Building a community...

Posted on 2000-03-18
Last Modified: 2013-12-25
I'm planning to build a small little web-community, and would appreciate some pointers how to best tackle it.

I've planned to let the users make their own online profile, be able to send messages and mails inside the community to each others, and have some discussion forums. Also when a user browse other users profiles they will see how well they match each others with interestes and likes/dislikes.

My questions is what kind of language I should use to pull this off most easily? Should I use CGI scripts (C/C++), Perl or ASP?  What's the language to prefer?

Perhaps going with ColdFusion is a good idea?

What should I think of? Advices are appreciated a lot.

Have a great day!
Question by:rioter
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Accepted Solution

CoolAss earned 100 total points
ID: 2631919
Well, I am a fan of ASP/SQL Server.

It really depends on the scalability you are looking for. Many people profess that Oracle 8i is more scalable than SQL Server 7, but that remains to be proved by and thing I have seen.

What I recommend is the following setup. It will be a rapid development environment, and will give you the best bang for your time as far as I am concerned. This setup can handle everything I can think of...

Windows NT / Win2k Advanced Server
ASP/IIS 4 or 5/VB COM or VC COM.

ASP is a OPEN standard, and allows for scripts to be written in PERL, VBScript, and Javascript. You should write any of the most often used code in a COM object (component object model). The big question is what language to write the COM in. Many people say write it in C++, but the speed benefit really isn't that big, although the size of the resulting dll is quite a bit smaller than the VB COM object. VB is a LOT easier to write and debug though, so unless you need to have client side COM, use VB for as much as possible. Also, use SQL Server stored procedures as much as possible.

So, a combination of stored procedures, VB COM, and ASP (using VBScript, PERL, or Javascript) will result in an extremely scalable site that won't have any problems dealing with thousands of users. As long as the hardware is beefy enough, of course.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 2640525
check out:

I am a coldfusion fan because of its low learning curve and rapid deployment.
You can really develop good and fast web sites.

Cold Fusion is an Application Server.
Its latest version supports EJB, Servlets, JSP, and cfml.  CFML is Cold Fusions proprietary Language that allows you to dynamically generate html using server side parsing.  It is very easy to learn and is ideal for Rapid Application Development (RAD).

Cold Fusion App. Server also supports load balancing and clustering so it is scalable.

Its cost is comparable to most Application Servers out there but it does give you the benefit of CFML.

ASP is easy but CFML is easier.  Some good books to buy (as suggested before) are Ben Forta's Web Application Development with Cold Fusion 4.0 and Advanced Web Application Development with Cold Fusion 4.0

You can go to sites like 
and pick up some good info on Cold Fusion.

Some strong points of cold fusion is its performance and thread capability which gives you better performance than the standard Perl or basic CGI.. plus it is 10 times easier to program.



Expert Comment

ID: 2654982
OK, now for something completely different - I like Zope (  It has certain advantages:

It runs on any Unix (Solaris, HP-UX, Linux, etc) and NT. (I personally run it on an old 486 with a good amount of memory under Linux and an old Pentium with NT, and it responds to database searches of over 100,000 records very quickly).

It has pre-built drop-in discussion systems (Squishdot - looks just like, calendaring, user-authoring, web mail, profile management (see the Members section of for an example), a VERY sophisticated authentication scheme (you can delegate control of certain areas to other users), and lots of other stuff.
It is mature (been around over 5 years).
It is FREE and OPEN SOURCE, and based on the easiest scripting language I've ever seen, which is python.  It is really made to be a collaborative application server.

Anything you can do in PHP, Cold Fusion, or ASP you can do in Zope.

I am replacing a whole batch of calendar, group collaboration, and database applications where I work with Zope.  

Warning - the documentation is not as good as it should be - and the learning curve is steep.  Download and print the various Guides, and subscribe to the zope mailing list, and start hacking.  I've been really stuck, an email to the list gets me a good answer in a day.
The user community is good and whenever
Now for your problem - is there a 'right' answer to your question??

Expert Comment

ID: 2806895
rioter can I have pls have the address of ur website.

I am also planning to do exactly the same thing, ie setup a small community website and would love to see how urs has panned out.



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