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Old 01-01-2003, 12:04 PM   #1
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getting started ?

Not sure how to ask this question. I've been a programmer for over 25 years. I started out with Z80 assembler and worked my way through various languanges including Visual Foxpro and now mostly Delphi. I've been installing almost all linux servers at my clients and using Sybase ASA running on linux. For now, I still write in Delphi since most of my clients have Winbloze of some flavor on their workstations. I'd really like to get started writing the apps to run natively on the linux boxes. I just don't know where to start. I guess I could start playing with Kylix since it is close to Delphi, but I'd really like to have some of the apps run in character mode. Everything I write is a onetime only custom app for each client. I do not, as yet, write anything that gets mass sold/distributed in any way. There are more and more times when fast data entry is more desired than flashy gui type interface. I just do not know how to draw a screen, put fields on it, accept the data entry and then stuff it into the sql engine, etc. in linux.

- Gary
Old 01-01-2003, 12:19 PM   #2
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If you write a program in wxwindows or qt it will compile(with some fiddling around) in both linux and windows, wxwindows is free, qt is free but windows version costs moneys.

If you want to do a quickie, you can use python with wxwindows.

But if you don't need a fancy gui, have you considered just some cgi & web pages?
Old 04-13-2003, 08:46 AM   #3
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linux as most unix derivates are based on C as programming
language. When you purchase a commercial unix in most cases
a C compiler is part of the OS bundle (HP, IBM etc.). Linux
is coming with the superb gnu C/C++ compiler.
For development ibasically vi, gcc and gdb are sufficient!
With this tools one is able to write applications as console
apps, daemons, GUI based apps etc.
Most commercial interfaces are available as well; taking the
OCI form Oracle or the Xt and Xm libraries as examples.
Lot's of people coming from the windows world today insist
on windows compatible developing environments and are ignoring the different architecture of a unix system.

I'm using C and C++ for years now never running into problems like interfaces between languages, different
calling conventions or data formats and so on.
Nowadays lot's of people are talking about RAD; as their
activities are based on the tools coming with their
RAS development software they can't cope with native
RAS also means in detail planning of apps. without the restrictions of so called rad tools etc.
So when you don't know how to start simply ask yourself
what you want to do?
Are applications for private use and learning sufficient
or do you want to create commercial applications. What is
your estimate of time, costs etc. you want to spend into
develpoment. Is there time to play or do you have a tight
timeframe for your deliverables?
For unix system programming lot's of books are available
showing how to make use of a multi user multi tasking os.
I'm working with books like "Advanced Programming in the
Unix environment" from W. Richard Stevens, Addison, ISBN 0-201-56317-7 or "Unix Systems Programming" from O'reilly with ISBN 1-56592-163-1.
Documentation about DBMS API are coming with the DB's.
Old 04-15-2003, 11:46 AM   #4
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There are a number of different ways to gather input and interact with mysql. If you're looking to do text mode user interaction through a C API, ncurses is commonly used ( I personally prefer a web based interface for most circumstances, but a discussion about web techniques and starting points could lead on quite a long and complex tangent.

As far as MySQL interaction, the C API for mysql is documented in chapter 8 of their documentation (
However, I more normally use Perl for interacting with MySQL ( Perl might be worth a look if what you're doing are one-off integration projects. Discussions about the benefits of Perl and C and where each should be used are the type of thing that could start religous wars, so I'll leave the topic alone.

It can be quite difficult to compare and contrast different technologies if you don't have any practical experience with them. Fortunately, if what you're interested in are open source alternatives, the only capital investment you need to make in order to evaluate them is the time required to read a few websites and manual pages and install the software. That's really the best way to make the decision here. You have a lot of alternatives. I would say pick a few of them and try implementing an evaluation project with them. And even if the first alternative you try seems to work "perfectly", still try some others so that you have a broader base of experience. lists links to documentation about all different areas of Linux and *nix related programming. Experiment and learn. -- Rev


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