PHP I : PHP Fundamentals

Introduction to PHP and MySQL Programming

Your Instructor

Glenn Norman

The Text

PHP for the World Wide Web, Larry Ullman, Peachpit Press 2004.
ISBN 0-31-24565-2

I will refer to this book as “Ullman.”


Who This Course Is For, What This Course Is About

At least some form of prior programming experience is probably a good idea before you start this course. You should understand what a function is, and what a variable is.

If your programming experience is with another language, this is a good place to start. However, many of the structures and syntaxes of PHP will be very familiar if you’ve done Bash, C, Perl or other scripting.

If you do have some previous experience with HTML or PHP, that’s good. We’ll be working “hands-on” throughout the course, and moving at a brisk pace. More advanced students should look to the Intermediate course.


The key words are “rapid” and “dynamic.” PHP allows fast development, in comparison to almost all other languages. It’s not specifically intended for the true “propeller-heads;” those people are already in C++ classes. And PHP is exactly the ticket when you’re ready to progress beyond static pages using just HTML, and you want to generate pages using information from user input and database output.

Nobody expects much from you when you program in PHP – except a knowledge of (X)HTML, CSS, Model-View-Controller architecture, the OSI model, database design and utilization, and maybe a smattering of other script languages like JavaScript/ECMAscript and VBscript, not to mention understanding how to interact with a web server and users in a stateless environment. No big deal.

Fortunately, PHP makes a whole lot of things easy(er), rather than harder.