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Old 12-01-2009, 09:09 PM   #1
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Default Wondering what the best route to do this would be...

I am wanting to learn a programming language. Been wanting to for a long time. However, I want my first project to be a net based application.

I want this future program to be able to read data from the web, and do actions based on the data.
For example: There is a flash based game that is only activated at certain times. I want this program to be able to fetch the data from the web on when it is active, and alert me to it.
So, if 'active' is false, nothing would happen, if 'active' came back true, I would get an audible alert and a link to play the game.

I currently do not have any programming experience whatsoever, but have plenty of time to learn. I am just wondering what language this would be easiest to do in.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wondering what the best route to do this would be...

Purely hypothetically speaking:
I also want to learn a programming language, and also have no programming experience. I'd like my first program to be a full 3D shooter to rival the likes of the latest games out there and I'd like to be able to do it in a week


OK - so the above is a bit exaggerated, but the concept still stands. If you've got no programming experience at all then you'll need to start off with very simple applications and work up from there rather than jumping into something big. If you're just retrieving raw HTML and doing simple things based on a bit of HTML scraping then that's doable - if it's the flash itself you want to look at and decode, then I really think the whole project's more than it's worth!

If it is just HTML stuff then it'd be a pretty easy task for a moderately experienced programmer. I've been doing Java based stuff for the past few years for example, and I could probably knock something up like that in a few minutes. It's not something you'd do on day one however!

My advice is to forget the project for now and just concentrate on learning a language for a while - then come back when you're experienced enough to attempt it. Different people learn at different rates, but if you keep at things then I reckon on average you should be able to have a pretty good stab at this within a couple of months.

In terms of where to start programming in general, I've just posted a mammoth thread here that may well be of use
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wondering what the best route to do this would be...

I know this was not going to happen in a weeks time. I figured it would be months and months away. I just wanted to know which language would be best for the programs I would like to start creating. Which languages this would be possible to do in, and which would be most efficient to do it in. I wouldn't want to start learning a language, then find out that it is pointless to the kind of programs and apps I had in mind in the beginning.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wondering what the best route to do this would be...

As said previously, if this is a case of just doing some HTML scraping then any general purpose language will do the job. If whether the game's available is only visible within the flash itself then you've got a much more complex task on your hand. Depending on how it's embedded, it'll still be possible with any general purpose language I guess - but a whole lot harder. Without knowing exactly what you want to do though (i.e. the exact setting) it's pretty impossible to say how hard or easy it's going to be!

So yes - Java will do what you want it to as good as anything else as far as I understand it. You can pull of HTML from web pages pretty easily and process it how you please based on its content. I wouldn't say any common language really stands out in terms of ease of use or feature set for something like that, so you'd probably be better choosing a general one such as Java, taking the time to learn it and then go with it in terms of whatever projects you want to do.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wondering what the best route to do this would be...

Thank you Berry. After reading your article about the different programming languages, I think I will go with Java. I am not quite sure if the file I need to scarpe is html (guessing by what the web address is, it is php?), so I have included a link to what I need to scrape. Here.

I have been wanting to creat "similar" applications for quite some time, and I am starting to get my college prereqs done so I can start working in programming at school. A jump start is great, and I appreciate your time in helping.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wondering what the best route to do this would be...

You can get that file no problem at all programmatically - no it's not HTML based, but it is text (I probably should have said text based before to be more general) so you can grab it and do any processing on it that you like Depending on what you want to get the processing may take a bit of effort, but should be possible.
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wondering what the best route to do this would be...

EsOne: I think it'd be easy to do what you're suggesting. Just include a library that has the function you'd like, use it. I think the difficult part would be parsing the data to decipher what you'd want. The conditional statement isn't difficult

Quote:
if (parsed_data == true) alert(noise.wav);
else return 0;
something along those lines. Which language you go about using is totally up to you.
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