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Want to know where to start

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  • Matt Thompson
    Hello, I have a few questions. Everyone always says that the best way to learn programming, is to find something you want to program, and then figure out
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 17, 2002
      Hello, I have a few questions. Everyone always says that the best way to
      learn programming, is to find something you want to program, and then figure
      out which language woul best suit your needs. Well, I am very interested in
      creating a fantasy sports league manager software. I was thinking of making
      it web based, since i'm guessing most fantasy baseball owners are windows
      users. The only programming I know is basic, and some very basic cobol, from
      a college class I took. I am very interested in using this a a learning
      experience.

      The final program hopefully would have a good draft program, player
      transactions, automatic scoring updates, and a player database going back 5
      years or so.

      I want to make this using open source tools, so I was wondering what you guys
      thought i should tackle first? If this is an improper list to ask these
      questions, where would you suggest i ask?

      --
      Empty_One
      _________
      "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
      safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."--Benjamin Franklin
    • Omer Zak
      ... In my opinion, this question is both off-topic to the mailing list, and on-topic. Giving advice to the guy is off-topic. At least, I d hate it if we got
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 17, 2002
        On Sun, 17 Feb 2002, Matt Thompson wrote:

        > The final program hopefully would have a good draft program, player
        > transactions, automatic scoring updates, and a player database going back 5
        > years or so.
        >
        > I want to make this using open source tools, so I was wondering what you guys
        > thought i should tackle first?If this is an improper list to ask these
        > questions, where would you suggest i ask?

        In my opinion, this question is both off-topic to the mailing list, and
        on-topic.

        Giving advice to the guy is off-topic. At least, I'd hate it if we got
        more messages of this kind in the mailing list. But discussions about how
        to start programming are on-topic. I would not mind seeing discussions
        about how someone started programming, what hurdles did he have to
        overcome before he could proclaim himself to be an expert hacker, and the
        like.

        Now, to the guy's issue:

        I think that the project he wants to tackle is too big for a single bite.

        First, he has to take inventory of the skills which he needs (GUI design,
        GUI tool [such as Python/Tk or Perl/Tk] usage, database design, database
        tool [such as MySQL or Postgressql], Web scripts, ...)

        Then, he should decompose the project into steps (as said above), such
        that at each step he'll need to master only one new tool. Each step
        should also be useful in its own right. I'm too happy to leave the damned
        details to other helpful Hackers-IL members.

        There is also the question which tool is the right tool for each task
        (MySQL vs. Postgressql religious war, anyone?).

        --- Omer
        There is no IGLU Cabal. No one wanted to attend to all those pesky
        details, which need to be taken care of when organizing organizations
        such as Cabals.
        WARNING TO SPAMMERS: at http://www.zak.co.il/spamwarning.html
      • Chen Shapira
        ... Actually, the interesting part is to figure out which skills you *won t* need. Read: how to smooth out that learning curve. Take databases for instance. He
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 18, 2002
          > First, he has to take inventory of the skills which he needs
          > (GUI design,
          > GUI tool [such as Python/Tk or Perl/Tk] usage, database
          > design, database
          > tool [such as MySQL or Postgressql], Web scripts, ...)

          Actually, the interesting part is to figure out which skills you *won't*
          need. Read: how to smooth out that learning curve.
          Take databases for instance. He won't really need to learn how to design a
          database, you can usually start out with one huge table with everything, and
          move to a normalized schema as things get complicated. Many things he
          probably won't need for a long time, indexing for example.
          You can start the project with very basic knowledge of SQL, learn as you
          grow. When I look back at my earliest attempts of coding database access, it
          looks pathetic. I was working much harder because I didn't know sql server
          contained soundex as a stored procedure (stored procedures are another thing
          beginners don't need to know about).
          Some things are quite easy to learn together. PHP and mysql are nicely
          integrated, so you can learn them both at the same time.
          GUI design is a bonus, you can live without it for quite some time, and its
          the first thing you get bug-reports about, so it tends to take care of
          itself.


          > Then, he should decompose the project into steps (as said above), such
          > that at each step he'll need to master only one new tool. Each step
          > should also be useful in its own right. I'm too happy to
          > leave the damned
          > details to other helpful Hackers-IL members.

          Looks like you can get quite far with a web/db combination, without learning
          TK.
          I'd start with php/mysql or asp/access.

          > There is also the question which tool is the right tool for each task
          > (MySQL vs. Postgressql religious war, anyone?).

          Happily there's almost no need for one. These tools grew remarkably similar
          in the last year.
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