Training, Open Source Programming Languages

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For 2023 - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Short underground journeys and a PHP book

I know London; I was brought up here and I'll travel around by bus and tube (and train) quite happily; usually, I don't even need to bother with a map except, perhaps, a streetmap of the immediate area I'm visiting to find the right street and building.

I'm always amazed by the number of travellers who get onto a tube at one station and off at the next - I rather suspect they walk further under ground to and from the tube than they would by simply completing their journey on the surface - and they'll end up 2 pounds the poorer too. This week, I'm staying in a hotel 1 stop from the place I'm giving a PHP course and I've explored the leafy inner suburban roads of Highbury and Islington each evening and morning. I now know where to go to get Ethiopian Cuisine, and I've see the King's Cross end of the Islington canal tunnel for the first time.

But after the course last night, I *did* catch the tube into town - just too good an opportunity to visit Waterstone's (formerly Dillon's) and catch up on what's new in computing books. The more "regular" topics from the "usual" publishers we buy on line - they're a pretty fair bet and if there's the occasional "lemon" we still like to have a copy on our shelves and know why it's a lemon. But there's a welter of more interesting topics. I think it was on a previous visit to Foyles that we bought "Web Bloopers" by Jeff Johnson - ISBN No. 1-55860-840-0 and that's turned out to be one of the books most read by our trainees. It's not from one of our "regular" publishers, it's not an Open Source book as such, yet it's peculiarly thought provoking to many of out trainees.

Last night I picked up another book, interesting also published by Morgan Kaufmann, entitled "Multi-tier application Programming with PHP". Written by David Wall, ISBN 0-12-732350-3. I'll be very interested to see what others think of this book on our courses. It provides a useful tutorial with examples into how to write a PHP application (where the accesses are transient) that talks to a persistent level for efficiency and data storage. But I find myself slightly concerned at the number of global statements that are present in the code examples, and the use (in parts) of page full of echo commands. I was taught (and experience confirms my teaching) that too many globals are a bad thing, and that if you find yourself repeating the same thing (such as an echo) over and over, there must be a better way of doing it. Looking at the echos, they could be simplified into a single statement very easily - the code change almost SCREAMS at me. But perhaps the author wanted to cover the principles without getting bogged down in another piece of PHP syntax.
(written 2004-11-19, updated 2008-05-11)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter for individual articles
H115 - Designing PHP-Based Solutions: Best Practice
  [237] Crossfertilisation, PHP to Python - (2005-03-06)
  [261] Putting a form online - (2005-03-29)
  [340] Code and code maintainance efficiency - (2005-06-08)
  [394] A year on - should we offer certified PHP courses - (2005-07-28)
  [426] Robust checking of data entered by users - (2005-08-27)
  [563] Merging pictures using PHP and GD - (2006-01-13)
  [572] Giving the researcher power over database analysis - (2006-01-22)
  [839] Reporting on the 10 largest files or 10 top scores - (2006-08-20)
  [896] PHP - good coding practise and sticky radio buttons - (2006-10-17)
  [936] Global, Superglobal, Session variables - scope and persistance in PHP - (2006-11-21)
  [945] Code quality counts - (2006-11-26)
  [1047] Maintainable code - some positive advice - (2007-01-21)
  [1052] Learning to write secure, maintainable PHP - (2007-01-25)
  [1166] Back button - ensuring order are not submitted twice (PHP) - (2007-04-28)
  [1181] Good Programming practise - where to initialise variables - (2007-05-09)
  [1182] Painting a masterpiece in PHP - (2007-05-10)
  [1194] Drawing hands on a clock face - PHP - (2007-05-19)
  [1321] Resetting session based tests in PHP - (2007-08-26)
  [1323] Easy handling of errors in PHP - (2007-08-27)
  [1381] Using a MySQL database to control mod_rewrite via PHP - (2007-10-06)
  [1389] Controlling and labelling Google maps via PHP - (2007-10-13)
  [1390] Converting from postal address to latitude / longitude - (2007-10-13)
  [1391] Ordnance Survey Grid Reference to Latitude / Longitude - (2007-10-14)
  [1482] A story about benchmarking PHP - (2007-12-23)
  [1487] Efficient PHP applications - framework and example - (2007-12-28)
  [1490] Software to record day to day events and keep an action list - (2007-12-31)
  [1533] Short and sweet and sticky - PHP form input - (2008-02-06)
  [1623] PHP Techniques - a workshop - (2008-04-26)
  [1694] Defensive coding techniques in PHP? - (2008-07-02)
  [1794] Refactoring - a PHP demo becomes a production page - (2008-09-12)
  [2199] Improving the structure of your early PHP programs - (2009-05-25)
  [2221] Adding a newsfeed for your users to a multipage PHP application - (2009-06-06)
  [2430] Not just a PHP program - a good web application - (2009-09-29)
  [2679] How to build a test harness into your PHP - (2010-03-16)
  [3539] Separating program and artwork in PHP - easier maintainance, and better for the user - (2011-12-05)
  [3813] Injection Attacks - PHP, SQL, HTML, Javascript - and how to neutralise them - (2012-07-22)
  [3820] PHP sessions - a best practice teaching example - (2012-07-27)
  [3926] Filtering PHP form inputs - three ways, but which should you use? - (2012-11-18)
  [4069] Even early on, separate out your program from your HTML! - (2013-04-25)
  [4118] We not only teach PHP and Python - we teach good PHP and Python Practice! - (2013-06-18)
  [4326] Learning to program - comments, documentation and test code - (2014-11-22)
  [4641] Using an MVC structure - even without a formal framework - (2016-02-07)
  [4691] Real life PHP application using our course training MVC example - (2016-06-05)

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PHP v Java
Some other Articles
Conversion and coercion in Java
Feedback shows the tip of an iceberg
Staff theft
PHP v Java
Short underground journeys and a PHP book
Passing arrays to procs in Tcl
Fair and Simple
Good early morning
PHP course. Come by train.
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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