Coding Platforms for web development and digital media

Many diverse coding platforms exist in the web development universe today. These platforms are continually and rapidly changing as the web evolves. Competent developers will be exposed to many of these technologies during their project work. Understanding when to use the different available technologies separates the professional web developer from the hobbyist. From basic markup technologies, style (presentation) technologies, scripting languages, code frameworks, content management systems, e-commerce frameworks, database platforms, server-side programming languages, code libraries, code generators, to code validators, web developers need to be conversant in the use of these technologies in order to produce compelling web presences.

This page provides essential information about the key programming technologies associated web development and includes code libraries, API documentation and sample code.


Markup Language (reference)

HTML 5 Tutorial

HTML 5 is the latest release of the markup language that defines the structure of web pages and establishes the DOM (Document Object Model). The HTML 5 specification includes semantic elements that make it easier for machines to understand the meaning of documents' elements. HTML is used in conjunction with CSS which provides the look or styling of a web page. The HTML 5 standard also has also now evolved to include application programmer interfaces (APIs) for additional functionalities supported by modern web browsers. Some of these APIs include Canvas, drag and drop API, file API, application cache API, local storage, and the geolocation API.

Go There

Style Language (reference)

CSS 3 Tutorial

CSS 3 is the latest release of the CSS stylesheet language (Cascading Style Sheet) that defines the layout and appearance of web pages through specification of styles applied to the DOM (Document Object Model) elements. The CSS 3 specification includes advanced features that used to be only available through scripting code. Some of these advanced styling capabilities are transforms, transitions, animations, advanced selectors and pseudo-classes which can now be used without special client side scripting.

Go There

Scripting Language (client-side reference)

JavaScript Tutorial

JavaScript is the underlying client-side (browser) scripting language that provided dynamic capabilities to web pages through programmatic interaction with the DOM (Document Object Model). JavaScript works hand-in-hand with the HTML markup and CSS styles. JavaScript is the underlying mechanism that allows users to interact with elements displayed in a browser window. JavaScript is also the base coding platform used to create higher level programming platforms such as jQuery and Angular JS on the client side and Node JS on the server side of web applications. Popular JavaScript code libraries such as Modernizr provide other important specialized ready to use functionalities as well.

Go There

Scripting Language (client-side reference)

Ajax Tutorial

AJAX, short for asynchronous JavaScript and XML, is a group of interrelated Web development techniques used on the client-side to create asynchronous Web applications. With Ajax, web applications can send data to and retrieve from a server asynchronously (in the background) without interfering with the display and behavior of the existing page.

Go There

Markup Language (data exchange reference)

XML Tutorial

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format which is both human-readable and machine-readable. It is a textual data format with strong support via Unicode for different human languages. Although the design of XML focuses on documents, it is widely used for the representation of arbitrary data structures such as those used in web services. Several schema systems exist, including Document Type Definition (DTD) and XML Schema, (often referred to by the initialism for XML Schema instances, XSD which stands for XML Schema Definition) to aid in the definition of XML-based languages, and many application programming interfaces (APIs) have been developed to aid the processing of XML data. Two such APIs, XSLT and XQuery, are declarative programming languages. XSLT is designed for declarative description of XML document transformations and has been widely implemented both in server-side packages and Web browsers. XQuery overlaps XSLT in its functionality, but is designed more for searching of large XML databases. Hundreds of document formats using XML syntax have been developed, including RSS, Atom, SOAP, and XHTML. XML-based formats have become the default for many office-productivity tools, including Microsoft Office (Office Open XML), OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice (OpenDocument), and Apple's iWork.

Go There

Data Interchange Format (data exchange reference)

JSON

JSON or JavaScript Object Notation, is an open standard format that uses human-readable text to transmit data objects consisting of attribute‐value pairs. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML. Although originally derived from the JavaScript scripting language, JSON is a language-independent data format. Code for parsing and generating JSON data is readily available in many programming languages. JSON's Web site lists JSON libraries by language.

Go There

Code Library (feature detection)

Modernizr

Modernizr is a JavaScript library that detects HTML5 and CSS3 features in the user's browser. Modernizr makes it easy for developers to write conditional JavaScript and CSS to handle each situation, whether a browser supports a feature or not. It's perfect for doing progressive enhancement easily.

Go There

Scripting Language (client-side)

jQuery

jQuery is a popular cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML. jQuery's syntax is designed to make it easy to navigate a document, select DOM elements, create animations, handle events, and develop Ajax applications. jQuery removes the need to have different code for different browser implementations of technologies like Ajax. jQuery also provides capabilities for developers to create plug-ins on top of the JavaScript library.

Go There

Scripting Language (client-side)

Angular JS

AngularJS is a client-side MVC (model-view-controller) platform implemented as distributed meta scripting embedded in the document markup with processing powered by the included AngularJS code library. AngularJS, commonly referred to as Angular, is an open-source web application framework maintained by Google and a community of other developers to address many of the challenges encountered in developing single-page applications. Its goal is to simplify both development and testing of complex single-page applications by providing a framework for client-side MVC architecture, and other components commonly used in rich internet applications.

Go There

Scripting Language (server-side)

Node JS

Node.js is an open source, cross-platform runtime environment for server-side and networking applications. Node.js applications are written in JavaScript, and can be run within the Node.js runtime on all important web server operating systems. Node.js provides an API featuring an event-driven architecture and a non-blocking I/O scheme. These technologies are increasingly popular for use in real-time web applications.

Go There

Scripting Language (server-side)

PHP 5

PHP 5 is an underlying server-side scripting language that provides dynamic connections between the web server and web pages through programmatic interaction with the web server and databases housed there. PHP code can be mixed with HTML code, or it can be used in combination with various templating engines and web frameworks including popular content management systems (CMS). PHP is also considered to be a general programming/scripting language. PHP is also an optional component of the popular LAMP technology stack for Web development, in lieu of Python or Perl.

Go There

Scripting Language (server-side)

Python

Python is high level programming language that can also serve as an underlying server-side scripting language for web applications for the Apache web server. A standard API has evolved to facilitate these web applications. Web application frameworks like Django, Pylons, Pyramid, TurboGears, web2py, Tornado, Flask and Zope support developers in the design and maintenance of complex web applications. Python is also an optional component of the popular LAMP technology stack for Web development, in lieu of PHP or Perl.

Go There

Scripting Language (server-side)

Perl

Perl is high level programming language that can also serve as an underlying server-side scripting language for web applications on a web server. Perl has chiefly been used to write CGI (Common Gateway Interface) scripts. Perl is also an optional component of the popular LAMP technology stack for Web development, in lieu of PHP or Python.

Go There

Scripting Language (server-side)

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails, or simply Rails, is an open source web application framework written in Ruby. Rails is a model‐view‐controller (MVC) framework, providing default structures for a database, a web service, and web pages. It encourages and facilitates the use of web standards such as XML or JSON for data transfer, and HTML, CSS and JavaScript for display and user interfaces.

Go There

Query Language (server-side)

MySQL (SQL)

MySQL is (as of July 2013) the world's second most widely used relational database management system (RDBMS) and most widely used open-source RDBMS. The SQL acronym stands for its use of Structured Query Language (SQL) as the query language used to manage database operations. MySQL is a popular choice of database for use in web applications, and is the database component of the widely used LAMP open source web application software stack.

Go There

Database Admin (client-side DB GUI)

phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is a free and open source tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL with the use of a web browser. It can perform various tasks such as creating, modifying or deleting databases, tables, fields or rows; executing SQL statements; or managing users and permissions. Although operations can be performed via the user interface, users still have the ability to directly execute any SQL statement.

Go There

Code Preprocessor (CSS)

Sass

Sass is a powerful professional grade CSS extension language. Sass is a CSS pre-processor that allows web developers to use variables and other programming constructs to generate actual CSS style code. Sass is a scripting language that is interpreted into Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). SassScript is the scripting language itself. SassScript provides the following mechanisms: variables, nesting, mixins, and selector inheritance.

Go There

Code Preprocessor (CSS)

Less

Less is a CSS pre-processor, meaning that it extends the CSS language in ways that allow developers to make CSS that is more maintainable, themable and extendable. Less provides the following mechanisms: variables, nesting, mixins, operators and functions. Less is a dynamic stylesheet language that can be compiled into Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), or can run on the client-side and server-side. The main difference between Less and other CSS precompilers being that Less allows real-time compilation via less.js by the browser

Go There

Application Framework (mobile-first)

Bootstrap

Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web. Bootstrap is a free and open-source collection of tools for creating websites and web applications. It contains HTML- and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other interface components, as well as optional JavaScript extensions. Bootstrap is a front end web application framework meaning it operates in the web browser (client-side) rather than on the server-side.

Go There

Application Framework (CMS)

WordPress

WordPress is a free and open-source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress features include a plugin architecture and a template system. WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS), so many extensions (plugins) exist which make the rapid construction of more complex web sites possible.

Go There

Application Framework (CMS)

Drupal

Drupal is a free and open-source content-management framework written in PHP. The standard release of Drupal, known as Drupal core, contains basic features common to content management systems. These include user account registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS feeds, taxonomy, page layout customization, and system administration. The Drupal core installation can serve as a simple Web site, a single- or multi-user blog, an Internet forum, or a community Web site providing for user-generated content.

Go There

Application Framework (CMS)

Joomla

Joomla is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) for publishing web content. It is built on a model–view–controller web application framework that can be used independently of the CMS. Joomla is written in PHP, uses object-oriented programming (OOP) techniques and software design patterns, stores data in a MySQL, MS SQL, or PostgreSQL databases, and includes features such as page caching, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, search, and support for language internationalization.

Go There