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What should every programmer know about web development?

I'm not sure where to start with web development. I have experience with HTML and PHP fundamentals and have tried out a little CSS. As of yet, I haven't tried Javascript. Should I focus on one of these or something else?

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marked as duplicate by Yannis, Glenn Nelson, Mark Trapp Dec 18 '11 at 5:45

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I can't really tell if there's a question in there... Clean this up, please... –  Yannis Dec 17 '11 at 16:23
Let me see if I understand your question... Your question could be written as follows? "I'm not sure where to start with web development. I have experience with HTML and PHP fundamentals and have tried out a little CSS. As of yet, I haven't tried Javascript. Should I focus on one of these or something else?" –  Kenneth Dec 17 '11 at 16:29
@Kennenth yes like that. Sorry –  Kyel John David Dec 17 '11 at 16:38
@KyelJohnDavid If Kenneth's version is ok by you, you could just edit the question and copy paste it in... StackExchange encourages wiki style collaboration... –  Yannis Dec 17 '11 at 16:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

JavaScript seems like a very natural next phase for you. You might want to check out CodeCademy, an excellent set of tutorials on how to get started with JavaScript. You could also look at the excellent JavaScript Koans, another sort of tutorial approach.

Then, I'd suggest you take a look at KnockoutJS. You'll be able to make very rich, relatively elegant web applications with it very quickly.

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Where in codecademy can I see the tutorials been searching for it like 30 minutes now still can't find it –  Kyel John David Dec 18 '11 at 7:58
You do them in the browser –  Kyle Hodgson Dec 18 '11 at 14:12

You could learn some newer Web programming technologies like Opa or Ocsigen with Ocaml.

Both are probably better than old PHP programming, because they care about type safety, program robustness, and validity of the HTML pages. (with PHP you either have to ensure that manually, or use some framework to help you).

Both are compiled languages (in a strictly, mostly statically, typed language), so your web application will probably be more robust and will run faster. (PHP is interpreted, and can fail in unexpected ways.).

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I added a small explanation. –  Basile Starynkevitch Dec 17 '11 at 17:19
Thanks, I've retracted my downvote. Still, you are making several unsupported claims, robustness doesn't really have anything to do with how a language (any language) handles types, or if it's compiled or interpreted. These are extremely weak arguments, more of opinions really, and should be backed up by facts and references to make sense in an answer. The faq states that answers should be "expert answers", and opinion doesn't really fit in an expert answer (imho). And what's all that about "old PHP programming"? Sometimes "old" can be interpreted as "stood the test of time". –  Yannis Dec 17 '11 at 17:29
Robustness is related to static typing: an Ocaml program cannot core dump (unless you use unsafe hacks like Obj.magic which is documented as something to avoid) like a C program could! –  Basile Starynkevitch Dec 17 '11 at 17:36
"Robustness" is open to several interpretations. I happen to disagree with yours, but there's no point in discussing it further and pollute your answer with unrelated comments. It doesn't really matter what I think, if people agree with your answer, you'll get upvotes - my previous comment was just to say that even though I retracted my downvote, you won't get my upvote. I've deleted my original comments, as they became obsolete after your edit. –  Yannis Dec 17 '11 at 17:44

Learn Javascript and jQuery, and how to use them to enhance your web application's UI.

Learn how to build web applications which achieve:

  • Correct HTTP semantics (correct usage of GET/POST, PRG): meaning, use POST only for actions that change state and GET for those who don't. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post/Redirect/Get for PRG.
  • Good internationalization: your application should be able to be localized; messages (handling correctly plurals, etc.), show dates/currency/numbers in the appropriate formats, correct localization auto-detection and configuration
  • Good form handling (validation, error reporting): non-valid forms should report accurately why they were not accepted, data should not have to be reentered
  • Good UI elements (sortable/filterable tables, good pagination)
  • Crawlable by search engines ( http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769 )
  • Bookmarkable/nice URLs: each page presented to the interface should present a URL which describes what are you being shown, bookmarks should work
  • Can work well if a user has several browsing tabs/windows open: do not use session variables blindly for keeping user state
  • Work well across several devices (touch cellphones, tablets, non-touch cellphones, desktop): use device detection to serve different markup/CSS which makes the website usable on different devices
  • Performing websites (fast loading even in mobile networks, low CPU usage): profile what gets sent to the user and try to reduce it, profile JS execution to detect hotspots.
  • Accessible websites: follow accessibility guidelines- some of them might be required by law depending on where are you located/who are you serving (for instance, section 508 in the USA).
  • Good search functionality: the objective would be a single search box that lets you locate any information in your page easily. You should also provide appropriate filters (by field, date ranges, other valid attributes in your domain).
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can you provide good links online? I can't afford to buy a new book. since book here in my country are costly, and as student I don't know where to get the money –  Kyel John David Dec 17 '11 at 23:26

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