I’ve got my email addy on the site, and I wanted to put a form out also, for those who don’t want to use email. So I find some free forms code, and I added it to the contact page. Well, forms don’t live in HTML land by themselves do they … they come with a server side part! Cue ominous music. That would be CGI, ASP or PHP.
Never say never (as in “I’ll never need to use/learn PHP”). I found a form that had a simple PHP program that you just plop onto the server with little fuss. I wasn’t happy with the HTML part, because it had a table, so I converted it all to CSS. After that I wasn’t happy with the PHP output to the email, so I fiddled with it. That’s when the form started behaving funny, so I had to go and undo all my changes. History repeats itself, flashback to college programs exploding after I commented them. I put three exclamation points, and it burped up on them. Took me a half hour to figure out what I did wrong.
Now I’ve got this great form, all ready to go. Wait! Now I’m reading about how spammers find forms on pages, and fill in forms to spam. Holy moly, what more do I need to do to get a simple form out on my page? I’m looking for code to protect from bot spammers, and I discover some more PHP snippets that I can add to my existing PHP. The snippets are not working, so I have to (cue more ominous music) LEARN PHP! Ay, what a ride.
I found a great tutorial site, gotta give credit to the British and their generous tutorials: http://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/php/php4p1.html
Great site. I haven’t seen a real high level language since I don’t know how long. No more HTML. This is almost real programming (“Real programmers code in machine code”), and it’s all coming back. I haven’t forgotten how to ride the bicycle after all! Love it!!! It’s like a new tool that I can start taking things apart with.