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Welcome to Walter Moore Canada's Blog. These comments are strictly opinion. You can disagree!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Which Coding Language to Use?

Updated 2009-11-25
My how things have changed. Java appears to be going the way of OS/2, Microsoft is now .NET instead of ASP, and many unix servers are using PHP(even some Windows servers). XHTML and XML are both extensively used. Netscape is gone and replaced with Firefox. Smart phones have finally replaced WAP. DIV and SPAN tags are the predominate tags now. Many more servers are now Windows based instead of Unix. .NET is dominant in large business sites. Browsers are all over the place and then there are smart phones. I expect everything to change to video/3D over next 10 years so don’t spend too much time on this stuff ;) At this time I prefer the following:
  • .NET for server. Can be C#, VB, PHP, Python or other language but .NET handles various browser issues(mostly).
  • CSS – now the standard. Actually standards are recommending all layout should be in CSS format and not included in HTML tags. 
  • JavaScript – The standard for years.
  • Ajax or similar – dynamic communication as well as saving bandwidth.User gets virtually instant responses.
  • MySQL – for databases. Open source.
  • Flash – for dynamic graphics sections.
  • Look into video and 3D tools – I see most sites going to interactive video/3D instead of text.

Updated 2001-02-15
Well, if you consider that AOL is a version of Internet Explorer(IE) then IE version 4+ now controls 85%+ of the browser market. Microsoft owns 98% of the operating systems. With this combination it should make your decisions easier. Now the potential to use VBScript, ActiveX etc. is feasible on the Internet. Is XHTML or XML going to win? Not sure, probably neither. Each is the “new” language that will allow everyone to communicate together… heard that before??? CSS is here to stay. It will be improved but it is a base for layouts to come. WAP is not going away for awhile… bandwidth may change that so I would not invest too heavily but it is necessary for several sites(like stock brokers, banks…) right now. You can trash all the tables and start using DIV and Span tags. Java is actually gaining ground since more powerful computers and faster bandwidth are available. Microsoft owning everything defeats the one real benefit of Java though. There is always going to be the next language that will solve everything for us… we buy it then figure out it can’t do ???? that the other product could. These of course will be solved in the next version…;-).
A big step is Netscape’s support of standards. Now if we could get Microsoft to do the same and drop that *&*%$# document.all method we could really get grooving. It might surprise many of you to know that Netscape6 is a better standards based browser than Explorer5.5. Explorer is much more forgiving for developers where Netscape is strict.
Published 1997-09-25
For Intranet(because of it’s controlled concept) I would use Microsoft® supported languages exclusively. These would include DHTML, CSS, Jscript with server code mostly in ASP files. Limited use of VBscript, ActiveX and JAVA. This of course won’t work if you are an OS/2 shop but will work for MAC and some Unix operating systems.
For Internet I prefer to recommend more platform independent languages at this time. Unfortunately many languages are needed to truly develop a site. Unless you use at least some of the capabilities specific to the browser you limit your potential gains.
DHTML is now a must.
JavaScript(Jscript) is best for scripting simply because both browsers support it(sort of).
Pure JAVA is best for advanced requirements but is limiting and slow(this is improving very quickly).
CGI is still my choice for server side code but only because most servers are still Unix. If you can, I recommend using other languages(VB,C++,REXX, whatever).
Cascading Style Sheets(CSS) for those with requirements for specific positioning of elements. Or at least extensive use of small tables(large ones are slow to load).
All above can support both Netscape® and Microsoft® browsers if designed correctly.
After all that is said, I have found you need ALL languages above to provide the client with the best solution. More importantly, how(or if) they work on different browsers.

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