CakePHP starting to learn

I’m just starting to learn CakePHP and will use this blog to document the journey. I’ll post the information I find most helpful here so that as others begin to learn, they can hopefully minimize their learning curve by avoiding whatever pitfalls I find myself in. Since I decided to begin learning CakePHP v1.2 instead of v1.1 there are fewer resources and no manual. The existing 1.1 Cake manual does do a good job describing the concepts of Cake though and I’d recommend reading it even if you don’t plan to install v1.1 or until a manual for v1.2 becomes available.

I’ve been watching the screencasts and my favorite so far (I’m showing what a newbie I am!) is the screencast titled Episode 1: Using Debug Messages. It helped me quickly understand how to begin developing the structure for my Cake applications. I kind of already realized it but Cake will tell you which file you are missing, show you the code structure for the file, and show you where that file should be located. That simplifies things quite a bit for me. If you are comfortable using the command line (i.e. Terminal on a Mac) then I think “baking” your application takes care of a lot of this too. Personally I think it’s good practice to get familiar with the file structure while your learning because you’re going to need to make changes and you’ll need to know where things are.

I know this is all obvious stuff for non-newbies, but as a newbie it made my beginning simpler.

There is also a new podcast available that isn’t very visible on or in the bakery. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon it but since it isn’t very visible, I’ll try to make it so. It is at There is only one podcast posted so far but I’m a big fan of podcasts and learning. Sometimes it just is good to kind of absorb the culture a little and by surrounding yourself with CakePHP resources, the learning curve can be reduced.

Another great resource to get off the ground is David Golding’s The Newbie’s Introduction to CakePHP. He does a nice job showing you how to set up CakePHP locally on your computer using either MAMP or XAMPP. He also does a nice job describing the MVC architecture and begins walking you through a tutorial on setting up a project.

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