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Languages worth learning

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by Hobbit2, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. #1
    Hey everyone. I used to be really into making websites but I've been out of the loop for a while so I want to update myself. What programming languages are mostly used today? Should I start looking into HTML5? Is that the standard? I'm sure I should look into CSS and PHP again. Any others?

    Now I'm about to get a bit off topic. How about languages for making software on a PC/Mac, and mobile apps (both for iPhone and Android). I appreciate the help.
    SEMrush
     
    Hobbit2, Jun 5, 2013 IP
    SEMrush
  2. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #2
    As of 5 June, 2013, today in other words, html5 is in draft status. It is not yet the accepted recommendation. It does have considerable support by the major browser vendors, but it is not stable.
    The current recommendations are html 4.01 and xhtml 1.0.

    The current css recommendation is v2.1 plus parts of css3. CSS3 is being written in modules and some are accepted and some are not. It will be up to you to keep current.

    For client side scripting, you'll need javascript. For server side, unless you're in a Microsoft house, PHP is the language of choice. You will also need some familiarity with SQL in whichever dialect your dbms uses. If the db stuff is non-trivial, you will probably want to bring in a specialist for that.

    cheers,

    gary
     
    kk5st, Jun 5, 2013 IP
    GMF and Hobbit2 like this.
  3. Hobbit2

    Hobbit2 Active Member

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    #3
    Thans Gary, that's exactly the information I needed. I appreciate it.
     
    Hobbit2, Jun 5, 2013 IP
  4. abbe77

    abbe77 Member

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    #3
    But if you wanna get some hold of web market in near future, concentrate on HTML5 and CSS3. Mobile apps are being developed on these two platforms.
     
    abbe77, Jun 6, 2013 IP
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  5. angela26

    angela26 Greenhorn

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    #4
    If you wanna be a really good webdesigner you should consider to expand your knowledge about PHP. If you can build your own scripts, like member systems, small galleries etc then you will take a lead on all the other webdesigners which can great websites but only static or use a opensource cms.
     
    angela26, Jun 6, 2013 IP
  6. jamjar919

    jamjar919 Well-Known Member

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    #5
    Here's the lowdown.

    For web development, you will need to learn at the minimum, at least one current iteration of HTML and one current iteration of CSS. I recommend learning HTML 4.01 STRICT or XHTML 1.0 STRICT, along with CSS3. These languages will enable you to build pretty much any static page you want to. However, if you want to add additional functionality to your website, you will need to learn other languages.

    Some of these languages are Javascript, which is a relatively simple client sided (The browser runs the code) language. It allows applications to be run within it and it's functionality can be extended with Javascript libraries. Another one is PHP, which is a server sided language. The web server runs the code. PHP is something you'll have to install on your web server, although many servers come with it pre installed. PHP allows you to build membership pages, create API's, run a CMS and many other things. You can check out some cool things I've done with PHP at http://thejamespaterson.com/index.html#tools.

    Languages for developing on a PC - There are many. Developers generally tend to use C++, although if you're new to software development you may want to start with Visual Basic/.NET as C++ can be hard to get to grips with. Mac OSX is filled with vendor lock in - If you want to develop a program for a Mac, you'll have to own one, and then download their development software to do it. If you don't own a Mac, you can't develop for one. Alternatives for development on either of those include Java (Not to be confused with Javascript, they are completely different).

    Additionally, many Android apps are written with Java. If you want to develop for android then learn Java and get to grips with development software like Eclipse. Publishing for android requires a one time fee of $25, and you can submit unlimited apps. However, if you want to develop for IOS then - You guessed it - You'll have to own a Mac and then download the correct software from Apple to develop. You'll also have to pay $99 per year to keep your Apps on the app store.
     
    jamjar919, Jun 7, 2013 IP
  7. localhost8080

    localhost8080 Well-Known Member

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    #6
    lots of great things from posters already, so ill try to add and not just re-hash what they have already said

    you would be best learning about software design patterns.
    these are language independent ways to design your code - the actual language wont really matter, but you could search google for 'php design patterns' and there are loads of tutorials on the first page.

    the same design patterns apply to most languages too, so you can move between different languages pretty easily.

    I would recommend learning a database (mysql is a good one to start with because its free)
    for most things you will probably want to do you'll be storing in a database anyway so its good to know how to design a proper database.

    and other than that I'd probably learn how to work a de-bugger.
    if you know design patterns and can store things in a database and can work a de-bugger then you can pretty much do anything that you can think of!
     
    localhost8080, Jun 7, 2013 IP
  8. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #7
    Just to follow up on my html5 comment, this is from the WHATwg mail list today. Note that this is from the WHAT, not the HTML5 wg, however the working groups have a remit from the W3C.org to jointly develop the html5 recommendation.

    To those advocating adopting html5 for web development, you're treading on thin ice unless you are well and truly current on what's going on within the two working groups. See the W3C HTML5wg quote in my first post above.
    [​IMG]
    cheers,
    gary
     
    kk5st, Jun 9, 2013 IP
  9. Keltichiro

    Keltichiro Member

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    #8
    A lot of good stuff here, so I'm just re-iterating what everyone else is saying basically..however I will say that if you're wanting to jump into web development once again, find some HTML5/CSS3 tutorials/books/videos/etc,...I noticed some people saying 'be careful with HTML5' but, there's no two ways about it..even if it's not the standard right now, it will be. On top of that, it's a LOT easier to write...after comparing HTML5 with the HTML4, some of the things we had to do back in the day are just silly LOL.

    Again, I know some will disagree with me, but that's my feeling on it.

    At any rate, that will cover the static stuff...I would dig into Javascript, and probably PHP to get into the fun stuff.

    As far as making software, there's a boat load of languages, and nearly any of them will do probably. They all just do things differently. From what I understand, Python and C# are probably the easiest. Java is insanely popular as well.

    If you really want to live on the bleeding (and unstable perhaps LOL) edge, you could write software with HTML/CSS/Javascript...Programs like Visual Studio 2012 and PhoneGap make that possible.
     
    Keltichiro, Jun 15, 2013 IP
  10. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #9
    Just exactly which html5 and css3 are you saying to learn? The HTML5 Reference is still in draft status. That means there haven't been enough implementations to make it a candidate for release (CR status), much less the Recommendation (W3C's name for standards). While html5 is frozen, waiting for implementers, work goes on in the html5.1 minor revisions. How often do changes happen? Enough so that changes are published daily. See the html5.1 Nightlies. Read both references' section, "Status of this document".

    As for css3, it is written and is to be accepted in modules. Some have reached CR status where they are generally safe to use, others are still in draft and subject to change without warning unless you follow the development mail list.

    I don't even know what you mean by that. Folks commonly write little applets with javascript modifying the html and css to embed in a page, and they are usually a waste of bits as far as the visitor is concerned.

    I have seen authors use javascript to actually write the page, or most of it. Developers who do that are probably too stupid to tie their own shoes. Notice there's no smiley nor "lol" attached to that statement.
    It is meant in the most derogatory manner possible.

    If you mean something else, please clarify.

    cheers,

    gary
     
    kk5st, Jun 16, 2013 IP
  11. Keltichiro

    Keltichiro Member

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    #10
    What I mean by that is I can write an app that can be downloaded from Google Play and the Windows Market using HTML/CSS/Javascript. Visual Studio now has that power built into it.(Not applets and such that make a web page shake or something silly like that, I mean full blown applications that look like they've been written in C# etc,)

    I dunno man, I guess the HTML5 I'm referring to is what you're linking to. I'm not sure why that's confusing. I'm going to use HTML5 tags like NAV and SECTION in my code instead of numerous divs, if it makes more sense...and if it validates, then that's good enough for me :)

    Though, that being said...do you feel like we should not be using HTML5 tags (nav, header, footer, etc,) I'm interested because you've been coding a lot longer than I have.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
    Keltichiro, Jun 16, 2013 IP
  12. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #11
    I think where Gary is getting lost on your statements is that much of what you are referring to have JACK **** to do with HTML 5, though everyone seems to be calling them such. Offline sites do thanks to the manifest attribute on the HTML tag, but apart from that most all of it ISN'T MARKUP, and as such has no place in a markup specification -- like most of the new scripting bits and CSS3.

    Also, a lot of developers like Gary and myself (Not to stuff words in his mouth) consider the code generated by tools like Visual Studio or Phonegap to be complete inept garbage akin to that vomited up by WYSIWYGS.

    Now, not to speak for Gary, but I personally think that there is NO legitimate reason to be using any of the new tags, and unless I was making an offline crapplet or absolutely NEEDED video playback on a crApple device that won't allow flash, well... You couldn't pay me to even put the HTML 5 doctype on a document as IMHO from a markup standpoint it offers ZERO real world improvements over 4 Strict.

    Check my siggy to see a full explanation of WHY -- but to to summarize for the link-leery, all those new structural tags (section, nav, footer, etc) are REDUNDANT to existing tags if you just take the blasted time to bother using numbered headings and horizontal rules properly... Of course most people NEVER learn proper semantic markup, throw numbered headings in based not on structure but on their size, use HR when they want a line across the page, slap paragraphs around non-flow text for Christmas only knows what reason, slap extra DIV around perfectly good block level containers again for no fathomable purpose...

    It's why (as I've said hundreds of times the past few years) I get the overall impression HTML 5 was carefully crafted for the people who until a few years ago were vomiting up HTML 3.2 and slapping 4 tranny on it -- now they wrap 5's lip-service around it for a net improvement of zero. It sure as shine-ola doesn't seem to have been made for anyone who bothered learning the PURPOSE of HTML or practiced good coding methodologies like semantic markup, separation of presentation from content, progressive enhancement, etc, etc...

    Because redundant semantics is bad semantics, and bad semantics is worse than none at all.

    When people call HTML 5 "the future" I go "really?!? Looks more like the worst of 1997 to me." -- can't wait for "HTML 6 STRICT" or whatever the next release is will be to deprecate/obsolete all the garbage 5 is adding for no good reason (like NAV, ARTICLE, SECTION, FOOTER, ASIDE, EMBED, VIDEO, AUDIO) -- as quite literally the majority of what HTML 5 does is introduce new redundancies, encourage people to use bad/broken semantics and slap together pages any old way, and undo all the progress of the past fifteen years.
     
    deathshadow, Jun 20, 2013 IP
  13. udores

    udores Member

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    #12
    +++in addition to the good stuff here, it will be also necessary to learn object oriented design in addition to design patterns in mostly PHP and JAVASCRIPT. this will enable you take on more larger complex web design project with ease as you move from the simple and obvious to the complex and bizarre.

    google up this book: OBJECT ORIENTED PROGRAMMING WITH PHP5: by hasin hayder
     
    udores, Jun 20, 2013 IP
  14. Keltichiro

    Keltichiro Member

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    #13
    Deathshadow, I read your article in your sig...it... makes sense. Therefore, I'm now on your side with this. That's all I have lol
     
    Keltichiro, Jun 20, 2013 IP
  15. lph

    lph Member

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    #14
    Just to add a little to some of the thoughts in this thread: learn PHP 5 including the use of OOP and not just procedural. Next, start dissecting plugins and add-ons. There are some great PHP ebooks online (for free) and a quick search will find these books.

    Best of luck.
     
    lph, Jun 20, 2013 IP
  16. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #15
    That sounds like content to me, and who cares how it's made. But if you were to come to me in my professional persona, with issues in your app, and it's written with Visual Studio, I'd say talk to your vendor.

    Remember that the html5 validator, like the html5 itself, is experimental.

    I am not as averse to html5 as Jason is, and I use the html5 DTD (though few of the elements) but I am not at all enthusiastic either. The nav element is redundant to ul/ol, but I could see making li a legitimate child of nav. It would still be redundant, but with some semantic value. header and footer potentially have some value. I am concerned about section, because it alters the meaning of heading tags according to the depth of nesting of the parent. A Bad Idea© imo.

    I am concerned that the same coders who are screwing up html4 will have even more elements to get wrong in html5.

    cheers,

    gary
     
    kk5st, Jun 20, 2013 IP