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Thread: Best resource to understand backend/frontend interaction, web/mobile architecture etc

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Best resource to understand backend/frontend interaction, web/mobile architecture etc

    I am trying to learn about how various "parts" of a website/app interact and receive some practical guidance on creating a dynamic website/app that work together. I am looking for books, free online courses, tutorials, and hands-on lessons (etc.) to help gain this knowledge.

    For example, what languages are common for front-end development? How do those languages interact? What is a web server and how does it tie into everything else? What languages must I learn to create a database of data? What if I want to build web applications that rely on those databases? How do back-end programming languages interact with front-end languages (specifically)? If I write code in, say, Ruby, how do I use that code on a website? (e.g., the equivalent in JavaScript would be putting it inside script tags or referencing the .js file in my HTML file). What compilers should I use? What web hosts support advanced back-end programming? What must I do to set up these web hosts to react properly? On the mobile side, how does the mobile application interact with the back-end? What is typically used to create and run mobile applications? Maybe a case study: if I were to create an app/website like Lyft, what would everything look like from an architectural standpoint, what languages would be necessary, how would I create it, etc.?

    Additionally, some info on best practices would help. For example, explanations and advice on using AJAX and REST principles.

    I tried to list a bunch of questions that are somewhat related. I know answers to some of them, but there are a lot of questions that I don't even know to ask. Some up-to-date resources would be highly preferred. Resources that explain how things work are preferred over very advanced technical documents. I appreciate any support.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Where to even start? Front-end languages would be HTML(5), CSS(3), JavaScript, jQuery only after understanding JavaScript, and PHP (along with MySQL [PDO specifically as it translates across all database platforms such as Oracle]). HTML is the structure of a web document. CSS is for looks, layout, colors, etc. PHP, while server-side (back-end), works behind the scenes to make powerful, dynamic websites. Your browser processes HTML and CSS. PHP is processed on the server. A server is the machine that hosts the website files. This can be your own computer or in a massive server room somewhere across the country. Your computer requests the document, located at a specific IP address but usually named something like website.com, and using HTTP files are sent back to your computer from the server and put together.

    For databases, you need MySQL (PDO specifically) along with most typically PHP.

    Not sure what you mean when you ask what if you want to build apps that use those databases.

    I don't know anything about Ruby, but PHP can output database information in many ways. JavaScript and jQuery manipulate elements or data to produce effects or changes to those elements.

    Most well-known web hosts should be able to handle any language you mentioned (again, I don't know about Ruby so not sure) but email support if you want to know for sure. I've used Dreamhost and I know they handle html, css, js, jquery, php and mysql databases just fine.

    Most of the rest of your questions are best answered by someone else. I'm pretty new to all of this but I've learned all that I mentioned and more in a year's time.

    Start with codecademy to get your feet wet. Learn all the basics there and start building websites now. It's intimidating but I taught my 5 year old son how to make a website in about 10 minutes. Simply <html>My website!</html>. It's a bit more than that but that in and of itself would work.

    Check out the page source of websites. It's fantastic learning information.

    Download Sublime text editor, MAMP if you use a Mac or WinAMP if you use Windows.

    That's about all I got in me; I may add more later. But the earlier you start building the better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Hey, thanks a bunch for the reply.

    I'm actually hoping for a full resource or 2 that addresses this stuff. Like I said, I actually know the answers to a lot of my questions, but there are very similar questions that I don't even know to ask, and a thorough explanation of an entire web technology ecosystem is probably not very practical for this forum. If anyone has read through a book or gone through a free lecture that addresses many/most of these topics, I would be really appreciative if they would share.


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