Internet Programming

Posted on 2002-04-02
Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I am a programmer but all of my experience is in developing database systems that have nothing to do with the internet.  I would like to learn how to develop a web site of my own using programming languages.  I want to be able to do everything: read from the user, maintain a database, have animation and sound, etc.  I understand that there are a number of different languages designed for the internet.  (1) What languages are there and what is special about each one?  Which functionalities (read from the user, maintain a database, animation and sound) does each allow?  (2) How can I cheaply (download for free or buy a book plus CD) learn them?  (Being a programmer, I don't need a teacher - just a good reference manual and the software to write and run the programs.)
Question by:Charliesv
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Accepted Solution

taftman earned 50 total points
ID: 6914379
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 6915000
all the links are good but in my opinion before moving to server-side scripting, dynamic pages, need to have a foundation first of the basic HTML. cause even if you start from there but you don't know how to use HTML tags yet, it will come out useless, waste of time. so to start with here,
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 6915416
Be forwarned -- some of the stuff on WebMonkey is pretty old, and references things that may or may not even be applicable/usable.

Graphics/animation/sound are totally, utterly different things than HTML/javascript/asp coding. Different tools, different way of thinking, different problems.

Also, you might want to look into some graphic design classes. Not necessarily web focused, just general design principals, layout, color use, etc. Interface/navigation design could be helpful too.

Because like it or not, clients don't really see what happens on the back end, and they don't always care how it works (as long as it does), but they DO care how it LOOKS.

There are lots of very good programmers who have sites that work beautifully but look amateurish. ;-)
LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 6915571
Start here.  Tutorials and links for evrything you need to get started:

LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 6916590
Charliesv -

Welcome to the Internet... I'm a former programmer of a DOS-based database program who moved into web application development in 1994.

There are many different programming technologies to choose from - step 1 is to choose your operating system, as this will limit and/or change what you decide to program in.  Here's a brief and simplified overview of some technologies available to you.

For Unix/Linux-based sites, many of us have choosen to become 'LAMP' programmers - i.e. Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Perl (or PHP, depending upon your preference).  Linux is the operating system, Apache is the web server, MySQL is the database product, and Perl (or PHP) is the programming language.  All of these programs can be downloaded and install the software on your server for little or no cost, assuming you are using a Linux-based solution.

Using Perl, most commonly you use CGI scripts for the interactive part.  You could easily replace Perl with C or C++, but Perl is much better equiped to handle database and CGI constructs in general.

Perl, PHP and MySQL are available for Windows-based platforms as well, but often cost money, as Microsoft compilers have a runtime component cost, and compilers in general for the Windows environment cost money.  CGI scripts in general aren't necessarily a particularly good choice for Windows, as CGI and interpretor (non-compiled) languages can run sluggish under Windows, depending upon their construction and server usage.

Java is technically a platform independent programming language, but there are certainly idiocyncrancies when using Java via the web, not the least of which is download time in downloading the client portion of the java application.  If server-side java is used, special software must reside on the server.

Javascript is a client-side scripting language, which can be used to enhance web sites.

ColdFusion is a specialized programming environment;  again, requires special software on the server.

Under Windows-based platforms, ASP is commonly used - there are ASP clients for Unix as well, but they are expensive, and again, special server software must be available on your web hosting server.

Windows databases include Oracle, MS SQL Server, and even Access (although Access is generally not recommended for applications that require a lot of concurrent usage).

In general, database work will require some knowledge of SQL - it's a good foundation knowledge to learn about.

General advice is to pick your server operating system- i.e. Linux or Windows, and then specialize from there on in, based on what is available for your operating system.  Be careful not to pick a technology that ropes you too tightly into a specialization, and make a good partnership with a hosting company you can trust.  When in doubt, attempt to develop platform independent solutions.  

Be certain to learn a good understanding of HTML (the language to code web pages), and probably CSS (cascading style sheets - a newer technology that allows you to separate some of the repetative formatting elements from the actual HTML code).  This is an important foundation building block.

As mentioned, I choose to become a 'LAMP' programmer;  I can give you the names of some excellent references, if you choose this route.  New Riders makes several excellent reference for MySQL, such as MySQL by Paul DuBois (the more or less definitive bible, with chapters on how to use Perl, PHP, and C to interface with it), and MySQL and Perl for the Web, also by Paul DuBois.  For Perl, the O'Reilly & Associates books "Programming Perl" and "Perl Cookbook" are indispensible.  In fact, many of the O'Reilly & Associates books are excellent references on a variety of programming languages and environments for the web (their MySql and MSQL book is one of the few that I'd avoid).
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Expert Comment

ID: 7048055
This question has been abandoned. I will make a recommendation to the
moderators on its resolution in a week or two. I appreciate any comments
that would help me to make a recommendation.


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Expert Comment

ID: 7065734
It is time to clean this abandoned question up.  

I am putting it on a clean up list for CS.

points to taftman


If anyone participating in the Q disagrees with the recommendation,
please leave a comment for the mods.


Expert Comment

ID: 7067121
Thanks, Cd&, for your help here.

This has been finalized today, and monitoring for comments.

Moondancer - EE Moderator

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