I have two major questions. First off, I am new to PHP and everything i need for it. My friend has a site that is PHP and needs my help. It is hard to get in contact with him, but I was wondering what I need to get from him to work on the sites? For example, I use to do a HTML site and would create the pages in Microsoft FrontPage, save them as html and upload them onto the Bravenet.com server. Is PHP the same way to or is it totally different. Does he need to send me the files through email or should I ask him for what server he is using?
Second, how do I see the files in Apache? Ive downloaded the XAMPP but dont know where to go from here. If someone can help me step by step that would be awesome. I just need an idea on PHP.firstname.lastname@example.org
Where will the web pages be hosted? Your friend's server, yours, or some other host? What work will you be doing? Hosting? Writing PHP or HTML?
Assuming you might be doing web page development/debugging, XAMPP will allow you do develop the pages, including HTML, CSS, and PHP, and test them on your pc (running Xampp) before sending the files off to him or somewhere else. Frontpage, like all MS products, inserts tons of MS-proprietary "stuff" into your pages to make them work with other MS products (like IIS) - you might be able to use it, but the underlying HTML won't be pretty, and may only work right with MSIE. Frontpage also requires some bizarre directories and capabilities on the server to permit "easy" uploading of files. I would hate to say "learn HTML & CSS" because that's beyond the capabilities of most folks. You might want to try an HTML editor like Nvu.
If you install Xampp, you can put your test "home page" (let's say it's a file named "index.html") under "C:\program files\xampp\htdocs" and, assuming xampp is configured and running, goto "http://localhost/" ("index.html" is implied) in your browser, and see your page.
php is a language that runs on the server and can generate HTML to be sent to an end user ... ever hear of asp (Active Server Pages) or "server side" VBscript? Similiar thing. A php file can be a mix of php code and raw HTML (this is why it's a good idea to learn HTML...). A user "requests" a php web page in a browser, the server reads the file and, before sending it out, runs the embedded php code, which might say something like "print '<br>'" (which sends a BR element). Where a page needs to display some "dynamic" content (the time, a stock price, news headlines), the php code spews out HTML.