What programming language should I learn to improve the web browser I made?

zeeshan khan May 9, 2012
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I am new to this website. I just found it because I wanted to ask tech help!

I have created an Internet browser which isn’t that much!

You guys can check it out at:
http://www.zera.co.nr/

It’s not much because I used Visual Basic 2010 to build it.

This is why I am here. I want to ask that which programming language should I learn to unlock more features for my Internet Browser?

I am limited to a lot of stuff in visual basic so I was thinking that maybe I should go straight to C++

I want to unlock the full potential that is hidden within my internet browser because I can’t even control the downloads in the internet browser properly. I also need to access some system locations to make my browser better!

Java won’t work because I’ve heard that it is slow. Therefore, it’s not good for my browser. I was thinking of C++ mainly because it’s faster and better control than Visual Basic and C#

I need your opinions guys! Please help me out!

Thanks in advance!

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  1. zeeshan khan
    May 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for all your help guys! It really helped me out and I've finally made a decision!

    Thanks to all your help on the information on what I need to use, I am going to move onto C#

    I hope I've made a wise decision and I hope I wouldn't regret it. Thanks again for all your help!

    • Tina
      May 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Zeeshan!

      • zeeshan khan
        May 14, 2012 at 7:19 am

        Your welcome, madam.

  2. Laga Mahesa
    May 11, 2012 at 1:57 am

    There are different 'grades' of programming languages (search for programming language generations), referred to 1st, 2nd... 5th gen languages. The closer to zero, the harder the language is to learn and use - but also the faster they become. Java, VB, .NET etc sit in a weird spot, as their difficulty is roughly that of C++, but, because they need an additional 'interpreter' layer, they don't have the speed, tend to be resource-hungry and have greater limitations.

    If I were you, I'd download the source for Firefox or a slimmed-down fork. Set an aim to port your browser to a firefox clone and use that target as an incentive to learn C / C++.

    • zeeshan khan
      May 11, 2012 at 7:15 am

      Thanks for your comment. I will take that into consideration. BTW, what do you mean by find the source for firefox? Do you mean that find a vb project that contains the codes for firefox?

      • Laga Mahesa
        May 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm

        Firefox is an open-source web browser. Open source essentially means that anyone can download the source code and make changes.

        I suggest you download that source code, install Visual C and eyeball what it would take to change it sufficiently to match your needs.

    • Bruce Epper
      May 12, 2012 at 5:36 am

      Here's the problem with jumping into C/C++ development as a new programmer with a project of this size. First, Firefox (or any major web browser for that matter) is a significant piece of complex software. Unless you have a firm understanding of the languages used in the first place, you are just going to be more lost than you are now. Second, for a beginning programmer, your modifications to the program will probably be adding inefficient and/or buggy code, potentially opening up security holes and breaking existing functionality.

      Again, these are a result of not having a good understanding of the language in the first place. If you want to learn this way, find smaller code to study first. Understand why the developer coded the program the way they did. Why did they use a factory pattern for this functionality? How are they managing threads? Why is it better to use a pool here rather than simply creating a thread as needed?

      And when using C++, you are on your own for memory management. The potential for memory leaks is HUGE. Everything you allocate, you need to free. There is no automatic garbage collection here.

      And the comment above regarding the difficulty of C++ being roughly that of VB and other .NET languages is utterly wrong. I have yet to meet a professional developer who will ever make that claim unless you are using VC++ and still coding against the .NET framework. In that case, it is no different than using VB or C#.

      • zeeshan khan
        May 12, 2012 at 8:04 am

        I have tried C# by looking at some tutorials. I should tell you that I have done HTML, CSS and Javascript. I found that C# is very similar to Javascript and somewhat feels easier.

        What I am trying to achieve is, mainly, my own file downloader in my internet browser. I have looked up a lot of forums and posts which discuss this topic and none of them have succeeded in this. So, I am hoping that there is a control in the web browser that can let me implement my own downloader into my web browser.

        I am now hovering over C# because it's more like Javascript which makes it easier for me. I will look up the firefox source code and see what I can do.

        So, do you think that, because I know some of Javascript and it's a bit similar to C#, I should probably convert to C#? I should tell you that I have done a lot with Javascript.

        • Bruce Epper
          May 13, 2012 at 8:29 am

          If you are going to continue to program against the .NET framework, go with C#. If you want better control (and a lot more coding to do), go with C++. If you are using Visual C++, you can still code against the .NET framework if it provides the performance you seek, otherwise you can go it on your own when you need even better performance.

          Remember that if you are using VS 2010, you can do pretty much the same thing with either VB or VC# and the code generated in most cases is identical. I still think the wall you have hit is not due to the language you are using, but your perceived limitations of the language. You can do your own downloader in VB or VC# including multithreading if you wish.

          For the most part, if you want a more C-like language, start with VC# first. You still can rely on the .NET GC instead to do your cleanup instead of dealing with potential memory leaks on your own with C++.

      • Laga Mahesa
        May 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        All true, I don't like to discourage - I prefer people find out for themselves as only they know their strengths - and I oversimplified a lot.

        • zeeshan khan
          May 13, 2012 at 2:18 am

          OK, so here is what I want. I want your guy's opinion because I cannot decide on my own! That's the reason I posted this question in the first place.

          I am basically trying to reach the standard of google chrome here. I want full control over the web browser! Like enabling/disabling javascript, I want to block pop-ups, I want to enable/disable images on the web page, I want to store my own cookies and be able to clear them and most importantly I want to replace the web browser's download manager so I can implement my own in there. I want to reach the standard of firefox download manager because I link it more than google chrome's.

          So, I am asking you guys that will C# be enough to do all of this?! Or will I have to take a big step and start C++? I cannot make this decision on my own because you guys know better about the software and I don't want to be regretting later that "I should've gone to C++! Now I have to learn C++ from the beginning!"

          I am basically ready to take on any language but the decision is hard! Which programming language? And yes I have already studied the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th generation languages at school.

          Please help me out in this decision!

          If you do recommend a programming language for me then please consider the things that I need to achieve for my web browser.

          Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate this from the bottom of my heart.

          It's also mother's day today and too bad I couldn't get anything for my mother. Basically everyday for me is mother's and father's day!

  3. Bruce Epper
    May 10, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Pretty much any language can be used to make an Internet browser. I have both used and created browsers using Visual Basic 6 as well as C/C++. The real question here should not be about changing programming languages. Instead, is there a better way to implement these features? After all, it appears you are using Visual Studio 2010. Even if you are using C++ from there, you are still going to be relying on .NET (whatever version). The code that is generated from the compiler, if not identical, will be roughly equivalent unless you choose in C++ to not use the .NET libraries at all in which case you will have to write FAR more code to achieve equivalent results. There will be larger security considerations. There will be more optimization concerns, with algorithms chosen, coding alternatives, and compiler switches.

    From all indications I have here, you are a relatively new programmer. You should ask yourself if you have gone far enough with what the language(s) you currently know to be able to transition to another and if you have, how big a transition do you want to subject yourself to. I have see many people struggle with a jump from VB to C++. While C# does not offer all of the power of C++, it does bring you a step closer to it than VB. You may want to make that intermediate step instead of jumping off the end of the pier. You also need to consider of you know enough of proper programming practices to make the jump. It will clearly show in the end product. I was actually hoping to be able to see the source code of your project in order to offer a more informed opinion of where you should go based on how well you have done to this point but without the source, I have to fire blind.

    Hope this gives you something to think about.

    • zeeshan khan
      May 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

      I am a new programmer but I find that I am limited to some options in Visual Basic. Eg. My own download manager. I know there is more learning for me to do but I was thinking that maybe I should jump straight to C++? I am still at the bottom of visual basic so I can jump straight to C++ and still be at the bottom and work my way up. I used Visual Basic because I wanted to work my way up to C++ but then later on I noticed that C++ coding is different so that's why I posted this. Is it worth starting C++ for the sake of upgrading my web browser?

      I have more questions on my mind:
      Will C# be easier to learn than C++? And if yes then will C# provide me with facilities that I need to make my browser sharper and better?!

      Thanks for your reply.

      • Bruce Epper
        May 12, 2012 at 5:26 am

        C# is easier than C or C++. It can give you better control than VB yet still keeps you more distant from the hardware than C++ does. Again, it depends on exactly what you are trying to accomplish that you don't think VB can do. You also need to remember that these limitations may not exist in reality either. The limits you are seeing may be entirely in the way you are visualizing things.

        • markjeggar@yahoo.com
          May 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm

          I agreed that , C# is easier than C++ and Java , and it is very similar to these languages. a step by step c# tutorial here you can find

          http://csharp.net-informations.com

          mark

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