Well, in the end I decided to give Dreamweaver a whirl as my IDE, the thought of using text editors and having to manipulate everything manually was just to much. I think that if I watch the adobe tutorials and then just go for it I will probably learn the basics of getting a site which uses a database quite quickly…ok, I’ll only learn what I need, but at least I’ll have a basis to build on and have achieved something. Anyway, learning has to be easier having the code side by side with a design view.

So far I’ve learned the purpose of a style sheet; I’m still not sure what XHTML is; I’ve used

tags and now I’m trying to work out how to install/ configure a mySql database (thankfully SQL is a skill that I already have).

I’m really looking forward to the point where I have written some values from my form to my database.

I hope to get some time on Tuesday night to get the db set up, hopefully i’ learn a few useful tips that I can record here for posterity!

Which Development Environment?

I’ve been trying to find out which IDE I should use to start on my journey.

(Why does this wordpress do double line spacing?)

In my google search for IDE’s on a Mac I came across the blog of a guy called Sean Barton (http://www.sean-barton.co.uk/2009/02/setting-up-a-phpmysql-local-development-environment-on-a-mac-doing-it-properly/) and thought, that looks good, I’ll learn how to set up a php and mysql development environment on my mac. So, I followed his instructions and downloaded and installed mysql then configured apache to load the php module (I think this is the right terminology!).

The big question is, was it simple? The answer is, not as simple as I thought it would be. Below are the things that I learned along the way…they might be useful for another complete newbie.

Tip1: It’s the MySQL Community Server edition that you want to download ( I hope)

Tip 2: Make sure you use a mirror from the mysql site to get a .dmg file and not a .tar file.

Tip 3: To a copy a previous command in a Terminal window use crtl+P. For a full list of commands see this helpful bash cheat sheet

Tip 4:  How do you edit a file using vi? Answer: I”ve no idea – I used nano [to do this I substitued the word pico for the word vi when I executed this command ]

sudo vi /private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf

Tip 5: How to edit a file using nano? Answer : Wherever you see the ^ sign means hold the crtl key! – This site contains a neat crib sheet.

Tip 6: apachectl is not the same as apachrct1 – be careful of 1s and ls when looking at text which uses a terminal style font

Tip 7:  The command sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl restart doesn’t work. It errors with:

line 82: ulimit: open files: cannot modify limit: Invalid argument

The guy at this deversus page explain a way around it, but to be honest I just ignored it and continued.

Anyway, after removing the index.html page from the /Library/WebServer/Documents folder and navigating to in my browser and pressing refresh a few times,  I finally saw a page come up containing a question mark on it…so I guess my environment is now working!!

So, lots of new things learned today. Roll on tomorrow when I’ll be working out what I should do next!