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I want to do some Open Source programming and I was wondering what Languages should I use. I don't know any languages at the moment so I need something that I can begin with. C++ will be a little hard I suspect.
This, of course, is the fundamental hacking skill. If you don't know any computer languages, I recommend starting with Python. It is cleanly designed, well documented, and relatively kind to beginners.
And I wholeheartedly agree. I learned C++ as a second language (after BASIC) in college, and it is not new-programmer-friendly, IMO.
I'm looking for a good platform to develop database applications with. I'm kind of hooked on MySQL for the backend, but I'd like to find a good front-end language to write in. Anyone got any suggestions for that?
I've been told PHP would be good, but my little bit of research on that has shown it's primarily a server-side scripting language. I need something that can run locally on a client.
C++ is a hard language to learn, but tends to be a little more useful in the long run I find.
Visual Basic is good, if you are willing to spend the money for the IDE, and be Windows Specific.
Python is nice, easy to learn, cross-platform ( I think) and highly expandible.
Java is cross-platform and powerful when you know how to use it.
You can run PHP locally, and you can even use it to write GTK applications with an extension if you wanted to.
Whats your target platform as this will make a huge differance to what languages you can use.
My ultimate goal is to have a product that is easily portable within either Linux or Windows. Supposing the product I have in mind is acceptable to others, I'd like it to be available to the largest number of potential users. So a cross-platform language would be nice.
I would like something fairly robust and quick, and security will be a concern because I'll be dealing with confidential information (it's a gradebook, essentially). I agree that C++ is a hard language to learn. I've taken several classes on it, and I'm sure I killed many brain cells trying to understand the concept of a pointer and how to program them. But still, I can't help but think this may be the best option.
I'm pretty fluent in Visual Basic for Applications, but this is not a form of VB that can bused outside of MS Office apps. Currently, the app that I have makes extensive use of VB, but the biggest problem is that it's an Access application and very unportable. I'd like to change that.
I would suggest java as you can "easily" deploy desktop or web applications on any java enabled platforms without recompiling code. It is easier than C++ and teaches you some good habits.
You've got lots of librairies to help you and lots of documentation to get started.
I developped many desktop or web applications with java using mysql as database. Again good libraries make development a minor task.
Python seems an easy language. I didn't look a lot at it, but soon i will.
After you know the basics of the language of your choice you learn faster by creating a project or getting involved in an open source project.
Well, VB can be used with MySQl - and VB is about the only language I can think of that provides for simple graphical interfaces, but if you want multiple platforms then you are probably best going for Java, Python is fine too if you dont mind having your windows users installing the GTK runtimes.
I have considered Java, but I wasn't sure if it could handle database access. Python was also on my list to look into. I don't mind if the users have to install the GTK runtimes. That can easily be made as part of the installer on a Windows box.
Thanks for the advice. I really don't have the time to learn a complicated language like C++. Java and Python both seem like languages I can learn as I get time. That's more or less how I ended up developing this Access database I have.
Learning Java seemed like a huge task to me - cant get my head around objects easily. Python is pretty good, but I have no idea about how to use PyGTK so youll have to find someone else there I'm afraid.
Well, Perl is highly portable (& free) and cpan.org has many free modules that will interface with eg Access, Excel etc..
Try here or perlmonks.com for in depth qns.
I use it with MySQL at the moment, but it has driver modules for most DBs.