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PHP PHP Functions PHP Internal Functions PHP Array Functions

Amy Dollar
Amy Dollar
2,562 Points

Am I the only one.......

I was hoping someone else would have said about this in the questions section, so I thought I would add it myself, to let other know they are not the only one struggling :)

When I'm told about the functions I completely understand them and they make perfect sense, but trying to decipher them on PHP.net makes my head hurt and I just don't understand the way they are written!

Someone please tell me that it will get easier......

It will get easier..... :-)

Jennifer Nordell
Jennifer Nordell
Treehouse Teacher

I agree with Don Macarthur. Keep in mind that documentation is not really written with beginners in mind. It is written for developers. As such, you will likely encounter syntax and terminology that you haven't even heard before. That's natural and not uncommon. Besides learning a programming language, you are also learning a ton of English vocabulary specifically about programming. I'd be lost too reading a high level physics book simply because I don't know the vocabulary. The best way to get used to documentation is exposure. Look at it and try and take something away from it, even if it's only a word you need to look up :smiley: And no, you're not alone :sparkles:

S Ananda
S Ananda
9,474 Points

I would recommend watching the video where Hampton describes how to read the site a few more times. A lightbulb finally went off for me and now I'm understanding what information goes where, although probably not perfectly yet. This whole computerese gets easier as time goes on, but I find that often they don't teach the "grammar" so you can replicate what they've done without their help. They just show you the final product. However, the video that talks about how to decipher PHP.net stuff really hits the nail on the head, just watch it a few more times.

2 Answers

As a fellow sojourner through beginning PHP, I've experienced the same thing. My assumption is that the documentation is a reference for people who already know what they're doing, such as with much of the Mozilla references. I, too, have had difficulty understanding things by simply looking at the documentation.

So, it's not just you. I suspect most PHP newbies experience the same thing.

Amy Dollar
Amy Dollar
2,562 Points

Thanks Don, that's music to my ears :)

Actually, I saw something recently which I think is more accurate: It doesn't get easier, you just get better.

I'd also agree with Jennifer and S Ananda in that it's the vocabulary which is most likely causing you confusion. It will for some time but, as Jennifer said, try to get the exposure to the documentation and, with time, it will feel a little less intimidating for you. It still freaks me out a little, but I'm getting better and more confident every time I look something up.

The good news with the vocabulary side of things is that most languages, in my admittedly limited experience so far, share common phrasing and approaches. Once you start to get your head around that, then it's just a matter of figuring the differences in syntax.