Coding Resources

 

Online Computer Science Degree Guide: Coding Resources

Coding is a field of work which focuses on the design, writing, testing, and execution of source codes of computer programs and web pages. Used synonymously with computer programming, coding requires a wide range of specializations including applied logic, math, and experience working with different coding languages. Since most computer programs and web pages are designed from the ground-up, the design of these mediums is highly flexible. This article will cover some standard coding languages, explore the design aspect of coding, and provide useful resources for people looking to expand their knowledge in coding.

Javascript

Javascript is a scripting language used in enhancing web pages coded in HTML language. a scripting language is one which allows for dynamic web pages in contrast to static ones designed in HTML. Today, Javascript is the most popular scripting language used in web page design, working with all major web browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer.

Features of Javascript

  • Javascript is a dynamic language. Unlike static languages, javascript can react to events. For example, a script could be ran if an image is clicked on to produce a sound. Since the language is perfectly compatible with HTML (the most vanilla of web design languages), short and simple javascript scripts can be embedded into generic websites, adding a layer of dynamism to web pages.
  • Javascript is a functional language. Not only is it able to be embedded into HTML code, it allows web pages to interact with plug-ins such as media players and document viewers (Adobe Acrobat). In contrast to procedural codes, which execute commands which lead to a desired result, dynamic languages favor shorter codes which execute recurring events such as loops.
  • Javascript is also an object-oriented language. Object-oriented languages view groups of codes as “objects” with internal data and external means of extracting the data. the objective of an object-oriented language is to find a way to partition the objects in a way to retrieve the information defined in the code.
  • Fast Fact: Javascript is commonly mistaken as Java. Java is a completely different programming language designed to run through Sun Microsystem’s (Now owned by Oracle Corporation) Java platform. Today, the Java platform is free-to-use, allowing millions of users to access the rich collection of Java programs.

TCL and TK

TCL

Tool Command Language (TCL) is another dynamic programming language. One of the biggest advantages of using TCL is that the language is efficient to code and deploy. According to the TCL Developer Exchange, applications, especially ones which include graphical user interfaces (more on this later), strings, and integration, can be coded and deployed 5-10 times quicker by coding in TCL.

In addition to its efficiency, TCL can also be easily tailored to meet the demands of changing codes and platforms. TCL is compatible with all popular operating systems today, including Windows, OS X, and Ubuntu.

Tk

Tk is a toolkit (commonly used with TCL) which allows for the implementation of graphic user interfaces (GUIs) within websites, applications, and programs. Since most programs today incorporate some aspects of GUIs, the accessibility of Tk is taken for granted. GUIs are user interfaces which allow users to directly manipulate images instead of working through code. For example, clicking links on a website is a simple example of a GUI. TkDocs has a great page which showcases simple GUI commands used in Tk code.

The Artistic Side of Coding

The field of coding is as much an art as it is a science. Although it’s easy to get bogged down by coding languages and technical jargon, the aesthetics of a finished product are just as important to the code itself. As coding languages become increasingly capable of producing high-quality programs and web pages, effective coders have come to develop the ability to design beautiful products in addition to bug-free code. Here are some resources which are helpful in developing the artistic side of coding.

  • Sean McManus, a prominent writer and journalist on web design, hosts a blog which covers topics ranging from Javascript tutorials to design tips. As a professional in the field of web design, Sean has written several books and countless blog entries to help developers improve their ability to design aesthetically-pleasing websites.
  • HTML Basic Tutor is another online resource which covers both the technical and artistic sides of web design. This resource begins by covering planning issues such as targeting audiences and budgeting. Second, designing the layout of the website, including font styles, web applications, and color are covered. Finally, the resource offers an overview of HTML coding, the backbone of most web pages today.

Resources for Developers, Teachers, and Students

Coding is a field which is constantly evolving to keep up with (and sometimes surpass) technological advancements. Here are some resources which developers and academics can use to keep up with an ever-changing field of work.

  • C++ is one of the most popular programming languages, since it is viewed as an intermediate-level code, allowing for it to design both simple and interactive applications. Developed as an improvement over the original C language, C++ has continued to be refined. The next version of C will be named C++0x, and is currently in development, and CProgramming will be at the forefront of reporting updates to the versatile language.
  • OpenGL is the most widely used graphics API in the industry today. Having shifted from text-based to graphic-based user interfaces, this has cemented OpenGL as the leading platform for coding both 2D and 3D graphics.