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Thread: Web Application Scenario - Help!

  1. #1
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    Question Web Application Scenario - Help!

    Hi everyone! First let me start by saying that I am NOT a web developer (yet). I have done some website design - mostly with Joomla and WP, and I know HTML pretty well. I am able to tweak .css and .php files, as well as Java code, but I am as yet unable to write code from scratch. This Fall, I will be going back to college and plan to do a dual major in programming and web design. I'm really excited about it!

    I've got a web-based application idea that I believe is going to be phenomenal if I can pull it off. It will have multiple hugely populated databases and will require an interactive user interface. I'll give you an example (not my actual program idea) of what I will need it to do:

    Let's say you've got a database of characters - a la D&D. Okay, so Rogue, Fighter, Cleric, Wizard and Ranger, let's say. I want the user to be able to say that they want to place 3 of one, five of another and 2 each of the rest on a grid laid out in feet. I want the program to do this automatically based on the idea that the characters need to be X distance apart and that some characters cannot be adjacent to each other, while others should be right next to each other. I then want the user to be able to edit the layout any way they want. I'd need graphical representations of these characters as well as general drawing, filling, copy, paste, etc. This is a really rudimentary description of what I'm looking to do, and I hope you can visualize it.

    Since my education on programming languages has not yet begun, I'm hoping to at least play around with it until my classes start showing me what I should really be doing. I am wondering what application I should use to start building the databases (I have access to MySQL and Open Office Base and Calc) - I've used the OO apps, but have limited experience with SQL. I'd like to know what you think would be the best language to create the user interface that will draw off these databases. Then, I'm curious as to whether there are GUI programming interfaces for that language that a noob like me could fiddle around with.

    I am grateful if you take the time to answer my questions. I know it can be frustrating to try and instruct a newbie, but I guess I'm just looking to get my feet wet in advance of taking my classes. Thanks in advance!

    Eileen

  2. #2
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    If your going to be building a web application, the most commonly used database is MySQL usually used in conjunction with PHP scripting. The next most common is MS SQL usually used in conjunction with ASP.

    There is not much in the way of GUI apps for coding these languages. I use a basic text editor for almost all of my coding. Notepad++ is a good one. Dreamweaver has some limited functionality for MySQL/PHP coding although it will most likely fall short of being able to do what you want it to do without a lot of extra coding by hand.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reply! I figured as much on the GUI thing. That's okay - I'd rather work on learning the languages, rather than trying to work with a clunky GUI and not know how to tweak my pages.

    I'm hoping to start this Summer back at school. It's just SOOO frustrating because my program (if I can execute it well) will be amazing (even for my own personal use). I hate waiting!

    Eileen

  4. #4
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    Depending on how your application works, you will likely need more that just server side scripting and databases to make everything work. You may have to learn javascript, flash, java etc. Simple flash programs can be made using only a GUI with Adobe Flash. There are some other flash GUI apps out there as well, although I don't know how well they compare to Adobe. If you want more advanced functionality with your flash programs, you will have to learn action script. Actionscript and Javascript are similar languages so if you know one, the other can be easily picked up.
    With you're level of enthusiasm, you're sure to do well. Then you can come back here and teach us what you know.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Is your school offering a web development course? To me web is starting to take a back-seat. The future is mobile development.

    After finish web development course, I would suggest take up something on mobile development. Afterall, not everyone carry a netbook/notebook in public correct? But almost everyone has a smart-phone (or non smart-phone).

    Developing on smart-phones is a challenge as your screen is real limited. You need to design in such a way to present your application well.

    All the best in your web development course

  6. #6
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    Thanks so much for your replies.

    Jwitt - the application will almost certain be a Flash app. I had a bit of a sticker-shock when I went to Adobe's website (not that they haven't always been crazy expensive), but it looks like I can get the whole kit and kaboodle for $900 if I'm a student. So that will have to wait until then (and until I can scrape together a grand!). In the meantime, I'm going to have to work on that Calculus! How much math would you say is involved in programming?

    sohguanh - I couldn't agree with you more about mobile apps. I will be taking web development courses along with programming and design, and if it is available, I will definitely take something in mobile development. That said, this particular application I'm looking to build will likely NOT be something someone would want to use on their phone or iPod. That's not to say it might not support some kind of functionality that would lend itself well to use on the go. Good advice though - I LOVE my iPod for apps, and can totally understand that is the way things are going.

  7. #7
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    Besides iPhone, iPad do consider Android powered smart-phones and tablets too. You got more choices for the hardware devices in comparison to just Apple selling the hardware devices

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sohguanh View Post
    Besides iPhone, iPad do consider Android powered smart-phones and tablets too. You got more choices for the hardware devices in comparison to just Apple selling the hardware devices
    I completely agree. While I prefer the interface of Apple products, I wouldn't want to limit my marketability. Do they use different application programming?

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