A Web-Based Introduction to Programming is designed for courses that teach introductory programming, or programming logic and design, and may also be of interest to anyone seeking a painless way to learn the basics of programming. The book keeps the focus on essential syntax and control structures with minimal complexity and consistent examples. Topics include: the nature of instructions; algorithm design; basic HTML and input forms; assignment statements; arithmetic expressions; string-processing operations; text file I/O; logical expressions; selection structures; loop structures; numerically indexed and associative arrays; Web sessions; functions; include files; database querying; and an introduction to object oriented programming. The final chapter and appendices provide additional topics and references to assist with ongoing development. A number of later chapters can be omitted to meet course requirements without effecting the overall course of study.
Each chapter focuses on a single topic and follows precise learning outcomes that are tested by end-of-chapter quizzes and short, targeted code exercises. The exercises are designed to help beginners build understanding and confidence: “fixit” exercises challenge students to identify syntax and logical errors; “modify” exercises require changes to existing code based on material learned in the chapter; small but complete code exercises build on work that was completed in previous chapters. The code is developed in PHP, with sufficient HTML and CSS to provide formatted output. The book comes with a pre-configured xampp distribution of a standalone Apache Web server that includes all of the textbook samples and coursework files. The software can be unzipped and installed in minutes under Windows, Macintosh OS X or Linux; Windows students can install on a USB drive and carry their complete work environment with them with no need for Internet connectivity, student accounts, or classroom installation. Alternatively the textbook folders can be uploaded to an existing Web server if this is preferred.
In addition to minor corrections and improvements, the fourth edition of the book includes: revised file/folder naming conventions that are more standard for Web applications; redesign of Chapters 7 and 8 (covering selection structures); additional material and improvements to Chapter 13 (covering functions); a new Chapter 15 that introduces Object Oriented Programming; a new install of the xamp Apache Web server distribution with installation instructions for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
The Web site http://www.mikeokane.com/textbooks/WebTech/ provides trouble-shooting help, student Hints and Help pages for each chapter, and instructor resources that include test banks, slide presentations, and solutions.
The Web-based approach is valuable and relevant to students who might starting off on a range of career paths: application programming, database programming, Digital Media, Technical Writing, Web programming, or content management. Student feedback has been very positive: comments frequently reference the clarity of the material and the value of the step-by-step approach.
The Web site www.mikeokane.com/textbooks/WebTech/ includes all materials found on the CD, and also provides access to additional exercises, test banks, slide presentations, quiz solutions, code solutions, and other instructional resources.
"This is the best logic book I have ever had in over 25 years of teaching!"
— Bob Husson, Craven Community College
"I teach intro to programming and algorithms and I have used this book for three terms. It is excellent. The book's content leads students through the examples in a natural way that makes learning traditional programming concepts easy, and students retain the concepts. The coding exercises build upon each other from algorithms all the way through small PHP programs. As a teacher I highly recommend this book for students and instructors alike."
—Charlie Wallin, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
"The textbook, A Web-Based Introduction to Programming, was my first exposure to PHP. I could not have asked for a better introduction. The explanations, examples, and order of topics covered, made teaching and learning the basics of PHP a simple process. My students found the exercises and assignments at the end of each chapter fun but challenging. My only regret is that I did not discover this book sooner."
— Joe Sherrill, Martin Community College (retired)
“One attractive feature of the text is the rapidity with which it moves from the very basic to more advanced concepts: before the reader knows, it is discussing databases and the basics of MySQL, and the subjects are presented in a smoothly-flowing way that is a pedagogic marvel. Plenty of code examples and exercises and several appendices with more in-depth discussions of some important subjects make this a recommended text for both classroom and self-study.”
If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.