3 Part PHP Development Tutorial at phpfreaks.com Sun, Jun 12. 2005
While I'm not in a position to answer any questions about the importance of the series, I felt I bore a responsibility wholly of my own making, to deliver on the implicit promise of an article I had the hubris to entitle Part I. I'd written a portion of Part II wll over a year ago, where it sat on my hard drive, even as the emails continuted to dribble in, always with the question of "when or where was Part 2?" I finally sat down and finished it during a recent visit by Tracy's mom, Betty, who graciously occupied Niamh and allowed me several days of uninterrupted time at my desk. Because this was a programming article, it entailed writing and testing the code to be included, and generating the screen shots as illustration. In summary, it turned out to be a lot more time an effort than I had bargained for.
What really drove me to expend the effort, was the opportunity to dedicate the series to my Dad, Frank Rolston III who passed away unexpectedly, earlier this year. Dad was an advocate of "finish what you start."
As I've gotten older I've gained a lot of perspective on who he was, and how he approached things. I think it's fair to say that he was the type of person who approached any endeavor with a sense of humor and can-do attitude that precludes egotism. He would find out what he could do to make the project succeed, and get to work. It didn't matter if this was in service of a multi-billion dollar engineering project, or the coaching of a kids little league team. He approached everything pretty much the same way, and found a way to make a positive contribution to whatever he was focused on, and wasn't overly concerned with who was in charge. Although he really didn't have much interest in organized sports, ironic considering he was 6'5 and an imposing figure in his day (a friend had nicknamed him Lurch after the hulking butler in the Adams family TV show) he nevertheless was the personification of what people mean when they bandy about the term "team player".
In reflecting on what I said in the Eulogy, I regret my inability to portray this about him at the time. Ultimately I realized that it's simply not possible to put into words the intangibles that make someone a great Father. All you can hope to do is describe a bit of the magic they conjured through what I believe I now have the wisdom to acknowledge, was the expending of considerable time and energy in the service of creating an environment conducive to children in the time they are most open to the pure beauty of nature, and the discovery of it. I can tell you that there probably isn't anything better to do as a ten year old, than to camp out in the woods behind your house in your Dad's old Army tent, with the campfire going in the stone firepit he built, cooking a hotdog on a sharpened branch he'd let you whittle with his swiss army knife.
Completing the LAMP series was my own small way of honoring his memory, because finishing things is often hard to do, and that's the type of guy he was -- someone who finished things without complaint or expectation of anything in return.
In retrospect, I realize the series could have used a bit more focus, suffers from occasional digressions, and is as ungainly as Web development itself. I think despite its flaws, the series at least reflects my contention that web development is an endeavor that appears at first glance to be trivial and shallow to those who wade into it with that expectation, only to fall off the reef into the deeper waters and find themselves drowning. I suppose the rapid evolution has kept me interested over the years, at least enough to pursue new technologies, ideas and stylistic advancements.
My LAMP Webdevelopment Series can be found here:
I noticed that Part 2 has mysteriously vanished, but will hopefully return soon.
It was really nice tutorial. When I'm trying to test the first one (part I), the php file, developerlist.php doesn't return anything. When I'm adding using the developerpost.php, it's being added to mysql database?
What might be the trouble, please? Where can I get the second part of your tutorial? Can I get a copy of that?
What an impressive accomplishment. I'm sure your father would be proud.
The links for part 1 now link only to the discussion page for the original tutorial. The other two parts are excellent but they refer to the first part and don't stand on their own.
Is there any link that still gives access to part 1?