Author Archives: Michael Charles

User Friendly Web Development Using PHP And MySQl

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Photo by David Masters
If you are new to PHP web development then a few little known tips can help your process greatly as well as avoid a few mistakes. PHP development uses a scripting language to create web pages and web applications. PHP actually stands for hypertext preprocessor and PHP pages can be used on most serves as the vast majority is configured to accept and use PHP based web pages.

Because PHP is a Linux based code it can be easier to develop the PHP web page on a Linux operating system. While this is not essential it can be easier. The main problems that arise when using a Windows based code on a Linux because Linux is case sensitive and Windows is not. Many times your application may not work properly when you put it on the web server.

The big problem when not developing your page on a Linux system is the fact that Linux is case sensitive while Windows is not. This means if you have upper and lowercase letters in your links they might not work when you have transferred everything over to a Linux system or server. It will then take more time as you need to go through everything to fix the problem.

SVN or CVS is also important as the basics to these are that it saves all of your work so that you can restore it to previous versions. This occurs to everyone and you want these different versions available to you.

Instead of having to undo the code you can go back to an earlier saved version. Many times SVN is used when more than one person is working on a web site.

There are many helpful tips you can use when starting to use PHP web development. This is an older style of development but still very effective.

If you want more information PHP and MySQL training courses, visit Macresource Computer Training, a UK IT training company offering PHP and MySQL training courses in London and throughout the UK.

Dreamweaver Training For Web Developers

If you provide web design and programming services to different people and companies, it’s important for you to know how to use the whole arsenal of tools that exist for you to make the most of your career. That includes understanding and using the Adobe Dreamweaver program, which is a great tool that allows you to edit and create webpages and also includes HTML editing, which is a popular form of internet code. Knowing how to use these tools will be essential to your success. Learning through a textbook won’t be very productive to your needs.

Learning from textbooks won’t be very productive to your needs. You’ll often find yourself relying on the book to make decisions, and to understand how and why you do certain things.

Using some Adobe Dreamweaver training software can be a much better option when you need to learn to use the program. Interactive training software will allow you to get a hands-on feel for the product, and also see what it has to offer, so that you can make the most of the learning experience. By seeing what you’re supposed to do rather than simply reading about it, your brain will make the connection much more quickly. People have always learned better by seeing something demonstrated first hand. This is why children are taught in the way that they are, with examples and experiences, rather than with textbooks and no proof. Learning by example comes naturally to most human beings. If your brain can make a connection between what it needs to do with images of how it was taught, it will work much better than trying to memorize instructions and textbook information.

Adobe Dreamweaver training doesn’t take a huge amount of time and having it as a skill in your resume can give you a better opportunity for jobs and clients. Many people feel safer having web content created in a program like Dreamweaver because it’s a popular program, and one that they can relate to. As an independent contractor in the field of web design and programming, you owe it to yourself to know how to use this program. Your chances of learning effectively will be much better with training software, though, so keep that in mind. Although a book might be cheaper or seem to be less time consuming, you’ll actually spend more time learning because you have to memorize information without having the software demonstrated.

If you’re an independent contractor and in need of Adobe Dreamweaver training, you should assess the training software that is available before you make any decisions. Even if you think learning from a book will work fine, once you see the hands-on interface of the training software, you might change your mind.

If you want more information Dreamweaver training courses, visit Training Company . Com, a UK IT training company offering Dreamweaver Classes in London and throughout the UK.

Photoshop’s Save Selection And Make Workpath Commands

Selecting pixels in a bitmapped image can be a tricky business. That’s why Adobe Photoshop offers so many ways of making selections. There are selection tools, modifier icons and keyboard shortcuts. Once you’ve made a selection, you will often want to preserve it so that you can use the same selection in the future; especially if it’s taken you a lot of effort. There are two ways of saving a selection: as a path or as an alpha channel.

Use the Save Selection command, which is found in the Select menu, to save a selection as an alpha channel. Whenever you save a selection in this way, Photoshop creates the alpha channel automatically. An alpha channel is a special type of channel which can be viewed by going to the Channel window and clicking on its name. Each alpha channel is a greyscale image which uses a visual code to represent selections: the black areas on the channel correspond to areas which will not be highlighted when the channel is loaded as a selection and white areas represent those parts of the image which will be highlighted. In fact, the reverse can also be true, since the user can set his or her preferences by double-clicking the channel thumbnail in the Channel window.

The different levels of grey inside the alpha channel represent different levels of selection, making alpha channels ideal for saving selections with feathers and fades. Paths, by contrast, are incapable of representing different degrees of masking and selection. Paths are really vector shapes, superimposed on the bitmapped image, which can be manipulated using a series of tools imported from Illustrator, Adobe’s vector-based drawing program.

To change a selection into a path, choose Make Work Path from the Paths panel menu. Photoshop will then ask you to enter a number representing the tolerance setting that the program should use in creating the vector path. The acceptable range is from 0.5 to 10. Lower numbers give a very detailed trace resulting in shorter line segments and many points. Higher numbers give a less precise trace with fewer points. A number between 1 and 2 usually yields good results for most selections. Having converted your selection to a work path, remember to save it. A work path is only temporary, so always choose Save Path from the Paths panel menu and either accept the default name or enter a new one.

By using the imported Adobe Illustrator vector-based editing tools, you can modify paths to very precisely correspond to edges around elements within the image. This make paths ideal for creating cut-outs of products and similar subjects within photographs.

If you would like to learn more about Photoshop training courses, visit Macresource Computer Training, an independent computer training company offering Photoshop training courses in London and throughout the UK.

InDesign CS5 And XML Validation

In order for XML documents to be trusted by all parties using them to share information, it is important that the integrity of a document can be gauged in some way: this is the process of validation. In order to be trusted, an XML document must pass two tests: it must be well-formed and it must be valid. A well-formed document is one which does not break any of the fundamental syntactical rules to which every XML document must adhere. A valid XML document is one which, in addition to being well-formed, adheres to a specific set of rules laid down for that particular type of XML document.

For an XML document to be considered well-formed, it must satisfy certain criteria. Element and attribute names must be legal in XML. Names cannot contain spaces. Names cannot start with a number or special character. Names cannot start with the letters “xml”-in any case combination. Names must contain at least one character. Element tags must be properly nested. If tag2 is opened after tag1 then tag2 must be closed before tag1 closes: overlapping element tags are not permitted.

You markup must supply a closing tag to match each opening tag. In the old days, web browsers were fairly forgiving when closing HTML tags were omitted, and the document would still be displayed: not so with XML. This rule also applies to empty elements (those that contain no text or other elements). However, there is a special format for indicating empty elements which combines the opening and closing tags to form a single tag.

All attributes must have values. Thus, in XHTML, (which indicates a pre-selected, default item in a drop-down menu, on a form) now has to be written: option selected = “selected”. There may be an assumption that numerical values do not need quotes, as is the case in many other environments; but in XML quotes are obligatory for all values. Single or double quotes are permitted.

There are five main characters which can be mistaken for XML markup: each of these must be replaced with character entities. InDesign’s built-in validator checks an XML document for well-formedness before importing and will display a helpful error message if it finds illegal markup. Importantly, the error message will include the line number of the problem code.

For more information on Adobe InDesign scripting using JavaScript, check out InDesign CS5 Automation Using XML and JavaScript by Grant Gamble.

Understanding The Benefits Of XML

XML stands for Extensible Markup Language and used to contain, organize, describe and clarify information in a deliberately neutral way. It can be used as a container for any information which can be represented textually. It has been adopted by developers working in many different fields as a kind of lingua franca, enabling communication between systems and environments which have little or no common ground.

Markup languages have been with us for some time: they embed predetermined text strings within a document to describe the data it contains. The most widely used markup language of recent times has been HTML and the success of HTML-as well as some of its shortcomings-played a significant role in the development of the XML specification.

XML, in much the same manner as HTML, uses named elements as containers for each piece of data within a document. The term element refers to the logical container; tags are the visual markup used to represent the element. Elements which contain other elements or text have an opening and a closing tag: empty elements are written with a single tag.

It is important to note that, unlike HTML, XML does not have a fixed vocabulary. While HTML has a limited set of permissible elements which must be used for all purposes, XML allows developers to define the markup elements that will be used for their documents and the rules that govern their usage. This puts the onus of choosing the write markup syntax on the person developing the XML-which is as it should be; since the person who is most familiar with the data should be able to choose the most suitable markup for describing and containing that data (with some professional help, if necessary).

If you or your organization uses XML as a container for books, magazines or other publications, it is to be expected that your XML vocabulary will make reference to such things as chapters, headings and paragraphs. If your company sells DIY materials, your XML may contain tags which intimately describe your store locations, your product lines, your delivery methods, and so on.

The inherent flexibility of XML is reined in by a set of stringent requirements placed on the syntax which one is permitted to use. Element names must conform to certain standards. There are restrictions on what tags should look like and where they should be placed. For example, characters which clash with XML markup such as the greater than and less than symbols must be replaced by special codes called character entities.

If you would like to learn InDesign scripting using JavaScript fast, check out InDesign CS5 Automation Using XML and JavaScript by Grant Gamble.

Php – Web Development For The Rest Of Us

PHP web development has matured into a de-facto standard for web site development. PHP is a scripting language that runs on a web server and generates complete pages or page components in HTML to be rendered by the users’ systems. Programmers use PHP web development to deliver dynamic content that would be virtually impossible with pure HTML.

PHP web development, in conjunction with HTML cookies and server-based databases can provide content customized for each individual user. User names, order history, site preferences or any other collected information can be used to generate a page unique to each user and each visit. This power of PHP web development has made the web a much more interesting and user-friendly place to spend time.

Web applications programmers, using PHP web development techniques, regularly find new and interesting ways to engage users. The most successful web sites have active content that keeps visitors returning to see what’s new – thanks to PHP web development. Web-based businesses find PHP vital to maintaining an active user base. A large number of frequent visitors is required to generate substantial revenue.

PHP web development also automates interactions with users. Products or services can be ordered and paid for using PHP applications. Databases are updated instantly and the product delivery processes are initiated – all without human intervention. PHP web development and related technologies are responsible for a major portion of web growth in the last decade.

Since PHP web development has become such an integral part of the internet it is expect to continue to grow into the future. Developers are improving the language and incorporating new functions constantly. New technologies developed outside the PHP community are embraced and supported.

Zend, the commercial entity of the PHP community has made available some powerful integrated packages for PHP web development. These will keep PHP active for years to come.

If you would like to learn more about PHP training courses, visit Macresource Computer Training, a UK IT training company offering PHP Classes at their central London training centre.