I have long put off actually learning php. It's been a language that I've been thinking I should learn for many years, but just never got around to.
Well I've got around to it. Around my various Linux problems (See below), I'm actually learning a new programming language for the first time since I finished my degree. I'm also glad I have the degree level skills now, because if there's one thing I've realised, this would be a lot harder without them.
As it is, I have my reference book (damn any online tutorial, there's nothing compares with a real book), and have been happily coding away on the character creation for Arena (That's the system on which Saturday's post
was based). It's not as simple as it at first seemed, for it was only simple until I started getting bugs. But applying an array of tests has slowly led me to my various typing, coding and spelling errors (having one variable as $sha1 and the conditional checking against $sh1 was a good one, especially in the font), and so I'm actually progressing. I've been at it for about 4 hours, and given that long again I should have the character creation suite working, providing the correct data is inputted, as there's virtually no boundary checking. It's on my list of things to do.
In order to better be able to code in php easily, I decided it was time to dust off and install a copy of Ubuntu to my desktop. Being able to arbitrarily install and modify apache and php so they best mimic the live server without actually having to use said live server seemed like a good enough set of reasons to switch. Using my own computer rather than a server also means that if I do cause a serious crash, I have direct access to the reboot switch, which I don't on talismancy.com where I'm deploying this. I can also have the files open in a text editor and just click "save" to update the files, no need for FTP. That and I actually quite like Ubuntu.
However, nothing in my world goes as smooth as it really should, and it took me 4 installations to finally realise that the reason I only ever got one boot out an installation was the nVidia graphics drivers, which can't find PCI-Express cards. Stupid nVidia. Having realised this, I've now decided not to install said drivers, and have had about 3 reboots out this install so far. Including the whole of today.
So I'm currently dual booting XP and Ubuntu. I'm not prepared to give up Windows just yet. Ubuntu is currently being treated rather like a very complex development environment. It does basically do everything XP does for day to day stuff, but with the webserver working. Whereas XP has all my emails, and runs all my other software (like Photoshop, and games...)
Dual booting is working out, providing Ubuntu stays stable on my anyway.
. I think this qualifies much more as a "decent length post")