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The Next Step?

I've been thinking of learning a new language(maybe 2?) soon, but I can't figure out which one should be my next step in web design. I've been writing my own HTML and CSS fluently for years and I would consider myself fairly proficent. I've downloaded and installed PHP and MySQL just recently, but haven't started learning much further than the installation Wink I also know there is Perl, JavaScript and hoard of other interesting languages that I could learn. So, my basic question would be; which language is the most useful and interesting to learn, which is the most beneficial, or is their a suggested order in which anyone thinks is the best way to learn them in? Thanks for your help! Smile
PHP is a great server-side language for developing database driven and dynamic websites, so I must say that is a good choice! And MySQL is a very good DB to use with PHP, so for that you are good to go!! Learn PHP!!

And as for client-side languages, JavaScript is an excellent counter-part to your HTML and CSS code, and works well with forms for sending data to and from the server.

So, if you plan to learn anything, I suggest PHP and JavaScript!

Very Happy
Smile Thank you for prompt and helpful response, I've been thinking JavaScript or PHP. Prehaps I'll tackle both in the coming months(alot of inside lazy time due to cold I Any preferance to which one would be better learned first. I've looked over PHP, and I think it would be exiciting to tackle, as there are lots of scripting and interesting things that it can do. Anyway, thank you so much for responding!
If you want to stay in web technologies, you should learn PHP, SQL, ECMAScript (Javascript), XML technologies (DOM, XLink, XPath, XML Schema, XSLT, XInclude, XQuery...) and semantic technologies (RDF, RDFS, OWL...)
Javascript and PHP are extremely similar in the ways ive dealt with them so you should have no problems, just remember which is which :p I still remember writing up a cool "php" code and then posting it asking why it wouldnt work before someone pointed out half was javascript.
Ranfaroth wrote:
If you want to stay in web technologies, you should learn ..... semantic technologies (RDF, RDFS, OWL...)

It's true... The semantic technologies will build the Web of tomorrow.
You should learn also SPARQL, GRRDL and the microformats.
SPARQL spec became a Candidate Recommendation last week.

You can already play with SPARQL and the wikipedia database with dbpedia SPARQL endpoint Cool
PHP and MySQL is great opinion for web design especialy for dinamic sites. Also, I am recomend to learn JavaScript and Ayax. AJAX is not a new programming language, it is based on JavaScript and HTTP requests.

Fire Boar
I would personally not recommend learning anything like SPARQL... it's far too much hassle and chances are you'll never need it anyway. No, what I recommend is that you learn PHP and MySQL. That's what you'll need 99.9% of the time.

Once you're done with that, Javascript is a good language to learn, as it adds more functionality to the HTML. And yes, AJAX is useful too, because that allows you to re-parse pages and modify content on the fly. But as I say, stick with PHP until you're good at it.
Fire Boar wrote:
I would personally not recommend learning anything like SPARQL... it's far too much hassle and chances are you'll never need it anyway.
You're so wrong Cool Read this poster : the semantic web is clearly the future. (Maybe you've already heard the buzz word web 3.0 ?)
No, what I recommend is that you learn PHP and MySQL.
PHP is only a "tool", and as already been recommended many times above. Semantic web is a group of concepts and technologies which can be manipulated with different tools (PHP, Python, Java... For instance : an article about using SPARQL with Java)
There's here 2 levels : the tools (PHP is recommended), and the technologies (SW, which in particular is the way interactions between websites or data will be done tomorrow)
Fire Boar
Semantic web could indeed be the future, I'm not denying that; but the present is what's important right now, especially for a designer whose knowledge of webpages is currently limited to (X)HTML and CSS.

I am looking at practicality. Stick with the times, and don't jump ahead. If something fails, you've wasted your time. But if something is in common use currently, by all means learn it - your knowledge of programming languages and techniques such as PHP and MySQL that has been built up through time will mean you will find it no difficult task to learn new languages and techniques.

Everyone has a web browser that reads HTML. Cater to them. Write pages in PHP which generates HTML, use MySQL or similar for databasing and come up with some useful and practical webpages useable and accessible by all. Don't limit your audience.

One more thing, do you really want to jump on from (X)HTML to about 50 new languages and concepts? No, of course not. Take things a step at a time. Master the most useful stuff first - PHP and MySQL. Then look into using Javascript and AJAX for smoother and more streamlined web. Once you've mastered that, then it might be time to look at what may be coming in the future.
During all this thread, people have already advice learning PHP and MySQL, so no need to repeat it Rolling Eyes
Moreover, those are only technical tools, contrary to the concepts in the SW...

By the way, SPARQL specs was released last week.
Python's a great language to learn too.
But I would learn php first.
After learning PHP, python was a lot easier to learn.
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