A Burmese Pagoda … I guess (at least that's what the limited information on The Commons seems to indicate)
Well, it's quite evident that I completely stopped posting. I've actually started a number of posts over the last year, but put off finishing them. The main reason for this was that I started out well ahead of what I was posting about. I thought it would be more interesting to cover it all step by step, but found I was much more interested in actually working on projects than I was writing posts.
That being said, I've still had some intention of coming back to posting. I've got a bunch of interesting stuff to put up. Notably, I've nearly completed a product management system that I've built from the ground up and I built a new computer just recently, which I took plenty of photos of. I'll probably come back to covering some basics again, but for now I'm going to switch to just posting whatever I'm most inspired to write about.
I've also learned a lot more about the inner workings of WordPress over the last year, so I'm interested in working on creating a theme and some plugins from scratch. It seems like somethign I ought to do (and would be fun) having spent plenty of time already tooling about with existing plugins and themes. Oh, and I switched domains from mokembo.com to michaelramsey.ca - yay for personalized domains!
The Learning PHP Post:
Having talked about some of the basics covered at the start of PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites it's about time to move on to the actual exercises. Starting out involved covering the creation of HTML forms, which I didn't really talk about in either of my HTML Review posts. Submitting data to a PHP script from an HTML form makes sense as the first exercise since it's extremely basic and central to many possible things you might want to do with PHP.
Making an HTML Form
Here's the form: http://michaelramsey.ca/learning/form.html
For now, that's all I had for this post. I'm just going to leave this as is until I have the time and inclanation to go all the way back to stuff that, at this poinst, was more than a year ago.
Driving on the Moon (via The Commons)
Time for the second installment of interesting observations and ideas from my relearning of HTML! I nearly lost a chunk of this when I removed it from the first post and then cleared my clipboard accidentally. Luckily I still had it up in a preview of the post at the time.
First off let me just say, thank the flying spaghetti monster that frames are basically gone from the internet. Who ever liked frames? Horribly ugly, bad for SEO, bad for usability and did I mention ugly? At least iframes aren't so bad, but also frequently used in rather obnoxious ways. I will admit that there are have been a few times I've seen both frames and iframes used well, but they are few and far between.
Moving on, being able to use RGB colour values for elements was new to me. Maybe this was around 12 years ago, but from my memory you could only use a limited set of named colours or HEX codes. So instead of "red" or "#FF0000" you can use "rgb(255,0,0)". I think I might like the HEX code option bettter, but it's nice to have options.
Some girls in gas masks (from The Commons)
I did most of my HTML review a few weeks ago when I was first starting out this project, with the intention of posting about it rather sooner. It didn't take that long to go through the W3 Schools HTML Tutorial since I really hadn't forgotten or missed too much, having needed to use HTML at least occasionally over the years.
I'm not going to spend a ton of time going over the whole thing. Instead, I'm going to quickly cover some of the things I learned or otherwise thought interesting.
I learned quite awhile back that paragraph tags (<p>) need to be closed now. For anyone out there whose fairly new to HTML, this was no always the case. Along with this, "empty" elements (tags which don't have any closing tag, like the break or image tags) have to have a closing slash following a space at the end of the tag before the >. This is because of the introduction of XHTML, which requires all tags to be closed. Along with the closing all tags requirement, you now have to use lower case for all tags. For some reason when I did HTML in highschool I used all uppercase. Why did I do this? No idea, but it didn't matter, so I did. I have some vague recollection of other people doing it too fairly often.
I recently decided to pick up learning the coding side of web development again. Back in high school I learned HTML in the mid-level courses, but the higher level courses focused on Visual Basic. I also learned some PBasic for the FIRST robotics competitions (I dont think there was a seperate Canadian one at the time) my school competed in, but these are something of a foggy memory more than 10 years later.
That's where this blog comes in. I've been working in online marketing since the end of college. I've learned a lot about analytics (Google's and Clicktracks among others), SEO, SEM, PPC, usability and a variety of other things. However, I've been feeling more and more like coding is what I would really prefer to be doing. I've always enjoyed that side of things, while link building and social media strategy has never really excited me that much. So I have decided to pick up where I left off a decade ago, and document my learning experiences. For now I'm sticking with this shared blog, but I'm going to setup a new site for this soon enough if I don't end up losing interest for some reason.
I'm going to aim to update this blog regularly with posts detailing what I have learned, what I found interesting or challenging, and other insights into the more technical side of web development. I'm planning to work in some posts regarding my current profession as well, and will certainly have some crossover between the two here and there. I'd like this blog to be a useful resource to others attempting to learn the same things as both a useful (if informal) technical reference as well as providing some moral support.
Here is my basic plan so far:
- Review HTML, making sure to pick up on the post-CSS changes.
- Fill in the missing gaps in my knowledge of CSS.
- Learn PHP from scratch.
- Learn SQL from scratch.
- Figure out what I need to know about HTML5.
- Then figure out where I want to go from there. I'm not really sure, but I'd like to know more about AJAX, DHTML, jQuery and XML. I figure I'll probably also take a look at VBScript.