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So I wanna learn a language
Previous | Next by n0manarmy 16 June, 2008 - 11:03 AM

I've been doing more and more on the web and I don't want to be an apps junky anymore. I want to learn a language that'll let me do somethings on the web that are cool and fun. I've heard of Ajax, Flash, Ruby (on Rails), .Net (?) and I just can't decide.

Right now I'm leaning towards because it looks easy BUT I don't want to put the effort in to a language that's going to die off much like C++ in highschool but I don't want to get involved with a language that's too specific or complicated.

I don't want to be a hard core programmer but if I wanted to setup my own website without dumping some app from some page and keeping it simple, what should I look into?

6/17/2008 >> found_drama

So my first thought was to shout out "Russian!" but then I actually read the post...

These sorts of questions always spark up a good ol' fashioned round of flame wars, so here goes:

(1) I would recommend starting with PHP. I've always found it's the best place to cut your teeth: there are tons of freebie tutorials, tons of "getting started with"-type books, tons of examples, tons of applications, a great user community, and a longer-standing history than Rails.

(2) Rails (IMO) is deceptive in its simplicity. Maybe its just my background in PHP that was throwing me off but I found Rails to be counter-intuitive at times and downright ass-backward at others. A bunch of folks out there would say that it (like PHP) has a great user community where you can find help and useful examples etc. but I just didn't really find that to be the case. Then again: my trial run didn't last very long (I didn't feel like reinventing my own wheel). THAT said: learning Rails gives you a leg-up on Ruby which you can use elsewhere (e.g., shell scriping).

(3) Flash: no. Just... No.

(4) Ajax: more like a technique than a language. There are a bunch of different approaches to this -- some of them in Rails, some of them in PHP, etc.

Hope this helps at least a little.

6/17/2008 >> elfie

If you're just looking for something that you can play around with, go with PHP. If you're looking for a career, go with C# .NET. (Not to say you can't have a career in PHP.)

6/17/2008 >> ben

hahahaha, Rob, I thought almost the same thing, but said "Chinese"...

Don't be fooled, by the way, C++ is still around in a LOT of places, it's just cool & trendy anymore

(1) I hate to say it - I kind of agree with Rob, even Jeff Atwood agrees, though he doesn't like it.

(2) again, kind of in the same boat with rails

(3) You can learn how to build things in Flash, but the stuff that does things is ActionScript, and from what I have been told, it's pretty close to Javascript. At Cynergy, we're doing a LOT with FLEX, which is Adobe's next step after just Flash + ActionScript on the side.

(4) Totally there... there are just as many types of Ajax implementations as there are languages... and there a TON of languages...

My suggestion - If you want to just tinker around, take from the scripting languages (PHP, Rails, whatever), if you want to get into stuff a little more, you can always learn more... I'm going to suggest Silverlight, just because it's new, it's flashy, and all the stuff is free

6/17/2008 >> ben

Rob - you use Firebug, right? any thoughts on dragonfly?

6/17/2008 >> Brian

Do you want to be a "nerd" or a "geek" That's the epitomy of language learning!.

I would recommend Esperanto, as well, however. I say so cos' Esperanto has great propraedeutic values.

Don't beleive :roll: Check

6/17/2008 >> n0manarmy

I forgot to mention that I want to maintain as much of a Linux environment as possible during learning of this programming language. Does that pretty much put me at PHP?

6/18/2008 >> found_drama

@Ben: yes, I use Firebug. no, I hadn't even heard of dragonfly -- but we don't do much w/ Opera in our shop. (I have no objections to Opera but it's like a really smart but average-looking woman that seems like a keeper except for how she manages to say all the wrong things at all the wrong times.)

@n0manarmy: re: maintaining as much of a Linux environ as possible... PHP is a strong option there then, yes. you could probably go with Rails but most of that user community seems to be running a Unix variant called "OS X". the other suggestion might be Perl but *shudder* you also said something about wanting to keep it simple...

6/18/2008 >> muhgcee

Perl isn't simple?

6/19/2008 >> ben

@Rob - dude, you just described the female me! no wonder i like that browser so much!!

There's also... shudder... Java... hehehe. Actually, Penn, there's a bunch of .Net stuff for Linux too - the Mono Project has stuff on that front, if you're interested...

6/19/2008 >> fogus

I would totally learn Broccoli!


6/19/2008 >> muhgcee

How about LOLCODE?

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