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young programmer that would like an introduction to web coding :)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
'sup guys, hope all is well!

I'm curious what kind of programming is involved in web coding. I've only been programming at my university for a year (computer sciences) with C++ and python and I wonder what kind of challenges web coding brings me. I don't really know for sure why certain languages are mainly used for it and what kinds of lang are preferably used (high/low lvl, stat/dyn typed, ...). Overall, I could use a little introduction biggrin.gif.

Thanks in advance!


ps: no I didn't look anything up yet, so I don't know what to expect from it.
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post #2 of 20
Where should I begin with?


Well, basically in the web, what you see if HTML. It's what is responsible for displaying things only. You can have a page written purely in HTML.

The thing is HTML is just for that (not talking about the new html5).

If you want more than just displaying things, like doing some maths - you need something else.

So, in a way, HTML isn't a programming language, it's just a document, like a word document, but with different standards, it's own standards.

The first programming language I learned for the web, along with HTML, was PHP.
Think of PHP as code you can write and that is going to be ran in the server that is displaying the HTML document.

PHP can do math. You can have functions, classes, variables, etc, etc. And it easily interacts with your HTML document. So PHP does the dirty work, while HTML displays it.

For example:
Code:

<p>This is an HTML paragraph to Ollii.</p>

<p> This is another paragraph. And 2+2 = <?php echo 2+2?> </p>


So the function echo, which in linux scripts can echo to your terminal, here is echoing something into your HTML document.


Well, basically, that's it.


I would put it like:
HTML is what you see.
PHP is code ran by the server.
JavaScript is code ran on the user's machine.

JS is capable of doing many cool things, like editing the HTML document in real time (basically editing the HTML document in real time, whereas PHP needs to refresh the whole page when you are doing so)

jQuery is a bunch of cool javascript functions, it's like a library in C.

The problem with javascript is that what you do with it might or might not work across all browsers.



Last thing I wanna talk about is CSS.

Think about it as the looks of your HTML stuff.
So, HTML is your document, that tells the browser where he should put a paragraph with "hello world"
and CSS determines how that text is gonna look: font size, font family, text alignment, text color, etc.

A button in HTML is a button. What makes it look different here on OCN and on google is the CSS applied to that button.





I've written too much, but feels like there is a lot more I should tell you. Anyway, this seems to be a decent introduction with the basics rolleyes.gif
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EduFurtado View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Where should I begin with?
Well, basically in the web, what you see if HTML. It's what is responsible for displaying things only. You can have a page written purely in HTML.
The thing is HTML is just for that (not talking about the new html5).
If you want more than just displaying things, like doing some maths - you need something else.
So, in a way, HTML isn't a programming language, it's just a document, like a word document, but with different standards, it's own standards.
The first programming language I learned for the web, along with HTML, was PHP.
Think of PHP as code you can write and that is going to be ran in the server that is displaying the HTML document.
PHP can do math. You can have functions, classes, variables, etc, etc. And it easily interacts with your HTML document. So PHP does the dirty work, while HTML displays it.
For example:
Code:
<p>This is an HTML paragraph to Ollii.</p>
<p> This is another paragraph. And 2+2 = <?php echo 2+2?> </p>
So the function echo, which in linux scripts can echo to your terminal, here is echoing something into your HTML document.
Well, basically, that's it.
I would put it like:
HTML is what you see.
PHP is code ran by the server.
JavaScript is code ran on the user's machine.
JS is capable of doing many cool things, like editing the HTML document in real time (basically editing the HTML document in real time, whereas PHP needs to refresh the whole page when you are doing so)
jQuery is a bunch of cool javascript functions, it's like a library in C.
The problem with javascript is that what you do with it might or might not work across all browsers.
Last thing I wanna talk about is CSS.
Think about it as the looks of your HTML stuff.
So, HTML is your document, that tells the browser where he should put a paragraph with "hello world"
and CSS determines how that text is gonna look: font size, font family, text alignment, text color, etc.
A button in HTML is a button. What makes it look different here on OCN and on google is the CSS applied to that button.
I've written too much, but feels like there is a lot more I should tell you. Anyway, this seems to be a decent introduction with the basics rolleyes.gif

Thanks for replying! I forgot to say I've already used HTML for creating overviews about my projects for univ. HTML is pretty much just some syntax for, like you said, the chunks of text / elements of your page. It hardly involves any sort of real programming tongue.gif. I've heard of PHP before and after reading your reply I'm guessing it forms the base of your page code interface (and I believe it's a weak typed, interpreted, high-level language, just like python biggrin.gif) mainly for interactive reasons/elements/calculations, eg: the 'current online' list here on OCN is probably a container written in PHP. Would make sense smile.gif tell me if I'm wrong.

ps: Any idea why JS needs to be ran on the visitor's machine? Just out of curiosity ..
Edited by Ollii - 1/8/13 at 7:36pm
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post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollii View Post

Thanks for replying! I forgot to say I've already used HTML for creating overviews about my projects for univ. HTML is pretty much just some syntax for, like you said, the chunks of text / elements of your page. It hardly involves any sort of real programming tongue.gif. I've heard of PHP before and after reading your reply I'm guessing it forms the base of your page code interface (and I believe it's a weak typed, interpreted, high-level language, just like python biggrin.gif) mainly for interactive reasons/elements/calculations, eg: the 'current online' list here on OCN is probably a container written in PHP. Makes sense smile.gif
ps: Any idea why JS needs to be ran on the visitor's machine? Just out of curiosity ..

JS is what is so called a client side language, and primarily it's use is on browsers but it can also be used in other situations.
To run javascript, a browser needs a browser capable of running JS, I think it's called a JS engine.

Because jS code runs locally in a user's browser (rather than on the server, like PHP), the browser can respond to user actions faster, making everything more responsive.

You are partially right about PHP - The container is HTML, what is inside of it is pulled from OCN's database (or somewhere else) and then printed into the HTML document.


Actually this whole page is pulled from somewhere, probably a database, using PHP.

For example, there must be a "Ollii" entry in the database with your real name, email, the date you joined, post count, rep, trader rating, etc. It pulls all of that using PHP and print's to the left of each of your posts.
The posts are also probably somewhere in a database.


Basically what you need to make a webpage with some sort of service is PHP+HTML.
A beautiful page also needs CSS.
And a superb page requires JS or jQuery smile.gif



ps:
from stackoverflow:
Quote:
Because for historic reasons javascript was first created to run in a web browser and web browsers usually run on the client. Today there are frameworks like node.js which allow for running javascript on the server.

Edited by EduFurtado - 1/8/13 at 7:43pm
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by EduFurtado View Post

Basically what you need to make a webpage with some sort of service is PHP+HTML

Not entirely true... While PHP is the "flavor of the month", almost any language can be used for dynamic content. The old standard cgi language was Perl, and it still has fairly wide use for web applicatons(most sites that don't use PHP use Perl). It also possible to use Python(django is a good "library" for web apps), Ruby(Rails), or even languages like C++(you may have to roll your own library).
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post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metmop View Post

Not entirely true... While PHP is the "flavor of the month", almost any language can be used for dynamic content. The old standard cgi language was Perl, and it still has fairly wide use for web applicatons(most sites that don't use PHP use Perl). It also possible to use Python(django is a good "library" for web apps), Ruby(Rails), or even languages like C++(you may have to roll your own library).

You are right. But I have never seen any pages that are not made with PHP nowadays.

Frankly I have no idea why, because I never got into any of them, since the PHP+JS combo suffices all of my needs to this day.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EduFurtado View Post

JS is what is so called a client side language, and primarily it's use is on browsers but it can also be used in other situations.
To run javascript, a browser needs a browser capable of running JS, I think it's called a JS engine.
Because jS code runs locally in a user's browser (rather than on the server, like PHP), the browser can respond to user actions faster, making everything more responsive.
You are partially right about PHP - The container is HTML, what is inside of it is pulled from OCN's database (or somewhere else) and then printed into the HTML document.
Actually this whole page is pulled from somewhere, probably a database, using PHP.
For example, there must be a "Ollii" entry in the database with your real name, email, the date you joined, post count, rep, trader rating, etc. It pulls all of that using PHP and print's to the left of each of your posts.
The posts are also probably somewhere in a database.
Basically what you need to make a webpage with some sort of service is PHP+HTML.
A beautiful page also needs CSS.
And a superb page requires JS or jQuery smile.gif
ps:
from stackoverflow:

Yeah that's pretty much what I was thinking after reading your first post, thanks a lot ! biggrin.gif How well do you think python + js + css would work out?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metmop View Post

Not entirely true... While PHP is the "flavor of the month", almost any language can be used for dynamic content. The old standard cgi language was Perl, and it still has fairly wide use for web applicatons(most sites that don't use PHP use Perl). It also possible to use Python(django is a good "library" for web apps), Ruby(Rails), or even languages like C++(you may have to roll your own library).

Thanks for you reply, it's really good to know that it's just more like the 'meta' currently in use, since I just couldn't believe that PHP would be a language with a specific purpose... I'm pretty sure I'll go for python, it's truly a 'toy' language to play around with tongue.gif. But first: any good reason why people prefer PHP? After looking up some bits, a lot of threads on various sites tell me that python is way better in its design and has better framework support. On the other hand, whenever new API's might come out, PHP seems to be the first lang supported mostly (since it's the meta in web design). Yup, I'd really like making this little personal project in python. Hmmm.

I looked up some more on stack overflow why C++ isn't much of a fave for web services and like you said, less library support. d'aww frown.gif
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post #8 of 20
There is no limitation on what language you can use, it is all a question of which one works for you/your situation. Personally I prefer Asp.Net MVC/C#/Javascript/MSSQL for my stack (I do this professionally).

If you are doing it for yourself, just pick what is capable enough and you like. If you are looking at possibly making this a job, I would highly recommend looking into .Net or Java, as that is where most of the jobs are (.Net seems to have the highest salaries right now) with Ruby and Python on the rise as well.

I have actually steered away from php in the past years,even for personal projects (Ruby on Rails has become a new pet). It is a capable language, but in my experience, it is much more difficult to make it work like a modern programming language should (IE C#, Ruby, etc.) - basically more code for the same result, plus you have to do extra things for modulation, testing, etc that is inherent in other languages.

This is just my own opinion on this, but I highly suggest you do your research before you 'settle down' on a language!!!

Here is some good info, though the images seem broken: http://www.jasonkolb.com/weblog/2007/02/programming_tre.html

Also, here is a great free editor: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/products/visual-studio-express-for-web
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stupid View Post

There is no limitation on what language you can use, it is all a question of which one works for you/your situation. Personally I prefer Asp.Net MVC/C#/Javascript/MSSQL for my stack (I do this professionally).

If you are doing it for yourself, just pick what is capable enough and you like. If you are looking at possibly making this a job, I would highly recommend looking into .Net or Java, as that is where most of the jobs are (.Net seems to have the highest salaries right now) with Ruby and Python on the rise as well.

I have actually steered away from php in the past years,even for personal projects (Ruby on Rails has become a new pet). It is a capable language, but in my experience, it is much more difficult to make it work like a modern programming language should (IE C#, Ruby, etc.) - basically more code for the same result, plus you have to do extra things for modulation, testing, etc that is inherent in other languages.

This is just my own opinion on this, but I highly suggest you do your research before you 'settle down' on a language!!!

Here is some good info, though the images seem broken: http://www.jasonkolb.com/weblog/2007/02/programming_tre.html

Also, here is a great free editor: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/products/visual-studio-express-for-web

The reason I'm curious towards web coding is pretty simple: I had an idea for some kind of community page for certain interests. The chance that it breaks out like known forums/facebook (shiver)/... is very low, but I guess I could just make this out of interest. I'm only a 1-year old programmer after all. It's not anything professional right now, but rather a project out of interest, that may or may not give way to growth when the time comes.

I'm quite sure python will work for my situation. Well 'sure' is a bad word here tbh... but I can work well with python and its design. Ruby might also be an option but I noticed during a job at a computer software company that it's not my thing. I can work with it, but I write better code with python. As for java, same story vs. C++ during that same job. It's probably just because I'm not used to Java (and I'm not planning to hehe, just not yet). I'll first look around a bit more concerning python web coding.

Thanks a lot for these replies guys (: great information!
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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollii View Post

I'm quite sure python will work for my situation. Well 'sure' is a bad word here tbh... but I can work well with python and its design. Ruby might also be an option but I noticed during a job at a computer software company that it's not my thing. I can work with it, but I write better code with python. As for java, same story vs. C++ during that same job. It's probably just because I'm not used to Java (and I'm not planning to hehe, just not yet). I'll first look around a bit more concerning python web coding.

Thanks a lot for these replies guys (: great information!

Python is actually a great language for web application development, made even better if you use a framework/library like django. If starting a new project that doesn't depend on anything done in another language(i.e. PHP or Perl), Python is probably the best language for web apps anyways.
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