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Once you have got the hang of using XHTML along with CSS you will probably want to develop your skills further and learn one of the many programming languages available for use within Web Applications.

Programming is very different to XHTML and CSS, using logic, as opposed to simply describing a document. For example programming languages can be perform mathematical calculations, validate text, render images, communicate with databases and much more.

Once you have learned one programming language you will find it easy to learn others as they all share common functionality.

The first programming language you will want to learn is likely to be JavaScript. JavaScript is a client side technology, meaning it runs within in your browser (on your PC), not on a web server. This makes it an easy language to learn as there is no specialist software required, a simple text editor and a browser are all that you need.

JavaScript can be used to create menus, graphical effects such as image roll overs, more elaborate graphic effects such as lightbox.js or mundane tasks such as form validation.

Once you have learned JavaScript you may want to learn more about server side programming languages.

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    Comment by IndoDX

    Hmm… what program to learn? is depending on what for, but I think next chapter is knowing little bit about JavaScript and Ajax, also some Server Language such as PHP & MySQL, Ruby on Rails, Perl, CFM, JSP, ASP etc is good start ^_*

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    Comment by SiteLogic

    It depends what you want to do, PHP is good because there are so many open source applications written in it, so if you want a blog, e-commerce site, CMS its a good one to go for.

    ASP is dead, forget it,

    ASP.NET is used by many companies and is easy to use, but I have a few issues with it and dont like it…

    JSP I have used a lot and prefer it to PHP, as you can encapsulate most of your code into compiled classes. I find it a lot easier to develop as you can test your classes one at a time in the compiler, de-bugging is a lot easier, but there are few open source applications, and, hosting is harder to find and more expensive.

    Python is another interesting one, I have heard good things about ROR but never used it myself.

    Comment by David Hopkins

    Jez, i dont know anyhing about JSP. Does compiliing your classes make them faster to run?

    If so this is a great feature.

    The problem is with PHP, is there are no good frameworks available, so I am working on my own. Its slow progress, but rewarding. Just done a bespoke eCommerce website in less than 200 lines :smile: with another couple of 100 being used in a shopping cart/checkout system I made a while back.

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    Comment by SiteLogic

    Hi David,

    Java is a bit of a hybrid, classes are compiled to “byte code” but they still require the Java Virtual Machine to run…. much like the .NET framework. That is how they deliver platform independence.

    Whether it is faster depends largely on who you talk to… Java developers probably think so ;-)

    I have read about large sites that migrated off JSP / Java to PHP and reported performance improvements…

    Java dev’s subsequently said this was nonsense and that the reason the sites were running slowly was the application server was a bad choice / poorly set up….

    The advantages I saw were

    1) I prefer the language to PHP
    2) Writing in a compiler is easier in terms of de-bugging
    3) Black box testing was a lot easier
    4) No need for stupid encryption to distribute code… though string variables are still in literal form and you can get de-compilers to backward engineer……

    Unfortunately (for me after using Java for some) PHP rules the web…

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    Comment by Web Design Media

    When I was a student, I learned JSP, and found it interesting. Usually, the first page of the web application takes time to load, but the other do rapidly…
    However, I found that there was a lack of resource on the net :sad:


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