On Mar 24, 2010, at 4:28 PM, Laura Harris wrote:
>> Just as important as the actual language may be the programming techniques
>> you will have to learn. Now-a-day knowing how to read and write XML is almost
>> imperative. Knowing how to do I/O against a database is all but necessary.
>> Understanding how to send URL's to remote resources and parsing the results
>> is common place. Learning how to output your content as an HTTP response is
>> all too common. All of the languages incorporate extensions for doing such
> As a relative newbie myself, any advice on how/where to pick up these particular things? (Especially everything after the XML.)
How to pick up these skills? The short, terse answer is practice, but if it were up to me, I'd devise a problem and try to solve it. For example, I might try to create a rudimentary "discovery" system by:
1. getting a set of MARC records
2. designing a flat database schema with
author, title, subject, note, URL,
and identifier fields
3. looping through each of the MARC records
parsing out the desired content while
inserting it into the database
4. installing and configuring Solr
5. looping through all the records in the database
pulling out all the fields and sending them
to Solr for indexing
6. writing a CGI script with a one-box, one-button
interface querying Solr and returning the
Such a process includes all of the techniques outlined above. Any programming language with its weight in salt has modules, libraries, classes, gems, etc. supporting each of these basic functions. The hard part is gluing them together.
Where to get these skills? Eric C. hit the nail on the head when he said "find a community". Mailing lists are great. Reference implementations are great. Books are good too. Really.