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I have starting reading the PHP and MySQL 4th edition book by LarryUllman. So far I have completed first four chapters and now starting 5th chapter.

But, with time as I read further, I also want to develop good skills i.e be good in what I am learning.

So can anyone suggest me some startup projects? or scripts etc I can try to code, so I can be more good in programming.




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I think it's a great idea to pursue other examples and scripts. But unfortunately the best examples I can think of went into the book. But if you search online you should be able to find ideas, or by browsing through these forums. 

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  • 6 months later...

Way more information than you probably want. But alas, it's free.


I read this book in its entirety (but not always in order). The book is now held together with Gorilla tape and rubber cement and some of the pages are wrinkled as the result of it being left out in a thunderstorm. I started inventing projects on my own. When the projects needed code similar to that in Larry's book (such as a user database and login system), I'd simply paste Larry's code  in where appropriate. I would modify the styles and layout, make it look different. Easy, fun stuff because you start with something that already works..


Then I decided I wanted t begin to create a website for fine artists where they could upload images of their paintings, along with information about each image: title, dimensions, medium etc.. This was a good project in itself to learn php and mySQL.


Then I said, okay, now the artist has to have a way to change the information about each piece, so I developed an editing module so they could do that too (another .php page).


Once I got this far I thought it was about time to sketch all of what I thought I wanted to do out on paper... just to see where I might be going with it.


Each time, I'd use as much of Larry's code as possible and simply modify it as needed. In this way I would emulate his programming style and techniques knowing that I'm not doing something completely wrong that I'd later regret.


This went on for 5 years. Today I have a small business making websites for artists. It's quite sophisticated. Small chunks of the code are completely my own,  other parts are modified Larry code, and some remain totally Larry code. But I never changed Larry's overall structural design techniques. I incorporated them into everything I did.


I find that, today, I write very little code from scratch, starting with a blank page. A lot of what I've done (including a content management system) comes from Larry and non-Larry sources as well. For instance, I found a free HTML editor that I could stick in the middle of my code and my clients now use it to change the text of their web pages.  I would never have been able to write it myself.  Go to Larry's forums or Google the web and find useful chunks of  php, html and css code. Every time you look at what someone else has done you understand more and get better at what you do. "My" product, as it stands today, probably has about 30 different authors. It's a mongrel but works great. That's the way it works. You take their stuff, add your 2 cents, post it somewhere,  and then you become a contributing author to the projects of 100 other people.


Main Lessons:


1.Take ideas and code gratefully from others whom are offering it.


2. Give back what you are able


3. Be absolutely consistent with your programming. For example, when you decide on a way to name variables, do it that way all the time. Same goes with db queries and just about everything else.


4. When you think you're done writing code because it's working correctly, go over it again in about a month and see if you still understand it or if you should put in more documentation, line things up better or streamline the code a little better. Tweaking never seems to end.


6. When you run into something you can't get your head around and it's late at night. Go to bed and don't worry about it. After a good 8 hour sleep it will still be there but look VERY different.


7. You will eventually get hooked on a project that interests you. That project will turn into a smaller piece of a larger project. It will be like making Lego bricks that clip together. There's a lot of satisfaction when you've created a small structure out of about 5 Lego bricks that actually works. It does something useful. But don't forget that, after you've made a couple of bricks, step back and take a look at where you're headed because it gets really complicated and you'll get lost. Use an old fashion pencil and pad of paper to sketch out ideas using circles and arrows and questions marks etc. Do it away from the computer in a comfy chair while listening to Chopin's Nocturne (my choice).


8. MOST IMPORTANT: Get away from the computer, the forums, everything for an extended time every so often. Do something as opposite programming as you can think of. Go for long walks in the woods. Sit on a rock in the sun and fall asleep. Or go fishing. Talk with other people whom are not programmers. If you don't do this now and then, you will get dull and you will age more quickly. Everything well done will come about through a balance of opposites.


"All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy."

--Stephen King, The Shining

Edited by chop
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