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  1. #1
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    What's the best language for creating a great UI?

    Hi all,

    first off, yeah, I know "best" is relative, but I'm really stuck now and need to be pointed in some direction and the fact that I'm asking here is because I've failed to find the answer via Google + checking some languages out.

    Here's the situation - I'm NOT a programmer. I know HTML+CSS and PHP which I can use to communicate with a MySQL database and make some "interactive" stuff this way, but obviously PHP alone doesn't really allow any truly interactive stuff and require reloading the page for most of the time (at least as far as I know), I really need to finally learn some "real" web programming language which will allow me to do what I'm planning.

    To not go into details, but give you an idea what I want to do, I want a website (call it web-app?) with an interface that would NOT require reloading the page each time someone makes an input (click->save->return saved view) and that would allow dragging and dropping stuff around (press->drag->drop->save->return saved view)... oh and it should communicate with a database in the process. Now, I've been avoiding JavaScript for almost 10 years (don't ask) and I'm afraid that it just might be the best solution so could someone please tell me if that's true. Could I achieve what I just described with JavaScript or a combination of JavaScript with PHP or should I go for a different language like... idk... Perl, Python etc.

    I really would like to keep avoiding JavaScript as it's sooo.... ugly i.cant.stand(reading)this; What would you suggest for a non-programmer with such little knowledge as I have to learn. Note - I'm not going to try becoming a programmer anyway so it's not really a matter of "in what order I should learn more languages", but just which 1 would be the most "universal" or "best". I could create what I want just with PHP already, but it really MUST have an easy UI and be truly interactive without reloading otherwise it completely misses the point.

    I'd be grateful for any suggestions even if you'd force me to learn JavaScript after all

  • #2
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    Hey there VarHyid,

    Web apps are built through html/css/javascript/php, they are no different then any other website

    A well known "web app" for programmers is jsfiddle:
    http://jsfiddle.net/

    If you are using chrome, you can right click on the header --> inspect element, and see how they made the "app."
    If you are using ff, you will have to install firebug, but same story, right click and inspect element.

    Not hard to make, but if you don't have a lot of experience, I would suggest just hiring someone to do it for you. There is a freelance section on codingforums. Remember that website apps are used heavily on handheld media devices, which will need an expert to really make sure that works out.
    Last edited by Sammy12; 03-24-2012 at 01:09 AM.

  • #3
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    Thanks for the tip, but I think you might have misunderstood me a bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy12 View Post
    Web apps are built through html/css/javascript/php, they are no different then any other website
    So... you mean that HTML/CSS/JS/PHP would allow me to achieve EXACTLY all the same things I would with Perl or Python or Ruby? In other words, JS is enough to "complete the knowledge" and be able to do anything with this combination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy12 View Post
    A well known "web app" for programmers is jsfiddle:
    http://jsfiddle.net/
    Umm... and this is supposed to be... what exactly? On the first look, it looks like a regular editor with the option to run and test your code.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy12 View Post
    Not hard to make, but if you don't have a lot of experience, I would suggest just hiring someone to do it for you. There is a freelance section on codingforums. Remember that website apps are used heavily on handheld media devices, which will need an expert to really make sure that works out.
    That's absolutely out of question and completely missing the point here. Maybe I've put it the wrong way so let me rephrase I don't need to make an app, I need to learn a programming language... because I want to make an app.

    Also, by "an app" I mean a website which will ONLY be used through a desktop computer as it will only make sense to use it on a desktop computer. Also, I would never hire someone to do it and then try to widely promote it without knowing how to improve it, implement new features, evolve it over time. I'm not a businessman, I'm not running a company and have no intentions on selling anything (from the beginning).

    App may be indeed a bad and confusing word here. Imagine a website with an input box where you can put some text into it, save it and after saving it becomes an object that you can drag and drop (but all without having to reload the page after each input - that's the point). That's pretty much it. Now I'd like to know what language will allow me to do it. I don't want to "waste" time learning an entirely new language for me (like the ones mentioned above - Python/Perl/Ruby etc.) if the best way would indeed be just to learn this horrible JavaScript and combine it with what I already know (HTML/CSS/PHP).

    So please confirm, is JS really enough?
    Last edited by VarHyid; 03-24-2012 at 01:27 AM.

  • #4
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    Thanks for de-fragmenting my post, it doesn't feel argumental at all.

    "Python/Perl/Ruby" are closer to C, if you are having problems with javascript, then you would have larger problems with these.

    A close button and input values can be seen on just about every website. Facebook allows you to open an image in a larger view, post comments on that image, and close that image. These concepts are exactly the same as what you have stated above.

    If you already know "HTML/CSS/PHP" then Javascript would be the next language to learn (since you wrote above that you were looking to learn a language). Basic javascript is much easier than most languages, and since you have a broad background in web development, it would be best to continue in that direction.
    Last edited by Sammy12; 03-24-2012 at 02:00 AM.

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    VarHyid (03-24-2012)

  • #5
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    Sorry for the "de-fragmentation" I usually use multi-quoting to avoid constant repetition of lines starting with "as for what you've said about...".

    Anyway, as for what you've said about JS being the next step to learn - thanks, that's the answer I was looking for ... at least from the context, obviously, I was hoping I'll manage to avoid JS

    So JS it is ... or rather

  • #6
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    There is no alternative to JavaScript for anything interactive running in the web browser - it isn't a matter of what's best as JavaScript is the only option available.

    Every alternative is simply a JavaScript framework that is actually written in JavaScript that can do some of the common tasks for you - provided you know enough JavaScript to start with to be able to use it properly.

    There are lots of people out there trying to use a JavaScript framework without learning JavaScript first who have ended up with a 40Mb framework library and 100 lines of code to do something that would only require 20 lines of ordinary JavaScript without the framework.

    So even if you decide to use jQuery or prototype or some other JavaScript framework, you will need to have a good knowledge of JavaScript first to be able to use it properly - and also to work out which if any is the one you would be most comfortable with using to match in with your programming style.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

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    VarHyid (03-25-2012)

  • #7
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    TYVM, felgall

    That's exactly why hiring someone is not on option. Not only because there's a high chance that the only person who's going to use what I'm trying to do is going to be me, but also I really want to avoid ending up with something I don't understand.

    If my idea won't really work out, but I'm going to do it myself, at least I'll learn JavaScript in the process which will most likely be useful for the future as there's only so much you can do without being able to quickly interact with a website without reloading the page all the time.

    Thanks again.


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