What program platform should I use?

Hello all,

I have recently started development of my first web page. I have been useing the "WebMatrix" which is a light weight 1.4 meg free download.  If you are not familiar with this product you may find some brief info here : http://www.asp.net/webmatrix/
The downsides to this program are that it does not have intellisense.  So, I decided it was time to find something that was a bit better.  I found VB 2005 Beta edition.  Seems like a great program, and my background is in C++.  But I do not see any place for web application development.  All that said, my question is;  for a novice programer, what a good language/platform to create a web page?  Am I just missing some functionality that VB offers?

Thank you,

Who is Participating?
Actually, there are a number of Visual Studio Express downloads, including C#, which may be more in line with your C++ experience, but is a little more web oriented than C++.  There is also a web development beta.

If you possibly can, follow some of the Microsoft live webcasts which describe how to use Visual Studio to develop web applications.  If you can't get to them in real time, they are recorded for later viewing.  I don't have the exact URL but you should find them if you search MSDN for webcast.

The quality of the webcasts is a little uneven ... for example, they had a series of 3 webcasts on C# and the first one was great, but the second two, which should have been better since they were entirely around programming examples, were somewhat weaker.  But, they are free, so I'm not complaining a whole lot.
Jaime OlivaresSoftware ArchitectCommented:
You can try HTML kit (www.htmlkit.com) It is more than a HTML editor, have thousands of plugins to develop in differents web languages.
travishabermanAuthor Commented:
Need a bit more detail.
Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Jaime OlivaresSoftware ArchitectCommented:
You can use any language to develop with HTMLKit, could be PHP, ASP, JSP, etc., just choose. I think PHP is a good choice to start with, because you will find more sites (specially cheap sites) which support PHP than ASP or JSP.
"Am I just missing some functionality that VB offers?"

Yes, you are missing VB.net, especially developed for building Web applications. You can read about it at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/vbcon/html/vboriintroductiontovisualbasic70forvisualbasicveterans.asp

"...my question is;  for a novice programer, what a good language/platform to create a web page?"

If you are a beginner and if you want to make webpages without investing money in any developping software, then learn HTML and JavaScript first. There are many free tutorials on the net. You also don't need a special Editor for writing your HTML or JavaScript code, Notepad is enough if you save your projects with a '.html' extension instead of the default '.txt' extension. Be aware that JavaScript and Java are totally different (Java is used for making stand alone programs and is not free). There are many free HTML and JavaScript codes on the net that you can use in your webpages. I can come back with a lot of links if you are interested.

PHP and Perl are also good options, but sometimes give you headache if you try to upload your scripts on free webhosts. If you want to handle Forms on your webpage, HTML and JavaScript knowledge is not enough. Lots of CGI scripts are freely distributed on the net and you can use them for handling Forms and/or databases from within your web page, there are also many free tutorials. I can give you a lot of links here too. However, I don't advise you to take this step before learning HTML and JavaScript.

Writing code for a website is different from writing code for a stand-alone program. Before starting to make websites I was making programs. I could tell you about the differences in case you are interested, but I'm sure that you will find out soon by yourself!


I would advice you to start with Microsoft as other people here says too. If you want to program dynamicly built pages, it's neccesary to get into details to get control, even though a lot of products hides it for you. For a good start, go to http://www.w3schools.com/. That site has probably the best step by step descriprions. Get an evalution version of Allaire's Homesite, so it can supply you during your learning process.

I'm programming Java based Web-application only for the moment, using Dreamweaver UltraDev to put it all together, but that's not the best solution for your first WEB-page.
travishabermanAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for the input.

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