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Looking for a nice language

I think I've had my head in databases too long, and I have a strange yearning to write something with a bit of a decent front-end on it -- I mean, it can't be that difficult, right? ;)

I'm leaning towards Visual Basic, but I'm so far behind on these new-fangled modern trends that I have really no idea what .NET is, or whether it's important, or whether I need to worry about it.

I should add that this skill is of no value to my client whatsoever, so I pay for the software myself, and inevitably I'll end up wanting to do some database stuff with it.

Does anyone have any advice to share?
David Aldridge Send private email
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
Tying it to a database...are you thinking of web based, or single machine, or what?  That will probably affect the best choice of language.
Aaron F Stanton Send private email
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
Sounds like your looking for some fun devlopment so I have to suggest Ruby ( http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/
 ) Its a nice OO interpreted language, with lots of libraries for GUI dev and DB access
Honu
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
Since you mentioned VB, is it safe to assume that you're working in an MS environment?

If so, I would recommend either VB.Net or C#.  Neither is difficult to learn, and there is plently of sample code available to get you started.

I like the ASP.NET starter kits and the MS Data Access Application Block.  Getting familiiar with these would give you a good perspective of developing data centric applications from a developers point of view versus a DBA's point of view.
Yet another anon
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
Aaron: Probably single machine -- I'm trying to take on as few new concepts as possible at first.

Honu: "A nice OO interpreted language" does indeed sound like the sort of thing that might be fun -- but I may be too lazy for it if there is no nice development environment.

Anon: Yes, I tend to work on windows, though I also run SuSe 9.1 Professional for variety. I don't do a lot of real work with Linux, 'cos I have a low threshold for getting all the right dependencies lined up in a row etc., and apart from Oracle the software that i use professionally doesn't run on Linux. I'd probably not be doing anything so critical that it needs C performance, as you say it's much more to do with getting "good perspective of developing data centric applications from a developers point of view versus a DBA's point of view".
David Aldridge Send private email
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
As a first step you might want to try programming a front end in MS Access.  The language it uses is VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), which is basically VB6 with extensions that tie it a little closer to the DB and to forms in Access.

The language isn't the most beautiful and the MS Access environment may seem confining once you've worked with it a while, but it's probably the best way to get going quickly in learning how to program a database front end.  I'd say give it a go, then you'll be ready to move onward and upward.
Herbert Sitz Send private email
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
I think you need to decide whether your "decent front end" is going to be HTML or Win32 client. The models are so totally different. Then decide if you can tolerate Microsoft or not. These two decisions will narrow it down to a handful, pick the one with the most accessible software (though these days you can get practically anything with a 2 minute download).
NetFreak Send private email
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
powerbuilder is exatly what you are looking for,
IMHO it's the only RAD-tool when comes to databases

Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
David, RealBasic is just as fun as VB, but has the extra fun street cred of being able to target multiple platforms (ie: Mac) from a single code base.
Scott
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
If you want to do Visual Basic, learn VB.NET rather than pre-.NET versions of Visual Basic.  Why?  Because prior to .NET VB wasn't a very good language.  It was (by today's standards) limited in capabilities, and it's long history had led to a strange mix of design decisions.  They cleaned it up when they moved it to .NET.

Languages you may like to consider are:

- VB.NET or C# (there are free IDE(s) available, certainly for C#, and possibly for VB.NET too)
- Delphi, definitely fits the bill as a "nice language"
- Python

Of those, VB.NET and C# are by far the most widely used - which might be relevant if you actually want to end up working in your chosen language.
John Rusk Send private email
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
Sharpdevelop does VB.Net as well as C#.
Aaron F Stanton Send private email
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
I second the vote for #Develop - its 90% of VS.NET, for 0% of the price. Only a fool would pay for VS.NET with their own money.
NetFreak Send private email
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
 
 
Hmmm, #develop looks good -- i downloaded it last night and managed a "hello world" with it! It's the little things that please.

Documentation on #develop is a little thin, although that's pretty standard open-source stuff, and for the price it's obviously a bargain. I think I'll start with that and see how it goes.

Any opinions on C#? Looks pretty nice to me.
David Aldridge Send private email
Thursday, January 06, 2005
 
 
I have always found Delphi to be a very productive environment for building Thick Client apps.

Thursday, January 06, 2005
 
 
Yes, I used Delphi quite a while ago, and liked the interface and the language but as far as I can see the price of entry is about $1k, which rules it out for me.
David Aldridge Send private email
Friday, January 07, 2005
 
 
> Any opinions on C#? Looks pretty nice to me.

If you compare VB.NET with C# ... I was using both for 3 or so years now and general impression is that having almost same functionality as C#, in some cases VB allows and/or forces worse readable/mainteinable code. Developer should have more discipline and put more efforts to write quality code with VB.
DK
Friday, January 07, 2005
 
 
DK,

C# seems to be a little less "wordy" also, is that right?
David Aldridge Send private email
Saturday, January 08, 2005
 
 
VB.Net and C# are basically skins on the .Net framework. There's so little to choose between them, it's really up to personal choice and familiarity. (Most C# lines are VB.NET lines with a semi-colon on the end, really)

If you're used to writing Office Macros, Basic, etc, go for VB.Net. If you're happier with C, C++, Java, or Javascript, C# will be most comfortable. But neither if significantly functionally different.

I'm personally more of a VB.Net fan and use it at home, but then I write C# at work.
Steve Cooper Send private email
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
 
 

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