Looking for advice on a web development project

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Djavin Novienta

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Post 2017.02.14 17:29

Looking for advice on a web development project

So true to my usual form, I have a ridiculously ambitious plan to design a definitive third-party EVE corporate management platform! Ideally, it would involve functionality similar to Dotlan, Eve-Central, and the Uni tool.

But such a project is completely beyond my current programming capabilities, so rather than seeking help, I'm more just seeking guidance. I'm a novice programmer at best, so right now I just want to figure out how to direct my learning so that I can actually start the above mentioned project someday in the future.

If there's anyone around with experience in web development that would be willing to give me some advice and guidance, I would greatly appreciate it!
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Valpa Kaloi

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Post 2017.02.15 12:59

Re: Looking for advice on a web development project

You say you are "a novice programmer at best" so I assume you have some programming experience. What do you already know, languages, frameworks, other stuff, if any? That would help in pointing you to a suitable direction.
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Djavin Novienta

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Post 2017.02.17 04:47

Re: Looking for advice on a web development project

Thanks for the reply!

I'm fairly proficient with the usual HTML/CSS. As far as languages go, I know basic Javascript, Python, and Ruby (specifically in the context of Ruby on Rails), and I can use Git from the command line. That is about the extent of my experience.
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Valpa Kaloi

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Post 2017.02.17 11:49

Re: Looking for advice on a web development project

EVE corporate management sounds to me as something that would probably be quite "traditional" or "forms-based" user interface with the typical text fields, check boxes, drop menus etc. instead of something more graphically oriented like dotlan maps or the uni mapper. This is something you will need to consider when choosing what to learn.

Since you are already familiar with JavaScript, you could choose to use some client-side framework, e.g. Angular, React, Vue, ... and build the majority of your application to be running as a JS app in the user's browser and communicating back to your server side program with a REST API. Your server side code could be Rails, or if you want to keep your whole project under one language, you could also use Node.js, which provides a JS environment in the server side. The good thing of this approach is that clearly separating the client and server may keep your code cleaner and easier to change in server or client as the REST API better insulates them from each other. And some day you might be able to add an Android or iOS client much easier.

Or you could use the more traditional web development method and let the server print out HTML to the user's browser, as you have probably already done with Rails.

In either case, your server application will probably have to communicate with the EVE APIs to fetch the user/corp data from there. In the first case above you may want to communicate with the EVE API from the client too. And on the server side you will need a database, either a relational (SQL) or non-relational (e.g. Mongo).

Hope this helps! :)
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Djavin Novienta

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Post 2017.02.19 22:21

Re: Looking for advice on a web development project

Thank you so much! This is way more than I expected, I really appreciate it! Lord knows it could take a while to actually finish such a project, but you've helped me out much more than you know.
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Behind Ewe

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Post 2017.02.27 02:53

Re: Looking for advice on a web development project

If you are familiar with Python then may I also suggest you have a play with Django. Since you already have some JS in your mix too. Django would be able to handle most of what Valpa mentioned above.

What I don't know about with Django is how to work with external API's. I'm sure it's not hard, just never done it (though I have a couple of future project ideas that would use Google API's so it's on my list of stuff to play with.)

In particular it would be worth looking into creating a Database with Django. And then how Django creates a Database API that you can use to build views. All working in Python. I think, though I have not had the need myself, JS would be handy for some extra fancy UI enhancements and the like.
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Aion Aurelius

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Post 2017.02.28 04:06

Re: Looking for advice on a web development project

I am a fan of small projects to learn programming. I would recommend just starting out with some small goal in mind related or unrelated to your eventual Eve Corp management project. Like just displaying a list of corp members and the last time they logged in.

From there you can start to breakdown the smallest pieces you think you need then start googling. "How to get a list of characters form Eve?" then you realize you have to figure out how to use the Eve API so you google "How to use the Eve API?" then you have to learn how to use the API keys so you google "How to use Eve API Keys?" and so on. All of programming is about the decomposition of the problem then assembling all the little solutions. Programmers google and ask small questions that they then build into larger pieces of software.

The frameworks and languages are useful but they are tools. If you are just wanted to get this project working as soon as possible use something you know (Javascript, Python or Ruby). If you want to learning programming in a general sense then branch out try other languages and frameworks. They can change the way you think about the questions to ask and how to solve problems.

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