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PHP is a popular, reliable programming language at the foundation of many smart, data-driven websites. This comprehensive course from Kevin Skoglund helps developers learn the basics of PHP (including variables, logical expressions, loops, and functions), understand how to connect PHP to a MySQL database, and gain experience developing a complete web application with site navigation, form validation, and a password-protected admin area. Kevin also covers the basic CRUD routines for updating a database, debugging techniques, and usable user interfaces. Along the way, he provides practical advice, offers examples of best practices, and demonstrates refactoring techniques to improve existing code.
In this movie, we're going to make sure that you have a good text editor installed. This is what we'll use to write our PHP code. Now if you've coded before, you may already have a favorite text editor. And if so, that's great. You can feel free to use any text editor that you want. The only requirement is that any application you use should generate only text at the end. That's what a text editor does. It's very different from a word processor, something like Microsoft Word. Word would make a terrible choice for a text editor. And that's because it's built to serve a different purpose, which is to format the text in a document.
So, Word documents are not just text, they include lots of formatting information as well. Like what font you're using, or where your margins are set, and we don't want all that formatting information. We just want the code, the PHP instructions that Apache will interpret to return web pages. In addition, text editors or code editors, as they're sometimes called, often include lots of other nice features that allow us to code faster and to make less mistakes. So, let's take a look at some of the key features to watch for. The features that I'd list as being essential features are code coloring, or syntax highlighting. That is, so that different parts of the PHP language will be colored in different ways.
It helps you to quickly be able to read your code, and identify different parts of it. To see what's a function, to see what's a variable. And you'll be able to read your code a lot faster. The ability to navigate a whole project at one time so that you're not constantly opening files and closing files again. But that you can open them all up and quickly switch between them. A really good search and replace is a pretty essential feature, especially if you can search across the entire project. So that you can look for all occurrences where you've used a certain function. It can be really useful. And then auto-pairing of brackets, parentheses and quotes. The idea here is that it's really easy when you're coding to type an opening parentheses.
And then, to forget to type the closing parentheses that you need on the other side. And your code will break if you don't have both. So, a lot of these text editors will auto-pair them. As soon as you type the opening parentheses, it automatically adds the closing parentheses right after it. And you keep typing right between those parentheses, but both the beginning and the end are both right there. A lot of times, once you roll over a parentheses or a bracket or something. It'll highlight the matching one on the other side so that you can quickly identify the pairs. Now, what I'd say are preferred features would be auto-indent, so that when you go down to the next line in your code.
It automatically puts your cursor indented to the place where it ought to be. Instead of having to hit Tab a few times, code completion can be a nice feature. The ability to start typing a function name. And then, hit some kind of a hot key to get it to finish completing the rest of that name for you, so you don't have to type it all out. And then, customize document and code coloring themes. The ability to not just be stuck working with black text on a white background, but to be able to change it up. And to work with some colors that suit your eyes better. And to even code your PHP how you like it. So, if you want your function names to appear in blue, they can be blue.
If you want them to be green, you can change them to be green. Now, the text editor that we're going to be using is going to be a very popular one called Notepad++. And you can find that at notepad-plus-plus.org. Notice that it's .org at the end. If you go to .com, you won't get there. And one of the great things about Notepad++ is, it includes lots of great text editor features. And it's completely free. That's one of the reasons it's become so popular, because it's absolutely free to use. It has everything that you're going to need. Now, there are a lot of other text editors and IDE's out there.
IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment. And so, I want to mention these to you because you might want to look into them. And see if some of these suit your purposes even better than the default one that I'm giving you. And Sublime Text 2 is extremely popular. E Text Editor is meant to be a similar version to Text Mate, but on the Windows side. Sort of a Windows companion to Text Mate, but it's kind of disappeared recently. So, it might be a little bit hard to find online, I don't recommend it as default we are going to go with Notepad instead. And then Eclipse Netbeans and Komodo are all popular IDEs that people use for a lot of languages.
Not just PHP. Or for working with Java C++ and things like that, too. So, let's download and install Notepad++. So, you want to start by going to Notepad-plus-plus.org. And once you're here, you'll see that there's a link here for download. And that will take us to the download page. Now, this is the download link that will download the latest version for you. Over here, this is an ad, and you may have several of them over here. Ignore all of these download links there. The one that you want is the one that's right here actually in the website. So, we'll click Download here and it will say, alright you want to save it or do you download it.
So you say Yes, I've already done that so I'm not going to do that step again. Once you download it, then you'll have this installer and we'll just double-click it. We'll give it permission to do things it needs to do. Select our language and here's our Wizard, click Next, we'll agree to the license agreement. Where do we want to install it, we'll let it install in the default location. Now, check the components that you want to install. I'm going to go ahead and select the default set here. I'm not going to make any changes to that. And then, it offers a couple of other options here. We don't need to worry about most of them.
Create shortcut on the desktop though is going to be a good one because that will give us a good way to get to the program in the end. And then we'll click Install. It just takes a quick second while it installs the files. Now it's done. And then Run Notepad is the option at the end. So, I'll leave that checked. I'll click Finish. It'll actually launch the program for us. Gives us a change log of what's different about it. So, you can surf around and explore and see the different options that are here. But it has the basic file options up at the top. We have the ability to search, we have the ability to set different languages. So we have, for example, PHP that we can set as a language for our file. And then, it will use code coloring on the file as PHP. And it should pick up that from the .php ending of the file name. And that's it.
We now have Notepad++ installed and ready to use as our text editor.
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