Re: which web development language to learn?

Subject: Re: which web development language to learn?
From: "Sergej Rinc" <info -at- sinonim -dot- si>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 13:43:02 +0100

Hi, Michael

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael Sussman" <msussman -at- earthling -dot- net>
> Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000 00:01:16 -0800
> I recently lost a corporate position and am looking into being a
> My skills are solid in Word, FrameMaker, PDF, and HTML. I'd want to
> my marketability by learning one or more web development languages, but
> where to start?

Do you really feel that your HTML (4) knowledge is solid? Take a free HTML
test at first. I've had a high opinion on my HTML
knowledge before taking online test but after first testing received 3.78
(Certified HTML Programmer, more than 2.75 on a scale from 1 to 5 is needed
for that). Then after a good lunch I've received 4.34 (Certified Master HTML
Programmer, more than 4.0). It's a good test, anyway.<g>

> Which language(s)/skill(s) do you suggest I learn first? For example, CGI,
> Perl, JavaScript, Java, DHTML, CSS, XML...

Definitely go for JavaScript first (maybe test your knowledge at the same
location above). Good books are The Definitive Guide (John Goodman, I
presume) and Pure JavaScript from SAMS (really good reference, I keep it
handy all times, although I still don't know why DaysUntil function slipped
authors' hands). You need JavaScript knowledge or just similar programming
techniques allmost allways when doing any more sofisticated HTML authoring.
Good source are of course online script repositories like etc.

Then go for CSS. Study other sites. Check maybe for
standards of both CSS 1 and CSS 2. Then lurk arround to find examples etc.

After that, you might continue with XML (and XSL - this is like CSS to
HTML). Seems like this year marketing hype and stock market will drive also
creation of good and more affordable tools while allready being (XML) the
answer for business exchange of data. XML can give you single sourcing and
most importantly virtually no need for changes (of the source/archive files)
in the future. Most sites will soon consider of having XML files for their
websites (and dynamically or statically changing them to HTML for display).
Check and

Later grasp also DHTML for which is maybe more important to wait for
standards (especialy standard DOM - Document Object Model) and their support
in browsers. As is now you have to write too many cross-browser scripts
which is overload and overwork in usually tight schedules.

Go for Perl and Java if you really have to do hard programming for the
Web. You mostly won't need them or can get by with various modules for
Apache (I have in mind a nice article in Web Techniques,, where the form and its result page is the same
HTML file). If you have to work for international market then Java will
presumabely allways have better (built-in) support for internationalization
whereas in Perl this demands some additional work.

Good luck,
Sergej Rinc, Certified Doc-To-Help Trainer
Tehnical Director, Sinonim d.o.o.
Member, International Webmasters Association
mailto:info -at- sinonim -dot- si,

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