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1sunwukung
Feb 12, 2009, 10:28am

Hi all, just joined Library Thing and so I thought I'd join the programming group. I've been teaching myself a variety of web programming (scripting...) languages, well - PHP and Javascript to be precise. Any other practitioners of these languages on board? What are your thoughts on JS?

2utoxin
Feb 17, 2009, 4:39pm

Welcome to the world of PHP. We tend to be fairly reviled by the 'real developers' (as they call themselves). In many cases, it's justified, because a lot of PHP developers are lazy, and don't learn to code /well/. So, make sure you do your best to study and learn good programming practices.

As for JS... it annoys me, but it's a necessary evil. :)

3timspalding
Feb 17, 2009, 5:23pm

LT is in PHP, and proud of it.

4utoxin
Feb 17, 2009, 5:39pm

Many great sites are in PHP. It's a perfectly capable language. But it gets abused by people who don't care. :)

5andyl
Feb 18, 2009, 3:56am

#4

Speaking as a "real developer", I think that is true. Although PHP may not be the cleanest and most elegant language out there it is perfectly capable for its niche (and of more than just web sites). There are unfortunately lots of very badly structured and written PHP however that is more to do with the person writing the code than the language.

Interestingly the same is true for javascript. There is a lot of abysmal javascript out there, but it is a pretty neat language in its own way however the paradigm it uses differs from the normal OO/procedural style languages.

6utoxin
Feb 18, 2009, 8:12am

#5

Yeah. My problems with Javascript have to do with the fact that I /know/ I don't really 'get it'. It's a Lisp-ish language, and while I've studied Lisp a little, it's not enough to solidify it in my head to the point that I can think that way easily.

7jrandrews
May 8, 2009, 8:00am

I've been coding in a variety of languages, starting with BASIC and FORTRAN, starting in 1975. I've been doing it full-time professionally since 1992 or so. I have a half-dozen languages at the tips of my fingers at any one time. Here's my advice:

A lot of software development is boring. It's like sanding and finishing in a woodworking project. The fun bits for most of us are when you're making something new--getting it working. It doesn't matter what language you're working in. What matters is that (a) you have fun, (b) you recognize where you are in a project, and don't stop until you have not only gotten something working, but gotten it complete--it gracefully handles that which you didn't intend as well as that which you did (that is, do the boring bits too), and finally (c) you code for the guy/gal who has to maintain what you've written.

Learning to do this well takes time. At the beginning, while you're in the early part of learning to code, don't be too harsh with yourself--have fun! Learn more than one language, because you get perspective and you find that different languages work better in different situations. You could easily spend a career with PHP and JavaScript. Note that recently, as AJAX has become very important in web front-ends, JavaScript has become much more robust. If you want to learn a more structured language later, having learned one or two languages will help you. They get easier as you go along.

Oh--and one final thing: did I mention you should have fun? If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.