The best programming languages for each task

3 min reading
22 September 2016
The best programming languages for each task
The best programming languages for each task


When we talk about programming languages, we must distinguish between those located on the client side, i.e. what users see when they go to a website, and those located on the server side, i.e. behind what is displayed on the website.

Client-side languages

1.   CSS: a language through which the style you want the website to have is generated. The appearance and presentation of a website is organized through CSS. Its philosophy is to separate the structure of the HTML documents making up the website and how they are presented. With CSS a website’s appearance is changed through html tags, which allow you to change the font, colors, etc. As it works through tags, it’s a very easy language to learn and work with.

Its main advantages include the fact that you can change the appearance of each of a website’s elements without having to alter the html. It also has a wide variety of composition tools and can be used with other languages, such as JavaScript.

Its main disadvantage is that on certain occasions CSS properties can cause a website’s content to be inaccessible from certain browsers.

2.   HTML5: a markup language used to structure and present the content displayed on a website. It’s based on tags so the server knows where to place each of the elements, such as text, image, etc. This is an improvement over its predecessor language: HTML4. As for the differences between the two, a highlight is that in the latter version, there is less dependency for plugings to be installed to view a website. In addition, the XHTML format has been removed because its implementation is not required with this new version.

Its main advantages include the fact that there is a new tag structure that lets you separately define the different elements making up a website. It also includes the video, audio and picture tags on a website.

This language is still new, so it may still undergo various changes. Furthermore, it is not entirely adapting well to all browsers.

3.   JavaScript: This language was developed to expand the capabilities of HTML. This variant of Java is much easier to use. It’s a language that generates various applications that perform a number of actions within the website. Unlike Java, this language is interpreted by the browser that only makes the actions planned around the HTML page where it is hosted.

Its main disadvantage is that each browser has a different language level because there are several versions of the official language, which may result in its code being incompatible with your browser, so it may hang.

Server-slide languages

1.   Java: an object-oriented language that began to be popular in 1996 and has become one of the most widely-used programming languages. It is generic, easy to use and can be used in any application, so it is the favorite language of developers. It allows desktop, web and mobile applications for Android to be developed.

Speed of development, improvement in the software, security, reliability and efficiency are its main advantages over other programming languages.

2.   Perl: in this language the script code is not compiled because it reads the code and interprets what is written each time it is run, so it is considered to be an interpreted programming language. It is designed for handling strings, files and processes.

Its main advantage is that it is very dynamic. Perl has become a very popular language because it is very dynamic and free. There is also

3.   PHP: a multi-platform scripting language for generating websites with dynamic content. Being an up-to-the-minute programming language, it has all the functionality a developer needs: calls to the operating system, managing different files and access to different database managers, among other things.

PHP is usually used to generate HTML format, but it is also capable of generating other files such as Excel, PDF and XML. Its advantages include the fact that it is a robust language with the necessary capabilities to develop applications, it has a short learning curve and is also easy to learn for those who know Java or C+.

4.   Python: widely used in universities because it has a very short learning curve. It is a multiplatform language with tools that resolve any problem in the world of computing without sacrificing the simplicity and readability of the code.

Python provides a great support in development environments for its wide range of  frameworks and tools. This language also excels in the free software distribution environment, as it is used to develop desktop applications.

Its main virtues include the fact that it dramatically reduces development processes and its wide variety of packages available for third parties. In terms of its main drawbacks, it’s not yet settled in the development environment for mobiles.

5.   R: an interpreted programming language, i.e. the user accesses it via commands or consoles.  This is primarily used for statistical and graphical computation. It’s very much oriented to statistical management, and provides various tools for this function. In addition, thanks to its graphics capability, high-quality graphics can be developed easily. It can also be used for data mining and as a calculation tool.

Its advantages are that is a robust language capable of managing large volumes of data, it works with any file format and is also open source and free.


Sources: Sitepoint, INESEMUniversity of Valencia, Ciepi, BBVA API_Market and Web School

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