How should I begin?
Posted 26 August 2008 - 04:52 AM
I've begun thinking about ideas I have for a web site and trying to figure out what I would have to do to make it. And I think I'll have to do some programming for it. But I know very very little about it. I've heard the names of a few languages and I've seen a few lines of code but that's about it. So I was wondering what the easiest way to start learning how to program was? Which language should I start with (even if I have to start with one to learn programming in general and then learn others to be able to make my site)?
I also plan on learn html or css or both (or whatever else I need to), but I would also like to know what the easiest way to learn programming would be if I do end up having to program.
Are different languages for different types of sites? What are the advantages or disadvantages of each and how do I know what would be the best one for me to learn in the beginning and eventually the best one for my web site?
Thanks for your time and help.
Posted 26 August 2008 - 05:08 AM
If it is not confidential, what type of site are you considering? Unless it is something that has not been done before, rather than figure out the programming language, I would advise you to look for similar sites on the web and see what they are using (not what languages, but what software packages). Often, you'll find they are using some ready-made free software.
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Posted 27 August 2008 - 09:56 AM
Posted 27 August 2008 - 10:33 AM
Unless it is something that has not been done before
And if it IS something that has not been done before (without me knowing specifics about what you are thinking of) you may very well be out of your league and need to go get a freelance web developer (there are lots of websites where you can contact such people) and pay to have a web application developed. When it comes to websites - people aren't willing to entrust giving their credit card info unless the website looks and behaves professionally. If a site looks like it was built by a beginner using FrontPage or some other WYSIWYG program - I move on. And so do internet users in general.
Edited by KevinDW78, 27 August 2008 - 10:34 AM.
Posted 31 August 2008 - 10:51 PM
Thank you volco for the page breeze link.
I don't know exactly what all the site would have, because I don't really know what's even possible (which is one reason why I want to learn how to program. To know how it works and what's possible) and if what I want could work.
Because I don't know which of my ideas would work, or if they're good or bad, I'm a little hesitant discussing them in such a public environment.
But I will PM you (Kevin and softwareNerd) with the basics I have in mind.
Posted 02 September 2008 - 09:48 PM
Edited by GreedyCapitalist, 02 September 2008 - 09:48 PM.
Posted 26 February 2011 - 02:08 PM
That is the website for Harvard College's official, free, Fall 2010 introductory course on Computer Science. It contains HQ video of all the lectures, links to the notes, slides, homeworks, projects. The Google Group students use to discuss ideas with the teachers during the course of the semester is also free for everyone to join.
Especially since it is followed up by CS75 - Building Dynamic Websites, a course focused specifically on web design. There are a few other free CS courses on the same website. They also link to a project called OpenCourseWare, which has similar courses from a few other colleges (MIT jumps out).
Posted 27 February 2011 - 05:21 PM
This is my personal preference of course, but the fastest and easiest solution for creating dynamic data-driven websites is with Microsoft .Net products: http://www.microsoft.com/express/vwd/
To do a dynamic, data-driven website, you'll want to find a good host who can sell you db space and tomcat cycles (or whatever appserver you choose to use). All that is in addition to the boilerplate webserver hosting. Pick someone with a good reputation for security.
It's not something to try on for yourself lightly. In principle, it's not hard; in practice, bugs will be bugs. And maintenance is a headache, often, too.
Best advice I can give (I have 20 years work experience with this stuff) is find an expert to assist you, or do it for you according to your specifications. If you have the capital to do that, or know a well-versed friend you can trade services with, you'll get further faster.
Having said that, I think it is helpful to know how these kinda things work, and it won't hurt you in life if you gain a decent working understanding of website programming concepts. I encourage you to try learning it, but unless you are a CIS major, why bother with all the foundational stuff?
Jump right into a good Java (or C#) tutorial, throw in something like Groovy (or its C# equivalent) for scripting (can you tell I'm a Java user these days?), and something like GWT or its C# equivalent for making web applications. The rest of the machinery, including webservices and application services and database services should be managed by your hoster (unless you are a real guru with your own setup -- and don't do that unless you know your way around internet security). You'll have to learn how to deploy your applications, and be careful that they don't crash on you, but other than that, it is more or less a recipe -- once you have built the application/content you want to present.
Oh wait, one more issue: making good application "skins" is truly an art. If the look and feel of the site is not your biggest concern, learn as you go. Otherwise, you may want an expert to consult with on that, too. (Note: in well-factored web applications, the "skin", or presentation layer (what you see on the screen), is loosely coupled to the application layer, where the real work happens. Even for a quick-n-dirty, this separation of concerns saves headaches.
Edited by icosahedron, 27 February 2011 - 05:22 PM.
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