[nycphp-talk] how did you learn php?

Gary Mort bz-gmort at
Mon Aug 27 11:49:27 EDT 2007

Anthony wrote:
> Hey, i'm kinda new around here and just tinkering around with php. My 
> question to you guys is how did you learn? by reading or by taking 
> apart scripts and adding your own style or what? I'm very curious.

I started by inheriting a project that need some major rewrites done to 
it, it was written in this funny little language called Net.Data. 

Net.Data was a web CGI language geared to allow you to connect to a DB2 
database, process data, and format it for the web.  And it allowed you 
to intermix your HTML and Net.Data code in the same file.

After completing that, I was wondering how one would write the same 
thing in a non-IBM environment, so I got myself a Web Provider that 
supported everything at the time and looked into different ways of doing 

PHP was a natural transition from Net.Data and for the most part 
painless.  The only real difference was PHP had a lot more power since 
it wasn't limited to being designed to interoperate with DB2 and than 
grudgingly extended to meet the needs of specific clients.

A couple years after that, IBM end of lifed Net.Data.  I mentioned that 
rewriting the app would be trivial in PHP, we went partially down that 
road and then gave up due to politics(the application was going to be 
replaced that year with the new application)......6 years later and 
their still running that application, on hardware that is failling, and 
with a backup that is completely useless(you can't get Net.Data to 
install on a new system anymore).

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