Subject Jumping in the wagon
Author Alexandre Benson Smith
Hi Guys !

I have just subscribed and this is my first message to the group.

I am all new to WEB development and PHP. I am a Delphi developer I code
classic C/S applications. In fact I did not write real code for some
years :-) My role now are more a front man (I did support, sell the
software, do training for new costumers and the like).

For some years I have looked at different languages (PHP, Ruby, Java,
etc.) and different frameworks (Rails, Cake PHP, another that is a kind
of wrapper that mimics VCL). Note that I am new to all of this, so it's
hard to me just looking quickly at those languages.

I have let WEB development aside because I think it's good for browsing
data but has a very poor interface regarding data entry, to get anything
close to the experience provided by a desktop app, one need to do a lot
of code in Javascript, use DHTML a lot and so on, things that I always
think to be extremely more time consuming to do the same in a Delphi app
for example. Now we have AJAX in the game, that is one more technology
to master, but the time has come, I think I need to dirty my hands, and
put my old brain to learn new technologies (let's see if an old dog can
learn new tricks ! :-) )

I think the only reliable way to learn anything new is to develop
something real, I get bored easily and tend to abandon the project if
it's just "for fun" or just a simple test without any real benefit/value
for me.

So I will try to make some pages to provide information to road warriors
users of my ERP software.

I have some options:
1.) Start from scratch, and do all the wrong way and improve it as I
learn it and as I find better ways to do the job
2.) Try some framework that will put me in the right path from the
beginning, but I will have a more increased learning curve (besides PHP
and all the surrounding technologies I will need to learn a FrameWork)

What suggestions can you give me ?
Should I start from beginning using a framework ?
Should I start from beginning using a template class ?
Should I start with a basic interface (HTML only), or should I start
from the beginning using Ajax and DHTML ?
What the points you think I should look first and what kind of trouble
do you think I will have ?

I am sure this is a FAQ, I had a brief look on the message history and
found a discussion about "a suggested framework", I had looked at Code
Igniter because Artur Anjos told me about it some days ago, it looks
like very familiar with RoR to me. (just for the fact that both uses the
MVC pattern ?)

I am afraid of adopting a Framework and get together a lot of things I
wouldn't need, a lot of code (and complexity) that I will not use, but
on the other hand I will start on a paved road and the rules of the
framework would make me avoid a lot of trouble that I would have if I
just did it my way.

I have read 2 books about PHP in the last months:
Programming PHP
by Rasmus Lerdorf, Kevin Tatroe


Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL <webdbapps_cnode1.html>

Hugh E. Williams
David Lane

both from O'Reilly

I think that reading those books give me a brief overview about the
whole thing, but I don't think that neither are good examples of doing a
real project using PHP, all the rules and presentation are mixed
together, that does not look the way it should be. I understand that
both books are introductory, but I think it should introduce in the
right way :-)

On the past, the tests I had did looks like the same of the presented on
the books, and that is what I always think was wrong with my "projects",
I need the parts clearly separated (presentation and logic), I think the
MVC is the way to go.

From your experience how do you think should I start ?

Any comments, links, articles, books, etc. will be more than welcome.

Thank you all !

see you !

Alexandre Benson Smith
THOR Software e Comercial Ltda
Santo Andre - Sao Paulo - Brazil