I know nothing about programming, but if say,just an example, you wanted to create an application like napster..what type is it? does it need a PHP expert? mysql...or what type of programmer and language would it need? I just need to create an application and need to know where and for who to look, thanks.
Brenden, or any other experts interested in creating an application? can you create a program that can interact with google,yahoo, half.com or ebay and get information from these sites and present them in its own window, with some added bells and whistles? it would be a PHP lang. right?
Most any language with network support could do that. PHP would work if you wanted it web based or command line, but PHP is not the best for GUI programs (AFAIK, maybe it is possible to write GUI programs in PHP).
(or maybe Delphi or VB, but these are less common for efficient apps)
Before you slate a language, make sure you get your facts right. VB, yea, utter sh*te, but Delphi is quite comparable to a C/C++ program on a win32 platform (speaking from an efficiency point of view), plus you have the far quicker compile times with delphi apps, and superior database integration from the offset.
Originally posted by brendandonhu Most any language with network support could do that. PHP would work if you wanted it web based or command line, but PHP is not the best for GUI programs (AFAIK, maybe it is possible to write GUI programs in PHP).
You can use GTK in PHP for UI's but it really isn't too nice if you're wanting to create redistributable apps.
I certainly wouldn't describe PHP as an HTML scripting language because it simply isn't. HTML doesn't even have to come into it. The PHP group describe it as a general-purpose scripting language especially suited for web development and can by embedded into HTML
Originally posted by leight Before you slate a language, make sure you get your facts right. VB, yea, utter sh*te, but Delphi is quite comparable to a C/C++ program on a win32 platform (speaking from an efficiency point of view), plus you have the far quicker compile times with delphi apps, and superior database integration from the offset.
Leight, actually, my original comment is somewhat accurate, if read literally.
I said "less common for efficient apps".
Delphi = efficient, but less common than C/C++
VB = more common, but not efficient.
Trust me, I'm not "slating" Delphi. I love Delphi and have programmed in it for years. But if you are looking at your average app that you downloaded off the net, odds are not that great that it was written in Delphi. And if it's not an efficient app, it's probably written in VB.
And to respond to Jake and unlucky1, Delphi technically uses "object pascal", an object-oriented extension of the original langauge. The syntax is the same as "plain" pascal since it's basically a subset of Object Pascal.
And Scuzzy, many of the major sites offer APIs (application programming interfaces) where they basically publish "calls" into their systems that you can make from your program to retrieve data. It's easier and cleaner than "screen scraping" (visiting a web page and parsing it looking for specific content). You might hear the "SOAP" protocol get mentioned as its one of the techniques used for this.
Originally posted by Rich2k I certainly wouldn't describe PHP as an HTML scripting language because it simply isn't. HTML doesn't even have to come into it. The PHP group describe it as a general-purpose scripting language especially suited for web development and can by embedded into HTML
This is kinda funny since PHP was originally called "Personal Home Page" when it was first being written (http://us2.php.net/history) it was only more recently in its life that it was coded to work as a standalone scripting language (like perl for instance).
Ok, after reading what you all said I think I will give up on what language for what application, at least one of you tell me where to go to have them create an application from scratch for me with any type of language they see fit. Please just give me couple of wbesite with reputation you can trust.
Scuzzy, I'll repeat what I said earlier: if you want it to run in a browser, PHP is a fine language to use. Your server can connect to the various sites you mentioned and either "scrape" the data from the http (web) output, or you can investigate calling APIs to each site which should make for cleaner code than the scraping idea, but then not all sites offer a direct "doorway" into their content.
Delphi is a great language if you want to make a standalone windows application. As easy to use as Visual Basic but nowhere near as kludgey. But it's not free. You can buy Delphi 7 Personal Edition for around $90 or so. That version also won't have all the networking widgets you need out of the box, but the best set of these is free anyway: ICS from http://www.overbyte.be/frame_index.html I've written many network apps using these components and they make it easy (they include example apps for most functions).
Let me shy you away from C or C++ for your first language. These are pretty unforgiving and require a good grounding in programming before I can recommend anyone use them. Yes, they give the best performance, but they are also somewhat frustrating to debug.
Java has more networking functionality built into it and might provide the best overall solution (since you can get it for free, there's a fair amount of example code out there, and it should do what you need) But making GUIs with Java is significantly harder than either Delphi or VB (which are truly drag-n-drop in that respect)
or plain HTML.
So my final answer again comes back to suggesting either delphi (if you want a windows app) or php if you want a browser app. If you pick the Delphi route, I recommend Cantu's "Mastering Delphi" books. With PHP you can probably get by with the php website which has tons of reference material. (http://www.php.net/manual/en/) For quick and dirty, those will be top bets. For grace and sophistication, later you can upgrade to a more elegant language...
Thank you Brian for your complete and helpful respond. I am not going to write the program myself, now that we decided for delphi or php , I needed a reputable and affordable company that would create the program and tailor it the way I need, a custom made application. If you have any suggestions on that too please advise.
Originally posted by Scuzzy I am not going to write the program myself, now that we decided for delphi or php , I needed a reputable and affordable company that would create the program and tailor it the way I need, a custom made application. If you have any suggestions on that too please advise.
Well, i don't know any affordable consulting companies that do custom programming (and given that I got burned doing it once before, I'm reluctant to offer my own services) but there are lots of talented unemployed and underemployed people out there that I'm sure could produce something nice.
You might try running an ad somewhere, like ComputerBits (a free tabloid that serves Oregon and Arizona, see http://computerbits.com/dept/classifieds.html) or maybe something local to where you are. I think the litmus test for someone I'd trust is a programmer who can show me an attractive app that he's already designed and can demonstrate that he/she coded it (not just one of a team of like 12 or something). If their prior work impresses you, they can probably be trusted to do it again.
But I would point out that if you're contracting this out, most of the language suggestions I and others have made are kinda moot. My recommendations were for a programming newbie just starting out. If you're hiring an experienced developer, then pretty much any language they are competent in should suffice.
Something you might try is a graphical development environment like Skyway Builder from Skyway Software, Inc. You draw the process and logic graphically. Then Builder produces Java code, compiles it, and deploys it on the application server. But you don't have to know Java to build useful applications with it.
There is a free download available for a "Personal Edition". It's worth a look.