Lecture II

Getting set up – overview
WordPress is  highly regarded software that allows to to build your site from a browser. You can build  pages  on everything from a smart phone to a PC and you can do it from anywhere on the planet where the Internet is available. You can upload pages of text, music files, photographs or video. The first part of this course will be about how to use WordPress. There are many amazing mailing list plug ins available for WordPress but in my opinion many are lacking a key feature for this course. They are not free.

With with just a small amount of effort using HTML, PHP, MYSQL, and CPanel you an assemble a perfectly useful mailer that will cost you nothing over your monthly costs.

Choosing an Internet Service provider with the tools you need.

Domain Name

A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name.

Domain names are used in various networking contexts and application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a web site, or the web site itself or any other service communicated via the Internet. In 2014, the number of active domains reached 271 million.

You cannot own a domain name, you can only rent it for a specified length of time.however most Internet service providers include a registrar in their service. Rental fees are typically around $12 per year.

You can evaluate how good a Domain name is by Binging it. Bing gives you number of hits found where as Google seems to have abandoned that policy. The smallest number of hits wins.
If I go To Bing search for Charlie I get a huge number of hits, 18,700,000 hits last I checked. Which I do t do very often. Any list that that shows my website is going hundreds of pages away from the prime first page. Whereas if I ask for how many hits on cfielding searched in the last month I get 53 hits. Much better chance of being on the first page.

HTML

Hyper Text Markup Language is the lingua Franca of the Internet and is both very easy to learn and cross platform compatible. You can be up and running with an HTML editor in a very short period of time.

The World Wide Web began life in the place where you would least expect it: at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN is a meeting place for physicists from all over the world, where highly abstract and conceptual thinkers engage in the contemplation of complex atomic phenomena that occur on a minuscule scale in time and space. This is a surprising place indeed for the beginnings of a technology which would, eventually, deliver everything from tourist information, online shopping and advertisements, financial data, weather forecasts and much more to your personal computer.

Tim Berners-Lee is the inventor of the Web. In 1989, Tim was working in a computing services section of CERN when he came up with the concept; at the time he had no idea that it would be implemented on such an enormous scale. Particle physics research often involves collaboration among institutes from all over the world. Tim had the idea of enabling researchers from remote sites in the world to organize and pool together information. But far from simply making available a large number of research documents as files that could be downloaded to individual computers, he suggested that you could actually link the text in the files themselves.

In other words, there could be cross-references from one research paper to another. This would mean that while reading one research paper, you could quickly display part of another paper that holds directly relevant text or diagrams. Documentation of a scientific and mathematical nature would thus be represented as a `web’ of information held in electronic form on computers across the world. This, Tim thought, could be done by using some form of hypertext, some way of linking documents together by using buttons on the screen, which you simply clicked on to jump from one paper to another. Before coming to CERN, Tim had already worked on document production and text processing, and had developed his first hypertext system, `Enquire’, in 1980 for his own personal use.

PHP

PHP is a server-side scripting language designed for web development but also used as a general-purpose programming language. As of January 2013, PHP was installed on more than 240 million websites (39% of those sampled) and 2.1 million web servers. Originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994 the reference implementation of PHP (powered by the Zend Engine) is now produced by The PHP Group] While PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, the geeks at the PHP group decided that name was not nearly cool enough so  it now stands for PHP: Preformatted Hypertext Preprocessor, which is a recursive backronym.

PHP code can be simply mixed with HTML code, or it can be used in combination with various templating engines and web frameworks. PHP code is usually processed by a PHP interpreter, which is usually implemented as a web server’s native module or a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) executable. After the PHP code is interpreted and executed, the web server sends the resulting output to its client, usually in the form of a part of the generated web page; for example, PHP code can generate a web page’s HTML code, an image, or some other data. PHP has also evolved to include a command-line interface (CLI) capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications.

When you link to a PHP Page the page you call for first runs any PHP code before creating the page and sending it to you. You can use PHP to access a database and fill in  the content from the Database.

for example a PHP page that looks like this

<?php
#assign text to the variable $content
$content=”Hello world”;
<HTML>
<body>
<?php
echo $content;
?>
</body>
</HTML>

 

 

 

 

 

 

CPanel

The Servers that drive the Internet are running in computer languages that for the most part have Unix as the basis of their operations. This becomes immediately apparent when you try to interact with it.  If you want toprint something to a screen to have to use “sprint” which means Screen Print or if you want to compress some data you use TAR which means tape access report. I once asked a server side programmer why they don’t have a graphic interface and require you to use software written in the 1950’s. He just replied  “Job security Charlie, jobsecurity!”.   However the rapid expansion of the Internet has caused the development a software called cPanel which allows users to access the server with a more humane interface .

MySQL

Often pronounced my sequel or MYSQ.  MySQL is a popular choice of database for use in web applications, and is a central component of the widely used LAMP open source web application software stack (and other “AMP” stacks). LAMP is an acronym for “Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python.” Free-software-open source projects that require a full-featured database management system often use MySQL. Applications that use the MySQL database include: TYPO3, MODx, Joomla, WordPress, phpBB, MyBB, Drupal and other software. MySQL is also used in many high-profile, large-scale websites, including Google (though not for searches), Facebook,[Twitter,Flickr, and YouTube.[20]

On all platforms except Windows, MySQL ships with no GUI tools to administer MySQL databases or manage data contained within the databases. Users may use the included command line tools or install MySQL Workbench via a separate download. Many third party GUI tools are also available. The almost universal editor is PHPMyAdmin.

Registrar

 

Apache

 

so the basic features you need are as follows:

  • A domain name. ( most ISP have their own registrar include da)
  • Linux operating system – an open source rendering of UNIX.
  • Apache – the part of the server that
  • PHP
  • CPanel.
  • Registering a domain.
  • Registrars

 

Surviving on the Internet