the back door aproach. It request for the page in the background. For more information on AJAX have a read about it over at [a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AJAX\" target=\"_blank\"]wikipedia.net[/a].

You wont really get any think from a client reqesting their site to feature AJAX as, well they won't have a clue what it is.

[b]22. What is the height of php knowledge, how will I know when I can say I have mastered php.[/b]

I have being using PHP for about 2 years now and I'm still learning but I have not mastered it as I havn't learnt every single function, configuration setting or developed enough apps to be a master. No one can really say they have mastered PHP.

[b]23. How long will it take for me to be able to do my own stuff in php without a lot of checking back with the references.[/b]

You are always going to be finding yourself winging your way back to php.net or some help forum or even a book for help with PHP even if you are deserted on some island miles a way from any where. I have done it loads of times sitting in front of my computer screen pulling my hair out asking myself Whats that function called again? How did I do that? Why aint this working?, How can I do/this/that and the other?

[b]24. Are there multiple ways to do each thing with server side languages, for instance, with php I see there are like 100 differnet people that create 100 different sets of coding to validate and process forms, does that mean there are different ways to do different things, again meaning there are not just 1 specific way to process forms, but actually many, and if so is this the same for asp, and all the others.[/b]

Yes there aloads of different ways a off doing the same task, there isn't any set standard to do things. People just do what best for them and people have different opinions. This is becuase PHP is classed as a "loose" programming lanaguge. Such as an if/else statment you can do this:
[code]if($var == $var1) echo "something else"; else echo "something else";[/code]or
[code]if($var == $var1) { echo "something else"; } else echo { "something"; }[/code]or another style[code]f($var == $var1) {
    echo "something";
} else {
echo "something else";
}[/code]
As you can see they are the same thing but coded diffferently. PHP allows to get away with this but if you where you doing in another language such as ASP it'll probably have a right out sissy fit.

[b]29. How do I use xml with xhtml, should I make it a habit of incorporating xml, into all Xhtml, along with my css, and javascript, is it something that would make me a better designer in some way. What's its purpose, what's it for, and how do I learn how to use it, is there any real significance for it's use, or is it just there[/b].

xHTML is XML. xHTML has a standard set, same goes for XML. These standards are set by w3c (World Wide Web Consortium). With xHTML all (accpet a few such as <br>) tags must be closed, all tags and attributed must be in lowercase etc.

Well thats my big 2cents worth there. Scince awnsering all these questions it suddenly dawned on me that you have look at w3schools.com and going through all the tutorials there and said "I have to learn all these lanaguges to be web design". This is not the case. HTML/CSS/PHP and MySQL are the moist common.

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I had one more question. Is ajax worth learning, and if a website is built with ajax does it make it automatically load. thanks for the answers, I didn't expect anyone to answer them all, but all the answers helped, thanks.

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[!--quoteo(post=365432:date=Apr 17 2006, 03:39 AM:name=businessman332211)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(businessman332211 @ Apr 17 2006, 03:39 AM) [snapback]365432[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
I had one more question. Is ajax worth learning, and if a website is built with ajax does it make it automatically load. thanks for the answers, I didn't expect anyone to answer them all, but all the answers helped, thanks.
[/quote]

yes it is, for definite.
i'm not sure of the exact techniques used (ie whether it's AJAX or some other methods) but there are two particular examples i've seen recently that really demonstrate AJAX capabilities very well.

1, Yahoo Mail have an option when you sign in to use a 'beta' version, which works very much like a "normal" email client. instead of clicking a mail that loads a new page to display it, it shows the email in a pane at the bottom. granted, this could be done with iframes and JS, but it'll give you the idea.
[a href=\"http://mail.yahoo.com\" target=\"_blank\"]http://mail.yahoo.com[/a]

2, google calender. probably the best online calender i've seen. i was playing around with it for a good 20 mins or so without so much as 1 page reload. the whole thing just feels like a proper application and not a web-based app.
[a href=\"http://www.google.com/calendar\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.google.com/calendar[/a]

[b]edit:[/b]
[!--quoteo(post=365432:date=Apr 17 2006, 03:39 AM:name=businessman332211)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(businessman332211 @ Apr 17 2006, 03:39 AM) [snapback]365432[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
22. What is the height of php knowledge, how will I know when I can say I have mastered php.

I have being using PHP for about 2 years now and I'm still learning but I have not mastered it as I havn't learnt every single function, configuration setting or developed enough apps to be a master. No one can really say they have mastered PHP.
as i say - they may or may not use AJAX in its known form, but the way they work is a very good example of what can be achieved.
[/quote]
i've actually been working with php probably only half of what wildteen has, but i think i actually enjoy learning and earning as i go along. as with most things i've "mastered", i'm bored of them. whilst i'm still learning, i stay interested. an academic only properly masters their trade when they're hands on, not when they're studying. you have to make mistakes as well as doing things perfectly, else you'll be screwed if something goes wrong. i reckon the day you 'master' php is the day when you lose interest in it and go off to learn something else. now that would be a waste of time...


cheers
Mark

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