So I've been the proud owner of a new website that I was surprised to get: http://crimsonize.com. I've actually had it for awhile and nothing is there except an outdated version of WordPress, and a blank hello world page. I'm surprised that it hasn't been spammed (or hacked) to hell now. But now I need to do something with it.
I was considering making it a personal art portfolio, but now I'm leaning towards making it an art community where people share and critique each other's artwork. The only thing I'm concerned with is that I don't want people stealing art from deviantArt and claiming them as their own and having people complain to me about it. It's just one of those things I sorta don't want to deal with, and that I know I'm going to deal with when Apparatus Complex gets popular in the future - when it's complete.
Of course before I actually go through with this community website I have to look at all of the "competition" and see what they do right and what they do wrong and then capitalize on those issues. That's business and research I suppose. Having facts and history and repeating it doesn't guarantee that a site will be popular.
Also, I do plan on creating this website in a new language. I've heard a lot of good things about Ruby on Rails (and not-so good things). I also just found out that my webhost, Site5, completely supports rails so there's no reason now why I shouldn't be learning this popular and new language.
The best way that I learn a new language is to have a project - or a goal - in mind so that I can visualize what my goal is and what I take the steps I need to do to get there. I'm not really one of those programmers that can just do all of the examples in a book and claim that I know the language. I have to get really deep into the planning of the project, and notice the parallels between the new language I'm learning and the old languages I already know. Like just skimming through some sample code, I notice that the way Ruby is structured it looks like Python with Java sprinkles. Or maybe, more like Java Flakes cereal with Ruby marshmallows.
(That actually sounds kinda delicious. I'm in the mood for Lucky Charms now.)
They say that once you learn/master one programming language, all of the other languages you want to learn get easier. I think that's 100% true.
There's nothing wrong with reinventing the wheel. In fact, sometimes that's the best way to learn how something works. But if you just want to get something done, middleware is your best answer. Here is some that I personally recommend.
WordPress - With thousands of plugins and full customization, why would you install anything else? Perhaps if you're the kind of person that sits around wearing black turtle necks and hates something because it's popular. But you're not one of those kind of people? Right? Expression Engine isn't bad either - but you pay for that kind of quality.
Ogre for C++, Python, and C#. A great 3d engine that my friend and I are using to create our games. Ogre has a great community, with a very helpful wiki to get newbies started. However, some of it assumes that you know a little bit about 3d graphics before the intermediate ones seem to be truly helpful.