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HEY! Do you build websites? I have a question!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by SmugMug, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. SmugMug

    SmugMug Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I have an idea for a fully automated website that I'd like to get cracking on, but I am an ultra rookie and am looking for someone who can point me in the right direction. I was able to teach myself Java and a little J2EE over a single summer, so I figure I am up to this if someone just points me at what languages/tools I need to become proficient in to be successful.

    This site will allow users to register accounts. Users will be able to submit content, and the server will respond by presenting them with other user generated content to view. If you remember hot-or-not, it's kind of like that...where you submit something, but in return you have to look at what other people have done. This content will be stored in a database, so it can be served out to users at any time. It also needs to be able to reach out to a website and pull down/parse information from webpages at a user's request...I already know how to handle the parsing in Java, but it may help you to know the big picture of what my needs are. I want to protect this idea while it's still fermenting, so I don't want to be too specific, but if this isn't enough info, please PM and we can talk.

    I'm sure that J2EE can handle almost all of this, but I know that there are other languages and tools out there designed from the ground up for web applications. It may be easier to learn to use another set of tools than to the J2EE stuff necessary to do the job.

    Thanks! :)

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  2. pbf98

    pbf98 Android Expert

    Hey, my official title is .net Developer, but I work the asp side of the .net environment and currently my main project is a designing a website to do quite a few misc tasks for my businesses customers.

    When dealing with talking to a database with a server asp with c# handles that quite well. Though the developer tool that goes with it (Visual Studio) is not the best when it comes to the design portion of making the website. But when you are doing the code behind it is very helpful.. it knows what controls you have on the page, what classes you have and the methods you have created. I really enjoy coding in it minus the poor design view for the html/aspx pages.

    Im not sure on other methods, I'm sure there is also php to look into to use for this. But I have very little experience with php.

    I learned Java before I learned C# and both languages are very similar. In my opinion C# was easier.. and learning asp is nothing if you already know html
    SmugMug likes this.
  3. cjr72

    cjr72 Android Enthusiast

    I'm also a .net developer. To add to what pbf98 has said you may want to also look into JSP (JavaServer Pages). If you go with php you may want to look into a LAMP environment. In general it's not just about the language you script in but also the accompanying framework that compiles or interpretes the code, provides the libraries for connecting to databases, etc, and generates the resulting web page. The hosting environment may influence what you choose also. IIS web server on Windows it may be easier to go with .net, Apache web server on Linux or Windows JSP or PHP may make more sense.
    SmugMug likes this.
  4. SmugMug

    SmugMug Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I appreciate the quick and informative replies. I'm going to get googling and pick up a book or two. I've got my fingers crossed that this won't be beyond the reach of some self-teaching!
  5. pbf98

    pbf98 Android Expert

    Not a problem! There is plenty of online support as well if you run into a few road blocks along the way. I run into some occasionally and my favorite site to go to when I need help (besides google) is stack overflow. There can be some rude users on there but there also very helpful ones.. most my problems are resolved with in hours of posting on there.

    That and there is the Microsoft MSDN Library full of useful code, they helped me figure out my log in and my whole user control system.

    And of course you can always try and ask here :)

    One little tip for when you get started making the site, be careful for SQL Injection prone code. Many start up sites thinking nothing of it, even major companies like Kodak and Sony had problems with this.

    Good luck with your site
  6. SmugMug

    SmugMug Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, pbf98. I only know the basics of SQL databases, so I was among those people who had never considered injection-proofing their database. I'll be sure to keep that in mind. I don't know much about site building outside of an introduction to JSP in my J2EE book and some HTML, so I'm sure I have a mountain of knowledge to gain on the security front. With a little luck, I'll be well on the road to building this site by the end of the year ;)
  7. Davdi

    Davdi Android Expert

    the key to preventing SQL injection is proper input validation.
    For example,for a Last Name input field, you may want to have a maximum of 20 characters. So, read in no more than 20 characters, validate them allowing upper/lower case alpha, single quote and hyphen. Specifically look for semicolon, asterisk and SQL keywords and REJECT if any are found. the error message returned should be a generic 'invalid input in <field> please re-enter'.
    PM me if you want help setting up some tight validations.
  8. pbf98

    pbf98 Android Expert

    That is a good way, there are also a couple of others to consider as well such as using paramterized sql statements or using stored procedures to run deletes updates and inserts.. anything where you are excepting input from the user is what you want to protect from.
    Dropdown lists listboxes and controls that are pre-populated don't run a high risk for the simple fact that they were populated by you and their values are predetermined.

    I started this job with very low knowledge of SQL... I scored not the best in that class, but after working in this job, maybe even 2 months after I started, it became much more clear than it ever was in the class. Thats because I learn better when I am actually using something vs being told what to do.

    Hope your learning is goes well, if you do run into any problems I'm sure we wouldn't mind trying to help :)
  9. SmugMug

    SmugMug Newbie
    Thread Starter

    All right! I'll keep that in mind as I get to learning. It'll be slow going as classes at the university are getting ready to start and they take priority, but with any luck I'll be in a position to start working come winter. I'm sure you all will be hearing lots from me then ;)

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