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Loose Cannon

New and needing advice...

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Hello, I'm sure this is the question you hear a thousand times over but I want to re-ask it because I know with time certain new programs come to light and whatever. I have recently been looking into programming I'm literally on HTML at the moment and have started looking at PHP. I'm interested in learning more and I'm more interested in the web design side of programming than the gaming side of programming but I think this forum could still help me as I'm obviously on the bottom rung of the learning ladder, in fact I haven't even got a ladder yet <g> So what I wanted to ask is this, where is best to start when you are completely new to programming, what language would be a) quite simple to learn and b) useful for web development. I know that any language is going to be hard work to learn but I am willing to sit down and study to get to where I want to be I just don't really know where to begin. Also whatever programming language you may think is best, could you also provide me with links to articles that may be useful or book titles. Thanks in advance for any help and sorry for bringing up what I imagine is the age old question! Thanks, LC

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I'm a newb myself, but HTML isn't a programming language as it is a markup language. "The best programming language" does not exist. It all depends on your goals.

Either PHP or Python are good languages to go to next. Since you want web development, I recommend PHP. I haven't done any PHP programming myself, as I new and am learning C#, so I can't recommend any books unfortunately.

Good luck!

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If I were you, I'd start right out with C. I know its alittle tougher, but it really is better to learn from the ground up. Also, no matter what language you settle on, make sure all your code is written in a text editor and not an IDE. That way you will learn more about how the language goes then if the IDE just fills things in for you.

Nalidixic

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If I were you, I'd start right out with C. I know its alittle tougher, but it really is better to learn from the ground up. Also, no matter what language you settle on, make sure all your code is written in a text editor and not an IDE. That way you will learn more about how the language goes then if the IDE just fills things in for you.


No, no, no, no, no. You are totally and utterly wrong. Especially since he wants to do web programming. C as a language should never be used today except in two situations:

1) You are programming for an embedded device that only supports the C compiler.

2) You are working for a company that has a very old code base and doesn't have the time and/or money to bring it up to date.

Loose Cannon, I don't really know web programming languages, so the only thing I can suggest is ASP.NET, which allows you to use the powerful Visual Studio IDE and the very useful .NET framework to develop web applications.

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Original post by nalidixic
If I were you, I'd start right out with C. I know its alittle tougher, but it really is better to learn from the ground up. Also, no matter what language you settle on, make sure all your code is written in a text editor and not an IDE. That way you will learn more about how the language goes then if the IDE just fills things in for you.

Nalidixic


please ignore this man.


Python is a good start. There are a lot of good resources on learning Python. However, as of this moment its web use isn't as well developed as some other languages. Maybe by the time you're ready to make a career out of web development it would be, though.

I really wouldn't suggest starting with PHP. While language is relatively easy to learn, it has a number of gotchas that are difficult to recognize and get around if you're a beginner.

If you're doing HTML right now, you might want to look at javascript. It's difficult to find quality resources on javascript, though, as most people who write tutorials about it aren't very good at it and really shouldn't be writing tutorials at all.

In reallity, over time you should strive to learn all of these. A good web developer will know HTML, CSS, and javascript inside out, and then at least two or three different server-side scripting system. The big ones are Java/JSP (used a lot in industry, a little more difficult to break into though), ASP.NET (my tool of choice), and PHP right now (but again, my personal opinion is that PHP is a poorly designed, buggy system).

edit: forgot to mention an important caveat, javascript is unrelated to Java. It sounds like javascript should be a scripting version of Java, but it isn't. It's a long story as to why, if you want to know, look it up on wikipedia.

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You're right, the question of "what language" has been asked a thousand times resulting in a thousand answers, a lot of them conflicting :) Your best bet is to do a bit of searching among these forums and read the topics.

To add to those answers, my recommendation would be C#. Reasons relevant to you:

- It has an excellent free IDE: Visual C# Express.
- It is capable of web development through ASP.NET. There's a separate free IDE for this: Visual Web Developer Express.
- For me at least, it is considerably easier, less error-prone, and less frustrating than languages like C and C++. I use C++ at work, but do all my for-fun development with C#.
- It's popular in other areas such as games (XNA) and general development in case you ever want to branch out.

There are other choices out there too, including Ruby and Python, but I'm not as familiar with them.

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