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Windows 7: Programming "Flashcards", in what computer language?


02 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 
Programming "Flashcards", in what computer language?

Hello,
I have an idea for some interactive "flashcards", an educational program, where you test/educate yourself for vocabulary words.

My question is "What computer language should I try to develop this in?"

I visualize that the program would just be text display text, but it would be nice to display some graphics.

About 30 yrs. ago I did some programming in Basic & Fortran. You can get Basic, Python, or Scratch on-line for no charge. The learning curve would also be less in those languages.

If some publisher would be interested in the idea, would he want it programmed in Java, C++, or Visual Basic? or would Basic, Python, or Scratch be good enough?

I am retired, have a lot of time, but few financial resources, and this project is a labor of love rather than a professional move.

Any advice will be appreciated,
Thank you

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02 Aug 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x86 Service Pack 1 - Linux Mint Mate 14 x64
 
 

Microsoft gives several compilers for free, in my opinion, since you know BASIC, then develop the application with Visual BASIC. Personally, I prefer the C languages, such as C++ and C#, since I find the syntax quicker to write than BASIC.

Python and Java are based around C and C++ too.

Personally, from developer forums and Q/A, I've seen most people develop in C# or C++.
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02 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

If you did Basic you should catch right on to AutoIt. It has a very Basic like syntax including Case statements, for loops etc..
The download comes with a Gui maker that might get you started creating the cards.

It's free and there's a forum where you can ask for help.
AutoIt

The download is small. The installer sets you up with an editor with syntax highlighting etc..
Also you can "compile" the script into an exe that has the AutoIt interpreter built in. The person using the program won't need to have AutoIt interpreter installed.

edit: the AutoIt programs should run on any machine with XP or later flavor of Windows.
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03 Aug 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

My view is that there are a mix of both technical and personal reasons to chose from each language. I would decide mainly based on your knowledge of each particular language, how much can you do with it and what you plan to achieve, as some task are often easier with a given tool than another. The more you know a language, the more you can do with it, so you'll be able to implement more features in the way you want instead of learning the language together with programming. That should be your main criteria for choosing one over another.

If a publisher ever wants to distribute it, I don't think they would care so much (although I think it's better to do that yourself if you got enough time). Neither it's important for the users which language you use, they don't even care or know about it.

Consider also these factors:
  • How easy or difficult would be to install the necessary runtimes on the user's machine (to avoid the classic "it works on MY machine")
  • The main point as I've noted, how proficient are you with the language?
  • What features does the language/IDE provides for your particular use case?
  • If you want to make it cross-platform, choose a language that isn't tied to a particular environment
  • If you ever want to open-source it, and expect to receive contributions, or other developers to look at your code, the popularity of the language might be important
  • If there are any libraries that you might want/must use in the development
  • Would your project be entirely a desktop program or it may become a web site at some time?

In short, there isn't a clear cut answer really, only you can evaluate your particular needs and based on your experience take a decision.
Personally, I do a lot of development with C#, and it most likely will be fit for the task (not sure since I don't know it precisely). VB.NET is almost the same in terms of capabilities, and with a lot of built-in support in Windows, with your previous experience it may be a good starting point. Python also is very popular at the time, and it's used in a lot of important projects, but not sure about its capabilities. Java shines with it's cross-platform orientation and similar features of .NET. C++ is THE standard language, but quite difficult to get started if you've never used it.
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 Programming "Flashcards", in what computer language?




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