Starting to lay out a web app and need to decide on language

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Starting to lay out a web app and need to decide on language

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Jan 26, 2011, 6:01pm

I have an idea and a pretty good idea as to how I'd like to execute it, but does anyone have suggestions on:
1) server-side language
2) a book on structuring such a web application

I'd prefer things that play nicely with linux - I've used and have an extreme distaste for ASP.NET or applications written using the like.

Jan 26, 2011, 11:07pm

Perhaps Grails? It's easy to pick up Groovy if you have Java or C++ experience, and it integrates Spring and Hibernate. I really like The Definitive Guide to Grails by Graeme Rocher.

Jan 27, 2011, 11:21pm

Prudence is on my mind, but I don't know if it would be of interest to you.

Jan 27, 2011, 11:21pm

PHP all the way babeeee!

Jan 28, 2011, 12:58am

I've been playing with Google App Engine using Java and Objectify lately. Fun stuff.

Jan 28, 2011, 5:37am

It would be useful to know what, if any, languages you already have experience with. Also, whether your goal is to learn something new, or just to get the job done. If you already know one suitable language well, and aren't specifically looking to learn a new one, then you should probably use the language you already know. Building a community around a new web site is enough of a challenge without having to worry about writing in a language you barely know.

Jan 28, 2011, 12:20pm

Python + Django. Or, if you like Ruby, Ruby + Rails. But, really, I prefer Python, so go use Python and Django.

Jan 28, 2011, 9:19pm

Absent more information, like what it might have to integrate with, I'd say Ruby on Rails.

If it doesn't run behind a firewall, you'll probably do the initial deployments into the cloud and will want to qualify your choice for suitable such platforms, too. (For instance, for Rails there is Heroku and Engine Yard.)

Jan 28, 2011, 9:23pm

Another vote for Python + Django.

I learned Django from Practical Django Projects, because I learn better from examples than just concepts, but there's also The Django Book, free and online, and Pro Django for more advanced things.

Jan 29, 2011, 6:56am

Asking for a suggestion of a good web programming language is a lot like asking a bunch of fans "I want a new football team to support, which ones are good?" You won't get any unbiased answers.

If you can be more specific about exactly what you want out of a programming lanaguage, it's possible to give a more objective answer.

Mar 25, 2011, 4:39am

The web application structure depends on the user tasks in the web site.

For item 2, structuring a web application, you'll also want a good book about user interface design and web usability. I'm a fan of the works of Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman.

The hard truths:

You may end up throwing your first version's code base away, particularly if you're using a new technology (to you) for implementation. This is especially true if you have to do much performance optimization.