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DeathAndTaxes
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January 28, 2013, 01:08:23 AM
 #61

paybitcoin ... not sure where you got your info

1) Startups can get free licenses using bizspark program for 3 years plus heavy discounts on conversion at "graduation".  Any company older than 3 years is hardly a startup.

2) Your pricing but it is way off.  Standard can be licensed per user (CAL) instead of per core which is much lower cost for applications like web backend datastore.

3) SQL Server 2012 Standard is limited to "only" 64 GB of RAM but it is hardly a deal killer for startups.  To my knowledge no Bitcoin venture uses a larger database than that (startup or note).  Very few companies in the world do and they tend to be very large established enterprises spending seven figures on IT costs.

4) If the 64GB limit is a concern, SQL Server 2008 R2 is an option and it has no memory limit.

5) SQL Server standard has always supported mirroring (Safety Full).  There is no additional license for a failover (passive) cluster.  Additional licenses are only required for a load balancing (active) cluster.

6) While Windows 2008 is limited to 32GB of RAM.  Windows 2012 standard has no such limit (well technically it is an OS limit of 4TB but that is regardless of license).


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It's great as a technical solution, but has a bad value proposition as a web startup solution.
Which is why bizspark was created.  Three years of essentially unlimited licenses. Then a graduation with conversion of licenses at 70% to 90% off retail.   Any company older than three years is hardly a startup.Can it be done on other platforms for less?  Sure but there is no reason for FUD.  

Still asp.net can be use MySql (or any RDBMS) as the datastore.  As you pointed out the windows license is downright cheap compared to SQL Server so that is a lower cost option.  Microsoft's big competitor for SQL Server is Oracle and there pricing makes SQL Server look downright cheap.
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nyusternie
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January 28, 2013, 02:31:19 AM
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Smiley actually I have been digging quite deep into the bitcoin protocol, I can tell you now that I have spent a lot more than 100 hours making sense of how the protocol works. Even though Bouncy Castle did make life easy.

What makes a language "good" for bitcoin? .NET does a perfectly good job. I can make the same website in .NET as I can in PHP, in a less amount of time without having to pay for additional software.

(I really don't see the need for requiring bitcoin specific help for .NET when I understand the protocol myself and can implement the code myself. Which I would much rather do anyway, that way I can ensure the code is loosely coupled and I can write unit tests for it)

I was strickly speaking from my "personal" experience.  Obvisously there are many devs who can make perfect sense of the Bitcoin protocol.  My point was that having a good programmer (even the best programmer) does not guarantee that THEY will also be able to make sense of it (the cyptography stuff is far from what ~99% of programmers have ever been exposed to).  And why would you want to lock yourself into using unmaintained libraries that are 18 months?

If the OP was a .NET programmer, or had some preference towards that technology, then I would have encouraged him to "go with what you know best". However, that is not the case and it seems to make sense to go with the path of "least" resistance (I hope you would agree that .NET is NOT that path). PHP, Java, Python, C/C++ are the languages of Bitcoin.

This is exactly the point I was trying to make with scaling up on the Microsoft stack. If you were to go to Dell and build your $8k DB server, you would still need a $3000 license for Server 2008 R2 Enterprise edition (arbitrary 32 GB RAM limit with Standard; note this is better if you use Server 2012 Standard, then its just $800), and a $10,500 MS SQL Server Standard license, and even that can only use 4 of your 32 cores!!! Want to mirror your DB for redundancy? Sorry, that's Enterprise edition, (4 cores or 1CPU only even!) = $29,339.95 for each server!!!

And there's the catch!  Programs like Bizspark may actually allow startups to get in with limited upfront costs, but then where to you go from there?  Hopefully it up.  And up comes with shit-loads of licensing costs. If the value added is acceptable to you then fine, but I'm arguing that you can get the same results with alternatives that WON'T lock you in to expensive licensing agreements.

I am admittendly biased against MSFT technologies, but that doesn't make my points any less valid.

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January 28, 2013, 03:48:06 AM
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Smiley actually I have been digging quite deep into the bitcoin protocol, I can tell you now that I have spent a lot more than 100 hours making sense of how the protocol works. Even though Bouncy Castle did make life easy.

What makes a language "good" for bitcoin? .NET does a perfectly good job. I can make the same website in .NET as I can in PHP, in a less amount of time without having to pay for additional software.

(I really don't see the need for requiring bitcoin specific help for .NET when I understand the protocol myself and can implement the code myself. Which I would much rather do anyway, that way I can ensure the code is loosely coupled and I can write unit tests for it)

I was strickly speaking from my "personal" experience.  Obvisously there are many devs who can make perfect sense of the Bitcoin protocol.  My point was that having a good programmer (even the best programmer) does not guarantee that THEY will also be able to make sense of it (the cyptography stuff is far from what ~99% of programmers have ever been exposed to).  And why would you want to lock yourself into using unmaintained libraries that are 18 months?

If the OP was a .NET programmer, or had some preference towards that technology, then I would have encouraged him to "go with what you know best". However, that is not the case and it seems to make sense to go with the path of "least" resistance (I hope you would agree that .NET is NOT that path). PHP, Java, Python, C/C++ are the languages of Bitcoin.

This is exactly the point I was trying to make with scaling up on the Microsoft stack. If you were to go to Dell and build your $8k DB server, you would still need a $3000 license for Server 2008 R2 Enterprise edition (arbitrary 32 GB RAM limit with Standard; note this is better if you use Server 2012 Standard, then its just $800), and a $10,500 MS SQL Server Standard license, and even that can only use 4 of your 32 cores!!! Want to mirror your DB for redundancy? Sorry, that's Enterprise edition, (4 cores or 1CPU only even!) = $29,339.95 for each server!!!

And there's the catch!  Programs like Bizspark may actually allow startups to get in with limited upfront costs, but then where to you go from there?  Hopefully it up.  And up comes with shit-loads of licensing costs. If the value added is acceptable to you then fine, but I'm arguing that you can get the same results with alternatives that WON'T lock you in to expensive licensing agreements.

I am admittendly biased against MSFT technologies, but that doesn't make my points any less valid.
The path of least resistance is a lazy way of looking at things. When I look at make a website, I don't look at how fast I can pump it out, I look at how good of a job can be done with it. And I believe that is where languages like C#, Java, Ruby on Rails excel. Test Driven Development works well in these languages.

There is no language of Bitcoin. Blockchain.info is the most well done bitcoin related website. And it is programmed in Ruby on Rails. Using your logic, I guess Piuk didn't make a good choice of language for blockchain.info
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January 28, 2013, 03:55:02 AM
 #64

There is no language of Bitcoin. Blockchain.info is the most well done bitcoin related website. And it is programmed in Ruby on Rails. Using your logic, I guess Piuk didn't make a good choice of language for blockchain.info

Your so wrong,

Quote
What programming language is the site written in.
The site is written in Java using ClusterJ and JDBC to interact with the database. We use a patched version of the mainline bitcoin client to relay transactions and update our database with blockchain data. All SQL queries are written using prepared statements.

https://blockchain.info/wallet/technical-faq
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=134461.msg1432440#msg1432440

Dude stop making stuff up!

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January 28, 2013, 04:02:41 AM
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There is no language of Bitcoin. Blockchain.info is the most well done bitcoin related website. And it is programmed in Ruby on Rails. Using your logic, I guess Piuk didn't make a good choice of language for blockchain.info

Your so wrong,

Quote
What programming language is the site written in.
The site is written in Java using ClusterJ and JDBC to interact with the database. We use a patched version of the mainline bitcoin client to relay transactions and update our database with blockchain data. All SQL queries are written using prepared statements.

https://blockchain.info/wallet/technical-faq
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=134461.msg1432440#msg1432440

Dude stop making stuff up!
I stand corrected. I was sure I read somewhere it was developed in Ruby on Rails.

EDIT: Oops, it was http://coinbase.com/ which I was thinking about.
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January 28, 2013, 04:15:31 AM
 #66

The path of least resistance is a lazy way of looking at things. When I look at make a website, I don't look at how fast I can pump it out, I look at how good of a job can be done with it. And I believe that is where languages like C#, Java, Ruby on Rails excel. Test Driven Development works well in these languages.

In what world of business is taking the path of least resistance being lazy? Making informed decisions that will help minimize the foreceable issues in a project is quite "good" business sense. Selecting tools and services that are well tested and well maintained by the very same community that you are targeting falls into that category. I didn't mention RoR simply because I don't have any experience with it good or bad. I'm sure there are others that can make a valid case for its usage with Bitcoins.

There is no language of Bitcoin. Blockchain.info is the most well done bitcoin related website. And it is programmed in Ruby on Rails. Using your logic, I guess Piuk didn't make a good choice of language for blockchain.info

Not to say that he couldn't, but WHY would Piuk would write his own bitcoin deamon in RoR, when the C++ and Java versions are so fully developed. Does that even make sense to you?  Are you suggesting that the OP take a similar route with .NET?


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January 28, 2013, 04:23:58 AM
 #67

EDIT: Oops, it was http://coinbase.com/ which I was thinking about.

no worries. i've never used coinbase, but it looks like a very well developed website.  i'll take some time to properly evaluate its services and the technologies behind it.

EDIT: do you by any chance have a link to the mention of RoR?
I did find this http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4839772&buffer_share=7ab7b

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January 28, 2013, 05:28:58 AM
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In what world of business is taking the path of least resistance being lazy? Making informed decisions that will help minimize the foreceable issues in a project is quite "good" business sense. Selecting tools and services that are well tested and well maintained by the very same community that you are targeting falls into that category. I didn't mention RoR simply because I don't have any experience with it good or bad. I'm sure there are others that can make a valid case for its usage with Bitcoins.

Not to say that he couldn't, but WHY would Piuk would write his own bitcoin deamon in RoR, when the C++ and Java versions are so fully developed. Does that even make sense to you?  Are you suggesting that the OP take a similar route with .NET?
Oh yes I do agree about not rewriting the whole bitcoin deamon in C# when making a website. When needing to use a bitcoin deamon, it make a lot of sense to use a C++ or Java version instead, or even to use the hosted blockchain.info one (which is what I am currently using). But when it comes to things like needing to generate some bitcoin address / private key pairs, there is nothing wrong with developing this in C# and than using it in an ASP.NET website.

no worries. i've never used coinbase, but it looks like a very well developed website.  i'll take some time to properly evaluate its services and the technologies behind it.

EDIT: do you by any chance have a link to the mention of RoR?
I did find this http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4839772&buffer_share=7ab7b
Builtwith.com is an awesome site for checking what frameworks etc a site uses. http://builtwith.com/coinbase.com shows it was built with Ruby on Rails. http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/5287/how-are-popular-bitcoin-wallets-implemented also backs it up. Also looks like strongcoin.com uses ruby on rails.
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January 28, 2013, 05:49:16 AM
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But when it comes to things like needing to generate some bitcoin address / private key pairs, there is nothing wrong with developing this in C# and than using it in an ASP.NET website.

Yes. right after i posted it occured to me that you were probably referring to more front-end management. was a little to quick to fire back. i really love the efficiency at which blockchain.info parses the blockchian in real-time. if they were in fact using RoR for this, that would have been a HUGE +1 for the platform/framework.

Builtwith.com is an awesome site for checking what frameworks etc a site uses. http://builtwith.com/coinbase.com shows it was built with Ruby on Rails.

wow! this IS an awesome site. i'll be adding this to my bookmarks. thanks.

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January 28, 2013, 05:49:26 AM
 #70

When needing to use a bitcoin deamon, it make a lot of sense to use a C++ or Java version instead, or even to use the hosted blockchain.info one (which is what I am currently using).

Uhmmm if someone needs a bitcoin deamon and they know C++ why would they create there own when they could just modify the bitcoind? Clearly your talking non-sense and don't even research by the other post you have made. So yea no one listen to a person that is making up stuff.

Also looks like strongcoin.com uses ruby on rails.

OMG two whole sites use RoR, I am going to stop work on my php site, learn RoR and deploy that.

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January 28, 2013, 07:37:58 AM
 #71

paybitcoin ... not sure where you got your info
Sorry, this is mostly off the top of my head so it could be wrong.

Quote
2) Your pricing but it is way off.  Standard can be licensed per user (CAL) instead of per core which is much lower cost for applications like web backend datastore.
This is not correct, you still need to have one CAL for every user you plan to have then. It is called 'multiplexing' and is technically not usable with a website. See:

http://serverfault.com/questions/120276/how-are-sql-server-cals-counted
From the licensing info doc I posted:
Quote
The Server+CAL licensing model provides the option to license users and/or devices and then have low cost access to incremental SQL Server deployments. However, for customers who cannot count users or require premium database capabilities...

Pretty sure if they are worried about having you count users then a website on the Internet is fairly incompatible with with the Server+CAL model. Of course you would have to call MS licensing to be sure (bleh.)

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3) SQL Server 2012 Standard does have a 64 GB memory limit but honestly the number of databases in the world affected by that is pretty small.  Hardly a deal killer for a startup.  To my knowledge no Bitcoin venture uses a larger database than that (startup or note).  Very few companies in the world do and they tend to be very large companies which are spending six figures on salaries anyways.  
Sure, but in your earlier example you posted a 256 GB RAM server with the example that 'RAM is cheap.' I agree that everything is pretty small now, but to get a server with mega RAM and find out you can't use it all because you need to pay MS more $$ is very frustrating.

4, 5 i agree with... 6 (32G RAM limit) bit me personally...

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Now $1,800 isn't free but hardly impossible for a startup and closed source projects require a license for MySQL too.  Beyond 64GB (today) on SQL Server 2012 gets significantly more expensive as 2012 Enterprise no longer has a server + CAL option (which is optimal for web applications).  You are talking about $5K per core so if you need more than 64GB it can be very costly.  The number of databases needing that level of performance are very few and well outside the realm of startups.

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It's great as a technical solution, but has a bad value proposition as a web startup solution.
Which is why bizspark was created.  Three years of essentially unlimited licenses. Then a graduation with conversion of licenses at 70% to 90% off retail.   Any company older than three years is hardly a startup.Can it be done on other platforms for less?  Sure but there is no reason for FUD.  

Still asp.net can be use MySql as the datastore.  As you pointed out the windows license is downright free compared to SQL Server.  Microsoft's big competitor for SQL Server is Oracle and there pricing makes SQL Server look downright cheap.
Yes, there was a reason I used only PostgreSQL in my earlier post, MySQL is pretty much dead ever since it was purchased by Oracle. PostgreSQL is completely Free, with almost all of the features of something like MSSQL Enterprise and I can see many many companies starting to migrate from MSSQL or even Oracle in the near term future.

It is wonderful not having to think about licensing restrictions, to be able to use the full capacity of your hardware at all times (buy a 256 GB RAM server? why not?), and not have arbitrary features locked out. And to not worry about things like the cost of CALs jumping 25% randomly with 2012 or BizSpark's 3 year grace period that runs out and leaves you paying MS for the rest of the company's existence. Sad
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January 28, 2013, 08:39:54 AM
 #72

FTR Bitcoin-Central.net, Instawallet.org, Instawire.org are built with Rails.
Sucks though that the OP was simply looking for a developer and this thread turned into a my-penis-is-bigger-than-yours contest.

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January 28, 2013, 02:29:49 PM
 #73

FTR Bitcoin-Central.net, Instawallet.org, Instawire.org are built with Rails.
Sucks though that the OP was simply looking for a developer and this thread turned into a my-penis-is-bigger-than-yours contest.

No offence davout but why are those sites so slow. I reccomend instawallet all the time to new users but it seems to take forever to load. I notice the same thing with my bitcoin-central account, very slow loading pages.
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January 28, 2013, 03:00:57 PM
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FTR Bitcoin-Central.net, Instawallet.org, Instawire.org are built with Rails.

I've made several attempts to explore RoR, but each time something just turned me off about the language (syntax).  As you seem to favor the framework, how about dropping me a link to a good intro "video" tutorial? One day, I could make a lunch of it.

No offence davout but why are those sites so slow. I reccomend instawallet all the time to new users but it seems to take forever to load. I notice the same thing with my bitcoin-central account, very slow loading pages.

instawallet can be slow, but i wouldn't jump to any conclusions. in my experience, with all the cryptography, ssl and blockchaining, this could be quite normal at times. even blockchain.info will freeze my browser every now and then during certain activities.

Sucks though that the OP was simply looking for a developer and this thread turned into a my-penis-is-bigger-than-yours contest.

damn, i forgot all about the OP. but much more importantly, who won the contest?


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January 28, 2013, 03:10:21 PM
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No offence davout but why are those sites so slow. I reccomend instawallet all the time to new users but it seems to take forever to load. I notice the same thing with my bitcoin-central account, very slow loading pages.
None taken.

Instawallet is extremely slow these days, almost to the point of being unusable.

The number one reason is that the Bitcoin client is showing its limits. The wallet.dat has outgrown the blockchain data in terms of disk space usage. Now, in order to simply start up, the Bitcoin client takes an hour, an actual hour, just to load the wallet file. When creating a wallet it synchronously requests the creation of a new address from the Bitcoin client making the request block while the Bitcoin client is working, which takes a lot of time (between 5 to 10 seconds). Some sends very often timeout, that's why they're all handled asynchronously in a background queue now. Anyway, the problem is not Rails here, it's that I need to purge the wallet, keep only the active private keys and perhaps make more Bitcoin client calls asynchronous.

Bitcoin-Central is another story, it needs a hardware beef-up and some performance-oriented refactorings (more caching, more asynchronicity all over the place, etc). But that's ok, Rails is all about refactoring your apps as they grow, that's what fat automated test suites are meant for.

So it's really not about the framework, you can shoot yourself in the foot or write beautiful, maintainable and tested code in any language. Usually, the people who are the most vocal about Rails are those who wouldn't know how to "hello world" with it.

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January 28, 2013, 03:21:20 PM
 #76

This is not correct, you still need to have one CAL for every user you plan to have then. It is called 'multiplexing' and is technically not usable with a website.

Looks like your right on this point.  In my day job we use the even more rare "per device" licensing structure so it wasn't an area I was that familiar with.   Still I guess this proves your larger point that Microsoft licensing makes everything overly complex. 


Quote
Sure, but in your earlier example you posted a 256 GB RAM server with the example that 'RAM is cheap.' I agree that everything is pretty small now, but to get a server with mega RAM and find out you can't use it all because you need to pay MS more $$ is very frustrating.

Agree 256 was a poor example.  Beyond 64GB of RAM (today future versions tend to increase based on Moore's law) it gets very expensive.  I think part of the problem is that Microsoft has no license specifically designed for use as a website backend.  It means their existing licenses are either too restrictive or too expensive.  There would be real value if Microsoft both simplified their licensing and offered a "web server core" version dropping most of the corporate bakend functions and just provide a high memory, high compute platform for webservers.   .... I am not holding my breath. Smiley  I guess Azure may be an option I have never done testing to see how responsive their database in the cloud can be to very high loads.


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4, 5 i agree with... 6 (32G RAM limit) bit me personally...
Yeah I can see why you would remember it then.

Quote
It is wonderful not having to think about licensing restrictions, to be able to use the full capacity of your hardware at all times (buy a 256 GB RAM server? why not?), and not have arbitrary features locked out. And to not worry about things like the cost of CALs jumping 25% randomly with 2012 or BizSpark's 3 year grace period that runs out and leaves you paying MS for the rest of the company's existence. Sad

I agree there is value in open platforms and SQL Server is one of Microsofts most expensive and most restricted products.  I think this got somewhat sidetracked (partially my fault).  The original claim (not by you) was that asp.net doesn't scale and is expensive.  asp.net can use any RDBMS as a backend and is highly scalable.  For a new startup SQL Server is likely the easiest route as there is going to be some skills overlap but beyond 64GB or 16 cores I agree there is significant cost.  It is something a startup would need to consider.

As a personal note:
To avoid vendor lock in whenever possible I try to keep the database code as ANSI SQL compliant as possible to allow a "backdoor" by keeping the migration costs & complexity to a minimum.
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January 29, 2013, 09:19:13 AM
 #77

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I guess Azure may be an option I have never done testing to see how responsive their database in the cloud can be to very high loads.
Oh yeah, I should point out that I haven't checked out Azure personally, but I consider all cloud providers incompatible with Bitcoin security requirements (which is unfortunate because my Linode VPS is great.)

I agree there is value in open platforms and SQL Server is one of Microsofts most expensive and most restricted products.  I think this got somewhat sidetracked (partially my fault).  The original claim (not by you) was that asp.net doesn't scale and is expensive.  asp.net can use any RDBMS as a backend and is highly scalable.  For a new startup SQL Server is likely the easiest route as there is going to be some skills overlap but beyond 64GB or 16 cores I agree there is significant cost.  It is something a startup would need to consider.

As a personal note:
To avoid vendor lock in whenever possible I try to keep the database code as ANSI SQL compliant as possible to allow a "backdoor" by keeping the migration costs & complexity to a minimum.

Nah we should blame gweedo instead. Tongue I wasn't clear enough in my original post since I do think that ASP.NET is OK for scaling technically, but I just wanted to point out some gotchas and hidden costs on the business side. Granted those are probably a bit out of the range of a Bitcoin business for a while, but I can always hope for crazy volume...

Also, RAM is incredibly cheap now! I'm sure MS will change their licensing tune if they can foresee a hit to the Server and Tools business.
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January 29, 2013, 09:54:59 AM
 #78

Nah we should blame gweedo instead. Tongue

Don't blame me cause you got owned by DeathAndTaxes and are now changing your view. ASP.NET Framework unless you have a lot of time to make it work like pof which to be honest is not worth it and very lazy will never scale like php and python. To be honest (Probably going to start a flame war) I hate python, I hate the syntax, and I would pick python over ASP.NET for any web project today.

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January 30, 2013, 03:31:41 AM
 #79

Given your choice of languages and frameworks, which would you use in building a Bitcoin-related web application at this moment?
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January 30, 2013, 06:03:59 AM
 #80

Given your choice of languages and frameworks, which would you use in building a Bitcoin-related web application at this moment?

By now, what should be abundantly clear is that: to each is own.  In regards to the front-end, I will actually concede that even ASP.NET is suitable if that is your strength (and you are aware of the licensing requirements, if you decide to extend Redmond's tech into your back-end). However, personally, I would go with either PHP (which is insanely popular in the Bitcoin community and extremely well supported) run over Nginx OR Node.js if you're comfortable using JavaScript and would like to assure maximum scalability on modest hardware.

Keep in mind that with ANY Bitcoin-related business, you will eventually have to tie back into the blockchain at some point.  There are companies like BitPay that do a very good job of abstracting a simple payment gateway over the blockchain and is a good solution if you're only looking to accept payments. However, if you need to manipulate the blockchain in anyway (like when sending coins) or integrate with it (like when you need to track transactions and confirmations) then blockchain.info provides a great API that lets you do this with little fuss.

If you decide to run your own back-end daemon (maybe for security reasons), you are certain to receive a lot of mixed advice as to the pros and cons of virtually every language, framework, platform, OS in existence (at least from the people on this thread). Stay away from Windows (at all costs) and go with whatever Linux distro you feel comformatable with (Ubuntu and CentOS are my favorites). There is an official C-based Bitcoin daemon as well as a very popular Java alternative. I'd stick with these for now as the others are very much unfield-tested at the moment.

Good luck!

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