PHP has been around for decades but I learned of a way to experiment with it easily recently so that is why I am playing with it now. The main page is php as is my first “blog” although it was part of a column for the student newspaper, that I converted to an electronic format and published frequently.
I tried to keep Surfing the World Wide Waves looking as it had back in the day. The aim is to practice with PHP and get some things to become automatic. I include one php file with the data, and a second for the footer. I use a loop to populate each blog post.
It looks like this
- include data_file.php
- echo header etc.
- article title, content etc
- include footer
The format is simple and I could have made everything a for each loop so that each page is generated automatically but for the sake of learning and persistance I updated each page individually.
Aside from learning how to use PHP it was also an opportunity to practice using VIM.
VIM is great for this process because you type vim name of file and you edit the little lines. I used shift V to use visual edit. I bulk deleted the old code I wanted to replace with the include footer line. It’s a repetitive task but that’s good for learning, and for a skill to practice and become habit.
Now that this repetitive task has been done I have more flexibility to edit the footer without having to edit every other individual file. I would have tried with the header element but I need to think about how to do this without losing meta data etc. It should be added to the data file and I could access it as a variable in a different part of the page.
With time I will fine tune all of these ideas and it will be reusable for future projects.