Dipping Toes Into Programming



  • @scottalanmiller said in Learn to Code Python with Thonny:

    @tim_g said in Learn to Code Python with Thonny:

    Are you getting into a lot of programming / software development lately yourself?

    Me? Yes, I am. I was a developer before I came to IT (dev since '89, IT since '94) and it is great to be back in it again. I've got Visual Studio Code open pretty much all day now! Loving it.

    I've done around 100 commits just this week.

    I'm thinking about stepping into that realm myself for fun to start. Mostly because I find myself needing good IT software and web interfaces that don't exist. I like the idea of it, but find it hard to get started.

    My end goal is to be able to intelligently write bits of software that are able to communicate and interact with APIs like REST API, to display and manipulate data on HTML5 pages.

    I'm not sure where the best place is to begin, though I haven't yet done a lot of research because I'm so busy doing and learning IT stuff in my spare time. However, I was thinking Javascript may be a good place to start, and if not, Python.

    What would you (or anyone in that world) suggest to start with in my spare time keeping my end goal in mind?



  • This would be great - if I had the patience... I don't... sadly I have a number of tasks I wish to do,.. all need some level of programming of some kind.... and I've not been able to enlist anyone to help...



  • Python is good for learners. And good for system scripting or local interfaces.

    JavaScript is good for server applications.

    What kind of project are you considering?



  • Python is a great first language, lots of practical uses too. Python + Django would get you creating your own web apps. Python + Tryton and you can create your own ERP



  • @scottalanmiller said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    Python is good for learners. And good for system scripting or local interfaces.

    JavaScript is good for server applications.

    What kind of project are you considering?

    Basically, I would like to be able to create something like Saltpad, or at least enough to be able to fork something like that and take it in a custom direction I would like, but not necessarily having to do with SaltStack. That's just an easy example that poked my dormant interest, or got me started thinking about it. Same goes for SodiumSuite.

    It seems my first step would be learning Javascript, even though Python seems easier for learning.

    I do have a side-interest in web applications and web design, so I think I would get the most benefit out of Javascript. My main joy is IT, so of course any programming I learn would be geared towards being leveraged for IT usage.



  • I was comparing some different IDEs for JavaScript, and unless someone can get WebStorm for free, it looks like Visual Studio Code is the real winner.



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    I was comparing some different IDEs for JavaScript, and unless someone can get a free copy of WebStorm, it looks like Visual Studio Code is the real winner.

    Yes, we definitely consider VS Code the big winner, with Atom being the second place contestant (Code is built from Atom, so Atom sort of wins anyway) against those. @QuixoticJeremy and I were just discussing WebStorm vs. VS Code last night, as he uses both. And he feels that they are pretty evenly matched - not considering the price. But with one being free and open, and the other being expensive and closed, it's a clear win on the Code side.



  • @flaxking said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    Python is a great first language, lots of practical uses too. Python + Django would get you creating your own web apps. Python + Tryton and you can create your own ERP

    Oh yeah, you can do anything with it.



  • @flaxking said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    Python is a great first language, lots of practical uses too. Python + Django would get you creating your own web apps. Python + Tryton and you can create your own ERP

    I did a search on Django + Python + REST API... this looks very interesting as well, maybe even preferable.

    It led me to this: https://scotch.io/tutorials/build-a-rest-api-with-django-a-test-driven-approach-part-1
    and this: https://scotch.io/tutorials/build-your-first-python-and-django-application

    So now what I need to know is what are the benefits of going Python/Django vs JavaScript for what I'm looking to achieve?

    Why are some, such as the Saltpad project, using JavaScript instead? Why may they not have chosen Python?



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    So now what I need to know is what are the benefits of going Python/Django vs JavaScript for what I'm looking to achieve?

    Why are some, such as the Saltpad project, using JavaScript instead? Why may they not have chosen Python?

    Python: More traditional, object oriented general purpose language. Can only be used on the server, not the client. DJango is an old framework. Model is based around core engine speed.

    JS: Less traditional, prototype "specific purpose" language. Used for both the server and the client work. NodeJS is a very modern framework that relies on a non-blocking model for performance.



  • Without me knowing so much about this at this point, which makes more sense to use in the way I wish to use it?

    Mostly for my reference later when I have time, below:

    Python

    Flask vs Django:
    https://www.codementor.io/garethdwyer/flask-vs-django-why-flask-might-be-better-4xs7mdf8v

    Python WebFrameworks:
    https://wiki.python.org/moin/WebFrameworks

    JavaScript

    JavaScript Frameworks:
    https://hackernoon.com/5-best-javascript-frameworks-in-2017-7a63b3870282

    ReactJS vs AngularJS:
    https://da-14.com/blog/reactjs-vs-angular-comparison-which-better



  • Honestly PHP is probably your best bet.



  • @tim_g

    Flask is an unassuming simple framework. It is good for creating something simple, or for creating something complex and cutting edge where you need flexibility. In order to build out a webapp, you would need to learn more components than just Flask.

    Django is a monolithic framework, batteries are included. You just have to learn Django in order to build a web app. You don't have to create things from scratch, but there are certain ways to do things, so there is less flexibility. It takes longer to learn Django, because there is so much more there. But when you do learn it, you can pump out web apps pretty fast. With Flask there are other things you have to learn, and you have to figure out how you want them to interact.

    Once you have a decent amount of Python, you can learn at least the basics of Flask in a day, and then look at learning Django too.

    If you're interested in messing around with Salt, I think Python is the way to go. Salt's code is pretty easy to understand and work with for junior devs, and you can start making your own customizations.



  • @flaxking said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    @tim_g

    Flask is an unassuming simple framework. It is good for creating something simple, or for creating something complex and cutting edge where you need flexibility. In order to build out a webapp, you would need to learn more components than just Flask.

    Django is a monolithic framework, batteries are included. You just have to learn Django in order to build a web app. You don't have to create things from scratch, but there are certain ways to do things, so there is less flexibility. It takes longer to learn Django, because there is so much more there. But when you do learn it, you can pump out web apps pretty fast. With Flask there are other things you have to learn, and you have to figure out how you want them to interact.

    Once you have a decent amount of Python, you can learn at least the basics of Flask in a day, and then look at learning Django too.

    If you're interested in messing around with Salt, I think Python is the way to go. Salt's code is pretty easy to understand and work with for junior devs, and you can start making your own customizations.

    Thanks for the explanation, it helps a lot.

    This narrows it down to the following:

    • Python / Django
    • JavaScript / ReactJS


  • Many of my programmer friends have recommended this: https://learnpythonthehardway.org/ if you're interested in Python specifically



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    @flaxking said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    @tim_g

    Flask is an unassuming simple framework. It is good for creating something simple, or for creating something complex and cutting edge where you need flexibility. In order to build out a webapp, you would need to learn more components than just Flask.

    Django is a monolithic framework, batteries are included. You just have to learn Django in order to build a web app. You don't have to create things from scratch, but there are certain ways to do things, so there is less flexibility. It takes longer to learn Django, because there is so much more there. But when you do learn it, you can pump out web apps pretty fast. With Flask there are other things you have to learn, and you have to figure out how you want them to interact.

    Once you have a decent amount of Python, you can learn at least the basics of Flask in a day, and then look at learning Django too.

    If you're interested in messing around with Salt, I think Python is the way to go. Salt's code is pretty easy to understand and work with for junior devs, and you can start making your own customizations.

    Thanks for the explanation, it helps a lot.

    This narrows it down to the following:

    • Python / Django
    • JavaScript / ReactJS

    ReactJS is just an interface layer, it's not a framework like Django.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    @flaxking said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    @tim_g

    Flask is an unassuming simple framework. It is good for creating something simple, or for creating something complex and cutting edge where you need flexibility. In order to build out a webapp, you would need to learn more components than just Flask.

    Django is a monolithic framework, batteries are included. You just have to learn Django in order to build a web app. You don't have to create things from scratch, but there are certain ways to do things, so there is less flexibility. It takes longer to learn Django, because there is so much more there. But when you do learn it, you can pump out web apps pretty fast. With Flask there are other things you have to learn, and you have to figure out how you want them to interact.

    Once you have a decent amount of Python, you can learn at least the basics of Flask in a day, and then look at learning Django too.

    If you're interested in messing around with Salt, I think Python is the way to go. Salt's code is pretty easy to understand and work with for junior devs, and you can start making your own customizations.

    Thanks for the explanation, it helps a lot.

    This narrows it down to the following:

    • Python / Django
    • JavaScript / ReactJS

    ReactJS is just an interface layer, it's not a framework like Django.

    Yes I'm not as worried about having a full framework like Django for JavaScirpt. ReactJS seems to hit all the check boxes I'm looking for though.

    I wouldn't even start touching ReactJS until I would be well into JavaScript anyways. And at that point, it may be that I change my mind and want something else once I understand everything much better.

    With Django, I would start both at the same time, as my focus would purely be on the web side first, I think.



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    I wouldn't even start touching ReactJS until I would be well into JavaScript anyways. .

    The selection of language would never lead to a change in desire for a framework. Frameworks are identical regardless of the language uses. JS gives you nothing that Python doesn't. So if you want a framework with one, you want it with the other. If not with JS, then not with Python either.



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    With Django, I would start both at the same time, as my focus would purely be on the web side first, I think.

    Why treat them so differently?



  • @scottalanmiller said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    With Django, I would start both at the same time, as my focus would purely be on the web side first, I think.

    Why treat them so differently?

    From my understanding, Python doesn't do jack for front-end output on a web page without something like Django... where as JavaScript can be put into whatever existing pages you have... be it WordPress (or WP plugin), a simple HTML5 page (simply display the JS where you want), your own stuff, or whatever.



  • The web browser will run it. But with Python, I can't call a python script to be displayed on a webpage from my HTML code for example.



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    @scottalanmiller said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    With Django, I would start both at the same time, as my focus would purely be on the web side first, I think.

    Why treat them so differently?

    From my understanding, Python doesn't do jack for front-end output on a web page without something like Django...

    That's incorrect. Django is just a framework. Python has to render HTML for you to see a webpage. Django is just Python. So anything Django can do, Python can do. The end result is using Python to write HTML and hand it to a web server to display.



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    ... where as JavaScript can be put into whatever existing pages you have...

    That's true, but unrelated. So in the way you describe it, Python and Django would produce your JavaScript. So if you want to use JS in the way that you describe, JS itself does nothing for you. You need Python or something to output the JavaScript to go into the browser.

    So in the way you are thinking of it, JS does nothing for you. Or you need JS in both cases equally and you still need to make the server component.



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    ...a simple HTML5 page (simply display the JS where you want), your own stuff, or whatever.

    When making a web app, there are two places that code goes... the server and the client.

    The server side is the only side we ever talk about, ever. It's the app, the part that matters. It's what talks to the database, where we talk languages, where things matter. This is where all the work is done.

    The client side, in a web app, is always HTML and JavaScript. But we are never talking about this JS when we talk about languages. JS is the only language that runs here, there are no other choices, so it's never discussed. This part of your app is trivial and generally ignored when discussing it in this context.

    No matter what you use as your server side code, it has to generate HTML and JS for the client side code. You can use Python, Ruby, Perl, Java, C#, JavaScript or any number of thousands of languages on the server side. But the output of all of them has to be HTML and JavaScript in order for the output to be a web app.



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    The web browser will run it. But with Python, I can't call a python script to be displayed on a webpage from my HTML code for example.

    No, you can't, but it's not relevant.

    If you write your app in Python, it has to put output HTML5.
    If you write your app in JavaScript, it has to output HTML5.

    The decision of server side language isn't affected by the fact that they will call HTML5 as their output format.



  • I think I understand a bit better now and believe I had some wrong ideas.

    People who write articles about the benefits of JavaScript vs Python for web development like to push the fact that JavaScript runs both on the server and the client. But if everything runs on the server anyways (which I assume is what you want for security and web page performance reasons), what exactly is the benefit there with that former fact?

    It would now seem to me that Python + Django would be the superior choice.

    I may have to do more research on this, it seems I may sill not be completely conceiving the whole stack or the way it all works correctly yet.



  • Molten was built with JavaScript and ReactJS.

    In an index.html file, it's called like this:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
    <head>
        <title>Molten Salt API UI</title>
        <link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="/assets/favicon.png">
        <link href='/assets/contrib/toastr.min.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
        <link href='/assets/contrib/animate.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
        <link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto:400,300,500' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
        <link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/icon?family=Material+Icons' rel='stylesheet'>
    </head>
    <body>
    <div id='content'>
    </div>
    <script type='text/javascript' src='/assets/config.js'></script>
    <script type='text/javascript' src='/assets/molten/molten.js'></script>
    <script type='text/javascript' src='/assets/contrib/toastr.min.js'></script>
    </body>
    </html>
    

    And displays on the web page.

    I was thinking that it's done like that, versus with Python, the index.html file would be what?



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    People who write articles about the benefits of JavaScript vs Python for web development like to push the fact that JavaScript runs both on the server and the client.

    They do, and this is a benefit. But the benefit is purely that you, as the coder, need only write one language, not two. It's a pretty minor point and while not worthless, isn't very important. All things being equal, we'd consider it. But they aren't, so it's generally just something to ignore.



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    But if everything runs on the server anyways (which I assume is what you want for security and web page performance reasons), what exactly is the benefit there with that former fact?

    It's not performance or security but rather... what good would a normal application be that only exists in the browser? If you were going to make one of those, and people do, then you'd not deploy it via a web server, but just make it a file that you download to your desktop.

    If you want to see a "pure browser" style application, you won't find many because it's silly enough to be essentially pointless. What runs in the browser is so locked down (remember, it's not a full app but just the display portion of it) that you can't do anything useful. You could make a little Sodoku game or something like that that way, but that's about it.

    Even "pure client" applications made with all JavaScript and web tech actually use a full web server stack with a server side application to give them powerful things like networking or the ability to write to files on the disk (client side JavaScript can't do that). Examples of these would be Atom and Visual Studio Code - those actually run a full web server locally on your machine in order to produce a desktop app using JS!



  • @tim_g said in Dipping Toes Into Programming:

    Molten was built with JavaScript and ReactJS.

    In an index.html file, it's called like this:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
    <head>
        <title>Molten Salt API UI</title>
        <link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="/assets/favicon.png">
        <link href='/assets/contrib/toastr.min.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
        <link href='/assets/contrib/animate.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
        <link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto:400,300,500' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
        <link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/icon?family=Material+Icons' rel='stylesheet'>
    </head>
    <body>
    <div id='content'>
    </div>
    <script type='text/javascript' src='/assets/config.js'></script>
    <script type='text/javascript' src='/assets/molten/molten.js'></script>
    <script type='text/javascript' src='/assets/contrib/toastr.min.js'></script>
    </body>
    </html>
    

    And displays on the web page.

    No, that's not what is happening. You are looking at the output of Molten and thinking that that itself is Molten. Molten is actually a large bit of code that is producing the stuff that you are looking at. That's not the same.

    Web development is really not a good place to learn programming because instead of learning "code > output" you are learning lots of architectures and many different code pieces all at once. Normally developers learn by learning to write code that outputs words or numbers. You are trying to "learn to code" by writing code that writes its own code. That's how web development works - the code you are looking at is the code that the real code made itself! Not the code that the developers wrote.