View Full Version : Starting to code again after a long while--where to start?

05-06-2009, 10:43 AM
First, I'd like to apologize for this. I hate being the guy who signs up for a forum just to ask a question. Thank you in advance for your understanding and assistance. I'll try to be brief:

I want to be able to code proficiently. My short term goal is to be able to work on a somewhat meaningful project. A simple internet chat client, perhaps, would be an example of what I'd like to be able to work on in the near future.

I wouldn't be starting from scratch. In fact, give me another year or two and I will have been programming for half of my life. The problem is that due to distractions and whatnot, I've never taken the time to learn a particularly useful language. QBASIC, Visual Basic, whatever language it was that they used for those Lego Mindstorms robots, at various points in my life I've known each those languages inside and out. So I'm familiar with the basics--loops, arrays, etc.

I'm not looking for hand holding, just finger pointing. I want to know

1) What language I should pursue.

2) Where I can get information and tutorials on it.

3) What software, such as compilers, I'll need to use the language effectively.

I know each of these questions probably has a debate attached to it, but I trust that any answer considered worthy of being included in the debate would suffice.

A couple of stipulations for the answers: any language I learn would need to work cross-platform. I don't know if that's even an issue, but I have friends on several operating systems and would like to (someday) create applications that we would be able to use together. Second, free is very good. Not to be melodramatic, but I have a hard time feeding myself. I can really only spend money on essentials right now. If absolutely necessary, I can probably get one of my friends to give me a copy of an outdated release, but I'd rather not.

Thank you so much for taking a look at my request, and for any help you can give me.

05-06-2009, 01:47 PM
From you're specification, I'd say Java. Java is portable with its bytecode and only requires a compatible interpreter installed on the client OS. Major platforms should have java installed.
http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/. Look specifically at the RMI section for chat programs.
You'll need the JavaSDK, and you'll probably want an IDE. I use Eclipse, specifically for Java and a few other languages that have plugins. Otherwise, you can just use notepad and use the javac CLI to compile you're programs. Oh yeah, these are free software.

That help?

05-06-2009, 01:55 PM
Another option is Flex and AIR applications. You can do it for free, only the fancy (but rather useful) development IDE costs. Its up and coming, and also cross platform (I hear Linux will be fully supported soon).

Java is definitely more universal, but Flex/AIR apps are becoming so as well. Depends on your style and interests really, its a mix of xml like programming and OOP.

05-25-2009, 08:44 AM
Why not C#? It's a decent all purpose language.

it career
05-25-2009, 09:32 AM
Start with C I would say.