Which technology

  RussG 15:33 13 Mar 2004

Last year I did a course on basic HTML which was useful even when using Frontpage as an editor. I am thinking about doing some more study but am not sure which course to do. With all the technologies available, DHTML, CSS , Javascript, PHP , ASP , .NET etc I am not sure what would be the most useful or relevant.
CSS gets plenty of press but as layout can be handled effectively by Frontpage & Dreamweaver
is it really worth looking into when my time is limited ( have to work fulltime until those lottery numbers come up).
Any advice would be gratefully considered.

  Forum Editor 15:43 13 Mar 2004

because it is (in my humble opinion) one of the better things to come along the web-design highway.

Frankly you need to have a grounding in all the technologies you've listed if you want to get serious about web design, but I would put CSS, ASP and PHP at the top of my list.

  Taran 18:25 13 Mar 2004

I'd agree with FE.

CSS is superb and has a very, very strong future ahead. In fact it is pretty fair to say that in the near future if you don't have a very good grasp of CSS you won't be getting much work coming your way in web design. CSS combined with XHTML is the future of web code.

If you already know ASP then migrating to PHP is fairly easy, but I don't think the same is true in the opposite direction. I genuinely think that PHP, from a newcomers point of view, is easier to get a handle on and observation of student groups at college seems to support that to an extent.

If I had to choose between JavaScript and DHTML I'd be forced to choose DHTML. JavaScript is processed by the client browser and so DHTML has a greater theoretical userbase. To explain, many people still keep their browser Java support locked down [switched off] which effectively kills any JavaScripts embedded into the page source code. So, in theory at least, DHTML has a potentially larger available audience since it is supported by default by most browsers.

Having said that good Java programmers are inreasingly in demand, but Java and JavaScript are not the same thing...

Keep in mind that to use either ASP [or .NET] or PHP you will also have to learn database design which is going to be your biggest learning curve by far. The best scripts in the world will fall flat if the underlying database has been thrown together with no thought for how it will work.

From that point of view, Microsoft Access and SQL Server are easier to learn and use because they have such a pleasant interface. MySQL for your PHP programs may be fast and furious but its DOS-like command prompt operation is just a bit too quirky for most people. Third party solutions are available which give MySQL a useable program interface but some of them do not support the full array of MySQL functions and one or two of them even introduce possible problems.

That's the Catch22 as far as I see it. PHP is easier [in my opinion] than ASP but its partner database [MySQL] is a nightmare to learn when compared to Access or Microsoft SQL Server.

Whatever you choose, get a grounding in as many languages and technologies that you can and then pick one particular area to specialise in.

  RussG 19:54 13 Mar 2004

Well, many thanks for the comprehensive answers to my question. Taking your advice I will look at CSS and as I've already developed quiet a few applications with Access I will go on to ASP/.net.
Of course in my spare time (!) I can always have a look at DHTML as well.


  BBez 09:09 14 Mar 2004

helped me develop my ASP site click here

  RussG 10:10 14 Mar 2004

Cheers BBez , that looks good.

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