Software to create desktop application. Advice needed?

by 25 comments
Hi,

I'm interested in setting up a simple software application that would run on a windows based pc.

Can someone tell me what software would be best for this type of thing? I'm hopefully looking for something open source. This would just be a part time hobby type project so I'm not looking at spending much money on development tools.

Also with regards to learning the software can you recommend any good books that would get me going?

I'm thinking Visual Basic, but am I on the right track?

So - what software and what book?

Thanks

Max
#programming #advice #application #create #desktop #needed #software
  • Profile picture of the author wayfarer
    If all you need to support is Windows, I recommend you get one of the (free) Visual Studio "Express Editions" for Windows: Microsoft Visual Studio Express - Build cutting edge Windows applications

    There are three language packages available: Visual Basic, C#, and C++

    Visual Basic might be a bit easier for you, but C# is probably a better choice overall.
  • Profile picture of the author Manfred Ekblad
    Originally Posted by senderbot View Post

    I'm interested in setting up a simple software application that would run on a windows based pc.

    Can someone tell me what software would be best for this type of thing? I'm hopefully looking for something open source. This would just be a part time hobby type project so I'm not looking at spending much money on development tools.
    It really depends on what kind of application you want to create. There are lots of options, not only the "pure" programming languages. There is a whole bunch of tools that will automate some of the programming tasks for you, depending on what kind of software you want to create.

    If you want to learn programming, then I recommend that you try a bit of everything before you make up your own mind. They (programming language + IDE) are all good and bad in some ways.

    VB.NET/C# is a good start if you want to create a simple application and learn some programming basics at the same time.

    What kind of application will you make?
  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    I have this: Tiger Software Express - Home Page
    It's made by a Warrior. Cool guy. It can do a lot and it's
    way easier than Visual Express, but also a lot more limited.
  • Profile picture of the author Bellthorpe
    I make all of my desktop applications using Euphoria. It's an easy language to learn, especially if you stick to the tried and proven (but older) version 3.X.

    But a word of warning. If you've not programmed before, this will take you a long time to make a bug-free, user-friendly desktop application that works.
  • Profile picture of the author agraj1
    Yeah, you can easily develop software for you in visual Basic it is so easy you can easily make forms and maintained database with it and other options are
    C++, C#, C language.
  • Profile picture of the author senderbot
    Hi,

    Thanks for the answers so far guys. I've looked at Tiger Software and Euthoria with interest as I had seen similar products in the past.

    There is a software developer that creates desktop applications using PHP - Its called PHPBuilder. Has anyone used this before?

    Cheers

    Max
    • Profile picture of the author NenadR
      I really have my doubts about PHPBuilder. PHP was never designed for writing desktop applications, and I have serious doubts about its speed when running in a desktop enviroment, not to mention things like memory handling.

      As a beginner in programming, I would actually recommend staying away fro VB.NET, and I would recommend looking into something like Python or Groovy. It really all depends on what you want your application to do.
  • Profile picture of the author TrueStory
    Also if you don't want to blow money on Visual Studio

    Check this out SharpDevelop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    this is like HTML Kit to Dreamweaver
    • Profile picture of the author Number_5
      I've always tried to learn the hard things first, but for someone who just want to write some simple apps in Windows, VB.NET would be the way to go. You'll hear a lot of people complain about having to "relearn" how to program when going from VB to something else, but that's not really true. Programming basics don't change from language to language, only the syntax.

      Of course, if you start out on VB, you'll later find that other languages don't hold your hand nearly as much, but they are all worth learning. I normally would suggest Python for a good beginning language, but when most people start out, they want to see GUI results. Getting GUI results from Python without a lot of reading, isn't easy for a beginner.

      VB is great for tinkering and despite what some people will tell ya, it will do everything that any of the other .NET langauges will do.
    • Profile picture of the author Number_5
      Originally Posted by TrueStory View Post

      Also if you don't want to blow money on Visual Studio
      I've found that Visual Studio Express will do just about anything you want. It's free. Also, you all probably know about this but Microsoft's "webspark" project gives small business Visual Studio 2010 for free. All you have to do is sign up for it and one of its partners, like Elance.
  • Profile picture of the author TrafficMystic
    I develop app in c# / vb / java and C++ but much prefer C#.

    On the app you want to create you would simply create a windows form that can minimize to the system tray and add a timer control to say trigger 1 an hour that used a httpwebrequest object to check the web site page text and use either a simply text query on the response object ( mystring.contains(youtext) ) or the faster method of using a regular expression.

    If the text is not found or the regular expression does not match you can use the inbuilt smtp classes to send your self an email message.

    shouldn't take you too long to knock this up.

    Regards

    Steve
  • Profile picture of the author NoGimmicks
    Although I was initially tempted to suggest vb.net as the first thing to learn, upon reflection I'd actually recommend that you learn c#.

    The reason for this is because php (and java) are more closely related to C as a programming language, so you'll find it easier to read/write/understand php and java etc easier if you're familiar with a C based language (which C# is).

    Martin
    • Profile picture of the author Number_5
      Although everyone makes great points that VB's syntax doesn't lend well to moving to other languages, I would like to point out that a beginning programmer should learn key concepts in logic, debugging, procedural, and object oriented programming techniques, no matter which language they begin with. This is why I suggest VB.NET or C#, and I favor VB for a beginner over C#.

      I suggest (and this is only an opinion, everyone has one) that you start with VB.NET. Get a good beginners programming book that uses VB as a basis. Focus on learning programming, not the language so much. When I was starting out, I was worried about the syntax and which language to start out on. I actually started with Perl. I was worried about learning the language. That's a bad way to start. I mean you have to start learning one language, but you aren't really learning the language for the sake of the language. You are learning it so you can implement key concepts of programming.
  • Profile picture of the author MemberWing
    I second (or third) Microsoft Development tools and C# for desktop apps.
    If Microsoft wouldn't suck as much in a web hosting space - they would take over the world again.
  • Profile picture of the author softomaniac
    i think c# will be better choice for you or vb.net
  • Profile picture of the author senderbot
    Hi,

    Wow guys thanks for all the replies. That has given me lots to look at.

    Right now I have 2 questions -

    1. It bugs me when I try to install software and it says "You need the .net framework - click here to download it now". If I learn using the Microsoft Visual Studio software with Visual Basic, will all my software require the user to download the .net framework?

    2. In my searches I came across Real Basic - REAL Software: REAL Studio, Best Development Tool for Mac, Windows and Linux
    This bills itself as easy to use. Has anyone any experience with this?

    Thanks again for all the replies.

    Cheers

    Max
    • Profile picture of the author Number_5
      They will have to have the correct version of the .NET framework to run most apps that you create with Visual Studio. It's possible to create native apps which do not require the .NET framework but these are generally more difficult to create as you can't take advantage of the framework.

      RealBasic was great when I tried it. The syntax, back then at least, was more like VB6 then the current VB.NET syntax. It can be used for anything you want as well as on any of the major OSs.
  • Profile picture of the author senderbot
    Hi,

    Yeah that was one of the things I was reading that seemed quite good - once you learn it and create a program with it, that program can run on any OS..

    Right now I'm only looking at creating software for my own use... but if it is useful it might sell and having the ability to sell it on any platform seems good.

    Thanks for the freedback.

    Cheers

    Max
  • Profile picture of the author specopkirbs
    i would suggest visual basic is the way to go from here bud

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