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HTML, XHTML, CSS, PHP, Design - recommended Reference Manuals
 
norbolig
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Total Posts:  328
Joined:  2008-03-15
 

Recommended printed manuals / online sources / for HTML, XHTML, CSS, PHP coding and Web Design

I can manage some HTML (from my previous none-open source webshop), but have much to learn.

So I wonder, what are the recommended sources for learning programming and web design:

- HTML
- XHTML
- CSS
- PHP
- Web Design

From a user experience, what is preferred in daily use - online manuals or written books?

Magento makes me highly motivied to learn more. And I am pretty sure I am not the only one.

 
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Kimura
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Joined:  2008-04-21
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http://www.w3schools.com ??

 
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norbolig
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Total Posts:  328
Joined:  2008-03-15
 

Thanks for the recommendation. This looks interesting.

 
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Smallblock
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Total Posts:  24
Joined:  2008-06-25
 

As far as sources, especially starting out I liked -

Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing with Web Standards as a great place to start for HTML and CSS, gives you some basics of the how, but also a lot of the why that you won’t get in most manuals.

Bulletproof Web Design again gives you a lot of CSS and HTML and shows you how to make your sites less fragile to changes and situations you may not be thinking of right then

For PHP I’ve loaned out my copy of the SitePoint PHP book (Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL) so many times and everyone picks it up really easy from there. I know they’ve released a couple updated versions and you can find them at <a href="sitepoint.com">SitePoint</a> which is also a good reference for articles on fairly new technologies as they become available. Their forums have a lot of good people who don’t mind sharing what they know as well.

You may also eventually want to look at some Javascript to kind of round our your selections. I liked DOM Scripting Jeremy Keith after reading through a few I didn’t care for. The O’Reilly books are good too, they tend to be more exhaustive so it really depends on how you learn best.

For online sources, I mentioned SitePoint, W3Schools that was mentioned is great as well, especially for starting out with something new. php.net is tough to beat for a php reference, although it’s a bit intimidating at first. I like quirksmode.com for a quick way to check out javascript syntax and methods and the HTML and CSS references at SitePoint for taking a look at HTML and CSS.

As far as web design, I like checking out <a href="smashingmagazine.com">Smashing Magazine</a> and <a href="stylegala.com">Stylegala</a> for inspiration on the pretty stuff. <a href="dzineblog.com">Dzineblog</a> is newer but has some interesting gatherings of design in general.

You asked which is preferred for daily use, I generally use books and magazines to learn new skills and ways of thinking while using the online tools as quick references and great places to look for browser rendering quirks and things like that.

This is becoming pretty long so I’ll let you go with one last thing. The most worthwhile reference I’ve been able to find is always finding a local web design group wherever I am. Books and websites are great but having someone explain something face to face or give you feedback right away on a design always seems much more motivating to me. If you’re in the US, I’ve had real good luck with the Refresh groups (refreshcities.org) but there seem to be similar communities just about everywhere.

Good luck with it and have fun,

Zach

 
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norbolig
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Total Posts:  328
Joined:  2008-03-15
 

@Zach: thanks for sharing this wealth of information!

I have checked them out, and for any other that might be interested in the same, I have added some more information about the book titles:

Jeffrey Zeldman: Designing with Web Standards. - Is available in two editions. One from 2003 (350 pages) and one second edition from 2006 (410 pages). Best price Amazon: $ 31.49.
Dan Cederholm: Bulletproof Web Design. - Is available in two editions. One from 2005 (270 pages) and one second edition from 2007 (298 pages). Best Price Amazon: $ 26.39.
Kevin Yank: Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL. - Edition 3 from 2004 (359 pages). Best Price Amazon: $26.37.
Jeremy Keith: DOM Scripting. - from 2005 (341 pages). Best Price Amazon: $ 23.09

 
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