The challenge to choose which additional technology to learn

I am new in JavaScript and would like some hints how to get started. If the examples would be textfiles I could better try them out.

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I would start, here: JavaScript Tutorial

Since JavaScript is an independent technology, it's best to learn it that way and then apply it to FileMaker or to whatever rather than trying to learn it from a FileMaker (or other) perspective first.


No, but starting in Java 9, there is "JShell" which gives you an interactive Java Shell right in a terminal window independent of any other program you might have open.

Java Shell (jshell) Tutorial


Well, I wonder, if I do really want to learn a new programming language. In 1984 it was Assembler, Modula, later HyperCard (well kind of programming), «programming» websites using Golive, tried AppleScript and since over 30 years scripting in FileMaker. Javascript … Thanks for the link! Louis

I don't even think they teach assembler any more. When I took it, it was 8080 real-mode assembler. I loved the class, but I had a really good instructor. Real mode is a thing of the past. I also miss debugging using MASM debugger. Learned so much in that class. By the time I took compilers, it was all C++.

Your best language bets are languages like Python (super easy to learn, relatively), JavaScript, Java, and maybe C# if you plan to do MS development. The community colleges seem stuck on Java, but I think that will change as Python becomes even more popular. Some CS departments in universities are now only teaching Python. Plus, Python is awesome for Machine Learning.

For system stuff, it's C, which is now the #1 language again.

You can download IDEs for any of these tools from JetBrains and you get a 30-day evaluation. I love JB since even after your subscription ends, your product still works!


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Just curious where you see this at. I know a lot depends on what metric is being measured.

it's called Compilers - to discuss further - read first:

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Ahhh, the Dragon book!!!!! So great.

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Look Ma no File // Data Viewer as a programmable calculator

This is definitely off topic.

I studied electronics. I teach it at my local college from time to time. C and assembler was alive and well when I graduated. I still see them every time I teach. I still hear their use when I speak to my Silicon Valley and Silicon Valley North contacts, both in the electronics and software industries. I don't see it as a matter of popularity. These are the underpinnings of the majority of software stacks.

You want to learn to program? In my opinion, learn C. The C Programming Language book by Kernighan and Ritchie is, in my opinion, the best learning book. You will learn to program without bells and whistles many other programming languages give you today. Pretty much everything you will learn of C will be reusable in other programming languages. I can not say the same of many other programming languages, especially object oriented languages.

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Thank you. That is what I was looking for.

Sorry @FileKraft. I was trying not to sidetrack the conversation again.

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I'll be honest, I had no idea that's what you were going for. Sounded like a "hey we can do recursive-like calcs even without a file now". That is cool, agreed. Just didn't have anything to add to it. Especially since I have no reason to open FM unless I have a file open. :slight_smile:

Yep, C is a wonderful language, that I learned using the book from Kernighan and Ritchie. Powerful as the Assembler, but easier. C. is still used in embedded systems like those based on Arduino where you don't have a large memory. In fact Arduino language is mix of C and C++, C++ being useful for libraries. With C, you learn to code with Dynamite . . . your code may explode anytime :sweat_smile:. C is small and beautiful.

I remember way back when WordPerfect was written in Assembly, those guys said that NEVER they would program in C, but they finally did.

Regarding programming computers, object oriented languages are much better. Xojo is very good for that purpose.

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But Object Basic is so non-mainstream.

And Xojo is just another small proprietary company. Having been burned when MS drop-kicked Visual FoxPro, I try to avoid small companies with proprietary technologies.


don't you think C++ is also proprietary as well as Delphi ? Most languages are.

Google, which is large company keeps bringing new tools, only to drop them years later. Xojo may not be large, but they provide a tool that compile native applications on many platform. I tried Xamarin a few years ago, I couldn't use reliably on any platform.

It depends on how much you want to augment your FM skills and solutions; and I guess to some extent whether you are in the mindset that you may want to leave the FM platform in the near future.

If the latter is true then you'll need to pick a technology stack that will generate the most business for your intended customer base.

If you want to stay within the FM realm then I would only go with JavaScript and not worry about other languages - unless you just happen to enjoy learning new technologies as a sport.

JS has been slowly transforming how FM solutions are built, we've been light users in FM 13-14 and become. heavy users since FM16. For years now we have been running initiatives for our FM dev teams to learn JS, putting it on their performance goals. It's that big and with 19, the pace is going to accelerate exponentially.

JS will pay off in non-FM skills too. The ability to spin up micro services in Node.js or small apps like React and even mobile device apps with React Native.

JS has been around for a long time now, and is lot more mainstream than the ones you mention like HyperCard, AppleScript,...

I can tell you, you won't regret learning JS.


Well thanks for sharing your thoughts! I am 71 years old and I still have my clients (a lot of them also grey-haired), so I think about what I want to do in future. My kids go for Python. JS is worth a try!

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JavaScript can't compare to Python. If you really want power (not to say JavaScript isn't powerful) with an easy-to-learn language, learn Python! You can run Python from FileMaker also using a plug-in or micro-service. For FMS there are other ways.

JavaScript is easy to learn, but limited by comparison.