Programming and making software? Help needed...

  Gaz 25 16:27 13 Jun 2003

Hi to all,

I have been asked by my workplace to come up with a software suite for security, I was wondering if their are any books, CD-ROMS and software which would help me...

I need a way of making a scanning engine and firewall, which software could I use that is easy and has books which would help me create it?

I have told work that this is too much of a task as I have never bothered with programming, but a go wouldnt hurt.

I think something simple to start with.

Which book would be a wise read? Easy for beginer programmers.

Which software? Delphi 7? I have got this software but dont understand it much.

Most of this work has been left to our Programmers but now thye want me to do some as they need more staff.

Please help.


  Gaz 25 16:59 13 Jun 2003

Anyone with any help?

  Taran 17:27 13 Jun 2003

Let me get this straight; your very first prospective project for work are to create a firewall/security application yourself ?

If I got that bit right - what on earth are they thinking of ?

Why re-invent the wheel ?

If you want a firewall, antivirus, packet scanning or similar security related software just buy it. You don't just write this kind of application from the ground up overnight and you certainly don't hope to rival the mainstream products that we all use on a daily basis as a lone programmer.

Now that I've had my rant, Visual Basic (including the latest .NET version) is one of the easiest forms of programming to learn. It's similar to Delphi in terms of interface at least although the language code you use is different, where you drag objects from a menu onto a form and write code into a series of commands for the objects to do when clicked or activated. Hence the term "Object Oriented Programming".

Serious programming involves C/C++.

Finding information is easy on the web. Just go to Google and type in the program name followed by the word tutorial, like this;

"visual basic"+tutorial


"delphi 7"+tutorial

This will bring you more results than you know what to do with. Microsoft have a lot of tutorials and sample applications on the site for Visual Basic and .NET, as do Delphi.

Delphi and Visual Basic are probably the easiest to get started with, but sooner or later if you want to do some serious software developing, you will have to roll up your sleeves and get into C++.

I'd suggest you go into work and agree to any programming task you are set; on the one condition that you are trained to do it. Formal training would be more beneficial to you long term, but on the job training would be easier and cheaper for your employer.

Good programming takes a long time to learn and large projects are almost always group efforts. One person alone can come up with some incredible results, but they can also make some horrific errors. Collaboration makes a project grow and develop faster, there is more chance of errors being spotted (as well as introduced !) and where one person may stumble another team member may excel. You don't just write software though. The people who design a large application are not normally those who actually write the code. There's far more to it than meets the eye.

Finally, try Google again but this time use the following search criteria;



"software engineering"

Regards (and lots of good luck)


  Taran 17:33 13 Jun 2003

The Outpost firewall click here is open architecture; that is, you can alter the program source code to make it do what you want if you know how and are inclined to do so. This assumes that you posses the knowledge and ability to make a useful and usable alteration to add functions that perform those tasks the program does not already do.

Therein lies a problem though since it is, without doubt, about the best software firewall you can buy anyway with more built in features than you could shake a stick at.

It could be something to play with though, once you get your head around software design and programming principles and practice.


  Gaz 25 17:59 13 Jun 2003

Thanks for the comments and replies, I dont know much along the lines of programming.

I have just told work that I do not know much about programming and it would be to difficult, thye are now offering a course in a few months, meanwhile I will have to keep on writing files and databases up for them. They assumed I knew about this as I know a lot along the lines of computers but not software manufacture.

But I still would like to know, where could you begin to learn programming until I take the course?

So what book would assist and what software would I need to go with it, Delphi 7 Personal I have a copy of.

  Jester2K II 18:03 13 Jun 2003

Learning Books are personal things. I would try looking in the local bookshops / library and see which one you get on with.

When learning VB6 i had numerous books recommended but hated them all.

You'll never learn to program a Firewall / Scanner in a few months either!!

I think your company has made a big assumption! I can drive a car but i couldn't win a Forumla 1 Grand Prix!!

A good comercial package with support is the best solution.

  Gaz 25 18:06 13 Jun 2003

It is a hard subject to choose though security products. They have a BETA they wanted me to modify, what a mind feild.

Anyway, I need to start simple, any ideas?

  Jester2K II 18:08 13 Jun 2003

Websites like PlanetSourceCode click here can provide some training. Essentially you download someone else's code and learn from it!!

click here has some tutorials and books listed...

Did the Personal edition not come with any training manuals??

  Gaz 25 18:15 13 Jun 2003

You are correct Jester 11k, they think I am wonderful,solving technical problems on the computers they have but I cannot program software like the pro's at work, they have come up with a BETA as I said but they just wanted me to see if I could improve it, so I said no, but they sent me a copy anyway to edit.

I cannot edit the program becuase I dont have software on my PC to do this, which software could edit the program?

Mind you better not ask, I might end up doing damage to my system, bad idea.

I need to start then by going to my local book store or/and library.

My fist aim better be to program a calculator, or a program that just displays and opens, closes Images.


So should I use my copy of Delphi 7 Personal?

Does it have predesigned commands?

So like you design your program in a WYSIWYG format and assign commands to buttons and boxes?

I can add a predesigned print button?

Or is it just plain text programming like a webpage has:

<title>My webpage</tilte>
.... Etc....


  Gaz 25 18:18 13 Jun 2003

The personal edition was a FREE copy from probably PCAdvisor.

  Jester2K II 18:32 13 Jun 2003

To edit a program you need the source code and the program it was compiled in. ie if it was written in VB you need a copy of VB.. However before you could improve it you need to understand it to work out what it does now. Also do you have a full understanding of how firewalls work and what they can / can't do??

"So like you design your program in a WYSIWYG format and assign commands to buttons and boxes?" Yes but can be more complicated than that.

"I can add a predesigned print button?" Yes and no. The buttons appearance might be predesigned but you still need to devise and write the code to make it do something!

"Or is it just plain text programming like a webpage has:

<html> <head> <title>My webpage</tilte> .... Etc.... " Again yes and no. VB is quite logical to follow (sometimes) Other languages are not so user friendly.

I program (lamely) in VB so have no experience of Delphi i'm afraid.

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