I recently received this information request from someone in Wyoming (I’m anonymizing the email to protect the innocent).
I do website work for my school district and . I am a subscriber to Around the Corner, and it is one of my favorites.
I am looking for a recommendation of a learning resource for php/mysql. I am hoping to find something (book or Web resource) with example projects that demonstrate concepts and skills in a relevant way.
I am motivated by my wish to “get under the hood” of our Joomla! powered Web sites, which I set up… Additionally, I have set up Moodle for our district. I would like to develop my skills so that I can “tweak” this too.
So, as you can see, I have some experience with MySQL, although not much beyond creating a Db and backing up with dumps using PhpMyAdmin. I rvalue your input aand would be most appreciative if you were to share your thoughts.
When I began writing my response, I thought it would be a short reply but then…it turned into something longer. I share my response here in the hopes that others will offer additional wisdom.
Howdy! Nice to meet you and glad the info shared at ATC is of use/interest.
In regards to your question, it’s a bit tough to point to any one thing and say “This is it!” as a learning resource. Of course, that’s if we’re considering traditional resources like books, workshops, etc. The truth is, everything I’ve learned about Joomla, Moodle has been done online Googling the question I have and then finding answers.
I sense that you have two real needs:
1) PHP/MySQL understanding. For that, I can only show you what I’ve learned.
Lots of content here…esp here:
2) Cascading Style Sheets – The real excitement of Moodle and Joomla are cascading style sheets. When you learn how to customize the themes, you’ll gain real control over the look-n-feel of a site. I recommend learning cascading style sheets (CSS) code; it’s not something I’ve mastered myself, leaving that to one of my team members (dangerous, I know).
Finally, in terms of books, consider these:
*Joomla! A User’s Guide by North
*Moodle 1.9 by William Rice, Packt Publishing (I’m in the process of reviewing this book)
And, of course, the forums (Moodle | Joomla) out on the web for both these products. I would encourage you to hone your googling skills. What kind of server are you running and how much control do you have over it? That also plays a serious role in understanding.
I like to download XAMMP for Windows or Linux and that allows me to experiment on my laptop computer. If you’re running Mac, then get MAMP (Mac-Apache-MySQL-PHP) which comes in a free version.
Navicat Lite is out and is a nice tool, whether you’re running Windows or Mac. I mostly use NavicatLite on a Mac.
On a Windows and Linux machine, I prefer SQLYog Community Edition. From their web site, SQLyog MySQL GUI is the most powerful MySQL manager and admin tool, combining the features of MySQL Query Browser, Administrator, phpMyAdmin and various other MySQL Front Ends and MySQL clients in a single intuitive interface.
I hope this response is helpful. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, I’m not an expert on this…there is so much I don’t know. For example, I’m almost completely ignorant on Joomla aside from initial installation and really just sinking my teeth into Moodle. I don’t know Cascading Style Sheets and have no desire to learn. But that’s the fun of blogging and using these solutions. And, what I do know is helping us do stuff we couldn’t do in schools unless we had an unlimited budget.
Thank goodness, as educators, we’re all lifelong learners!
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure