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Web Development Thread, The best direction for web development? in Coding and Web Development; Hi I have done the first draft of the schools website, SLT are proof reading it over the hols. I ...
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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    The best direction for web development?

    Hi

    I have done the first draft of the schools website, SLT are proof reading it over the hols. I am also currently working on the Staff & Student intranet. I have used Joomla to do this in all of them. I enjoy doing it. I mess around with the code and see what happens, install a new plug-in etc.

    So to round it up I think I am getting into web developing, what is the best direction to go with this. I have no idea where to go.

    Your advice is appreciated.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Learn the basics first - HTML and CSS and how websites work. Then you can start to mix them with server-side scripting languages such as PHP or ASP.NET. There's more to it than using a CMS administration GUI and playing with plugins

  3. Thanks to webman from:

    FN-GM (24th March 2008)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I know HTML and CSS im not an expert but i did this in school and i have done it until recently. I can setup a web server etc. I have setup both Windows & Slackware Linux one.

    Then you can start to mix them with server-side scripting languages such as PHP or ASP.NET.
    That’s what i want to do, how do it start though?

    Thanks

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Agree with Webman about learning PHP and asp.net, they are the dominant server side scripting languages. Plus php is very intuitive.

    The problem i see with asp.net is the need to learn the c sharp or vb.net languages. It introduces you head first into the world of OO programming so that's objects, classes, inheritance. Stuff that i found difficult to get my head around when learning Java. This might not be a problem for some people or for experienced progammers.

    The benefits of learning c sharp is it doesn't appear to have the difficulty curve of java. And asp.net development is nowhere near the headache of JSP or JSF.

    The good thing about learning c sharp in order to do asp.net development is it comes in handy for doing sharepoint web parts and other .net programming such as WCF. It really is the foundation language for doing most things in the .net world.

    On the web design side i'd add javascript to html and css as the most important things to learn. JS puts the dynamic into dhtml and does stuff live client side validation. And it is used extensively in web design.

    So in summary the web technologies an products used to develop them;

    web images - fireworks
    js/html/css - dreamweaver
    asp.net - visual studio or visual web developer express
    php - eclipse

    They'res a distinction between web development and web design aspects. For large website they're would be seperate teams made up of designers and developers. For small websites one person or one team will do both....the server side scripting such as asp.net and database access using ado.net, aswell the Js, css and page layout design work.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    I as agree that php and asp.net are the things to learn. Php is very widely used especially in open source scenarios. The microsoft offering is also widely used especially inside corporates that already use microsft infrastructure. You can grab a copy of visual web developer express for free of the microsoft site, there are tonnes of tutorials and templates out there that make the simple stuff really easy.

    asp.net also has the advantage of being an interpreted language before its first run where it is compiled. This means that you can use lots of different languages which are compiled to the same optimised base code that is actually run. It depends on if the language has an interpreter as to whether it can be compiled. Speed wise compiled asp will run faster than a comparible Php app.

    You can use c#, vb, java by default and can use delphi and others through interpreters.

    You also have the benift of code that can be easily transfered to full windows applications if you wans or need to but it does require a windows server to make full advantage. You could use mono ( linux host ) but i don't know how fast and relyable it is.

    Php is probably a bit simpler to learn to start with and has the advantage of running on almost any platform.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    SYNACK makes a good point about the language options available for .net development.

    Recently i've discovered IronRuby and IronPython which appear to be becoming quite popular for developing with .net

    Ofcourse the two dark horses are Ruby and Python which are competing with php mainly in the web framework space, in the area of MVC methods. Python is best known for tools like django and Zope/Plone while ruby has the Ruby on Rails framework for web apps. Not sure how good RoR is for website development, but for ajax like web apps it is supposed to be very good. Go into waterstones and see how many RoR books there are ?

    But i would focus on asp.net and php. There are a ton of php frameworks and cms, and ofcourse you could always build you're own cms in c sharp for asp.net based sites ;-)

    Not sure if python and ruby have made much headyway into the corporate world for web app development.

    But as synack says asp.net is very popular in microsoft shops. And very big companies have been building internal php sites and web apps for years, although not always ready to admit to it. IBM have also made a lot of effort in pushing the Zend php framework into corporatr IT. And it goes without saying php is very popular with smaller companies because it's so damn easy and intutitive
    Last edited by torledo; 24th March 2008 at 09:03 AM.

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    Ryan's Avatar
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    FN-GM: see this thread for resources on learning PHP, may help.

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    contink's Avatar
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    As someone who's left web development behind in some regards, I'd recommend starting with the basics and then working your way up.

    PHP, asp.net, etc... are all well n' good but you're always going to find yourself returning to the front end of HTML and CSS with XML and XHTML are not far behind either.

    I'd strongly recommend going there first and as you're already immersed in joomla, PHP is the next logical step... Just keep your eyes open for new tech and keep trying stuff.

    In terms of tools though the Eclipse development platform is ruddy marvellous.. Well worth it

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-Greatermanchester View Post
    So to round it up I think I am getting into web developing, what is the best direction to go with this.
    It's always worth taking the time to become a "programmer" first, then the web-developer part (or anything else that turns up) should be easy. The basics of most programming languages are very similar, you should be able to move around and select the best language for the particular job you want to do. Personally, I'm finding this to be Python at the moment - cross-platform, best features nicked from a bunch of other languages, other people's code is easy to read due to code formatting being built-in to the language, etc. Trendy (7th most popular language?) but not too trendy - say you know Ruby on Rails and everyone assumes you're the sort who try anything new.

    I found PHP's lack of cross-platform support for inter-process communication a problem.

    Sometimes, an advantage can be a disadvantage - writing a web development framework in Python is so damn easy that everyone does it (including myself), leaving half-completed chunks of code scattered around the place.

    Would recommend looking at XSLT - basically a functional programming language for transforming XML. You could also look at DSSSL - a proper functional programming language for transforming XML - maybe have a look at Scheme first.

    --
    David Hicks

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    It's always worth taking the time to become a "programmer" first, then the web-developer part (or anything else that turns up) should be easy. The basics of most programming languages are very similar, you should be able to move around and select the best language for the particular job you want to do. Personally, I'm finding this to be Python at the moment - cross-platform, best features nicked from a bunch of other languages, other people's code is easy to read due to code formatting being built-in to the language, etc. Trendy (7th most popular language?) but not too trendy - say you know Ruby on Rails and everyone assumes you're the sort who try anything new.

    I found PHP's lack of cross-platform support for inter-process communication a problem.

    Sometimes, an advantage can be a disadvantage - writing a web development framework in Python is so damn easy that everyone does it (including myself), leaving half-completed chunks of code scattered around the place.

    Would recommend looking at XSLT - basically a functional programming language for transforming XML. You could also look at DSSSL - a proper functional programming language for transforming XML - maybe have a look at Scheme first.

    --
    David Hicks
    I'm really intrigued by you're experiences with python. As a programming language it has lot of fans, not least the folks over at google. And there's a compeling case for using one of the python frameworks such as django.

    But are you using Python as the P in LAMP (or WAMP) basically as an alternative to php for server side scripting ? Or is python only really usable for web development with one of the plethora of python frameworks or as you've said diy you're own python framework. The last bit sounds like a lot of work.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    But are you using Python as the P in LAMP (or WAMP) basically as an alternative to php for server side scripting ? Or is python only really usable for web development with one of the plethora of python frameworks or as you've said diy you're own python framework. The last bit sounds like a lot of work.
    Like I said: right tool for the right job. In this case, after a fair bit of looking around, I figured Python was the right tool. I'm writing a tool to allow less technical end-users (okay, teachers :-)) to create Flash widgets for use in web pages, PowerPoint files, etc. My first attempts were to simply write straight Flash objects, but I found problems with loading resource files, so some help was needed. I didn't want to write GUI-based software, but I did want this to be nice and easy to install. I had a go at writing a Moodle plugin/module. Moodle is great and all, but has grown into the kind of system it can take a while to get your head around. I then decided to write a separate system, but one that would work well with Moodle (i.e. support the same user authentication methods and resource repository system that Moodle does - after attending MoodleMoot 2007, I think this is defiantly the way to go). I settled on Python - I'd used it before, and it's nice and easy to install on Windows (use the ActiveState installer).

    The "DIY framework" bit is really stunningly easy - writing a web server takes something like 3 lines of code. I just wrote a few functions to tack together a very simple XML parser that replaces XML tags with function calls and that was it.

    I like the way functions are first-class objects, as with Scheme or LISP, and the module system works like that in Modula2. You can start a thread with a simple function call (i.e. a function can be turned into a thread), again like Modula2. Reading someone else's code is easy(er) - the way code is indented is built into to language, so all Python code is formatted (pretty much) the same way. Once you get out of university, maybe 95% of development time is spent fixing bugs and reading already-written code, so anything that makes this easier has to be good.

    I aim to have a system that is web-based, i.e. works in a browser, but is installable on a Windows desktop machine by your average user. The "batteries included" reputation of Python is somewhat over-exaggerated - damned if I've ever found a language which has all the libraries you ever want included by default. That's the nice thing about Java - you can generally get all your libraries and smoosh them all into one .jar file which will run on any platform. However, I'm using a bunch of stand-alone libraries (actually command-line utilities called via system()) anyway (compilers for Flash ActionScript), and many end-users won't have Java installed and it's just as complex for them to install Java as it is to install Python. Besides, you make a Java-based system these days and you wind up with a huge great Ant make file to take care of too. I'm aiming for an open-source project that people can tack bits onto easily, without too much effort, so I want things as self-contained as possible.

    --
    David Hicks

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    russdev's Avatar
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    test

    testing 123

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russdev View Post
    test

    testing 123
    Yep we can hear you

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