Sunday, July 8, 2018

Programming - Advanced Level Lesson 2 - Internet Programming

In this lesson on Internet Programming we will be looking at numerous aspects of internet functionality. At the core of the internet we have HTML - HyperText Markup Language - but we also have programming languages that extend functionality beyond static pages into real active pages. Namely we will look at PHP, JavaScript, ASP (Active Server Pages) and the type of thinking behind this type of programming.

What Is HTML - and How Has HTML Evolved?
HTML is the type of language understood by your browser. When you see a website, there are specific codes that define what text is a heading, what is in bold, what is in italic, what is underlined etc. Furthermore, HTML can be keyed with CSS - Cascading Style Sheets. These stylesheets allow a specific set of colors, type sizes etc. All of that can be specified in either inline or external stylesheets, so that design changes than be implemented site-wide just by changing the stylesheet for that website.

In the original websites, content was static. It didn't change. The website you watched was identical at each visit.

What Is PHP?
When PHP came on the scene, you were suddenly able to see database-driven content. One such example would be WordPress blogs. When the author creates a new article on his (or her) blog, the article is stored in a database, and still presented in the browser in HTML.

PHP allows the adding of functionality through small programs that EXPAND the functionality of the WordPress blog.

Similarly, you can run auction sites and membership-based sites using various forms of PHP. There are stand-alone types of forurm software, and it all grows as new users create new programs in PHP that allow the user to interact with the sites in different ways...

What Is JavaScript?
In a similar way, Javascript is a scripting language based on Java, and is often used in systems such as banking sites and in places where you want functionality to happen on a central server. You may have heard of Java in numerous other situations, including electronic equipment and robots. It is quite funny that little snippets of Java-functionality are called beans, very much inspired by coffee beans you know from your kitchen. :-)

What Is ASP?
ASP is a programming language, but whereas PHP is run on Linux servers, then ASP is run on Windows servers.

What Other Things Must I Know?
What you prefer for your websites depends very much on what you are planning to do with your website, and which webserver you are going to run your websites on. The need to know a specific programming language depends on what you are going to do with the software you are buying for that website. If you are just going to run a forum, and need minor changes made to your forum such as colors and the design itself, an amateur level of PHP along with HTML and some CSS will do the trick for most people.

If, however, you are going to work professionally with any of these programming languages, you will need some more experience to do the trick. You can find numerous courses online in programming, and the more you play with these systems, the better equipped you will be.

We will tie the knots in the next lesson where we will be discussing app programming to finalize this series on programming.

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