Guest Post: Is Java the best language to meet my needs?
This email came into our site feedback alias this morning, and I thought this would be a great topic to ask the community. I'm a big believer in using the right tool for the job, even if it's not Java at the moment. I asked his permission to post it here, so please meet Mike:
To whom it may concern,
I need your advice. Back in 2000 I was a post-doctor at the University of Caledonia in Berkeley. While there, I became ill with a type of brain cancer called a medulloblastoma, and was forced out of research.
After release from the hospital, I started programming rehabilitation games similar to the ones used in brain injury rehabilitation. I decided to do this because these types of games, although a medical tool, are quite expensive. I wanted to produce my own version of these games that were free. The results of my efforts can be seen at http://www.msty-neurotraining.com and are registered at the Brain Injury Association of America (http://www.biausa.org/) as a rehabilitation tool.
However, I have a serious problem. These programs were made using Microsoft’s Visual Basic 6, and the programs made with it will soon become obsolete and no longer run modern versions of Windows computers. Therefore, I am looking for an alternative. Preferably one which is open source (like Java) to keep in spirit that the games are a free medical tool. Do you have any suggestions as to what open source programming language would be appropriate for my needs? I need something that can produce programs capable to manipulate 2D graphics, save and retrieve files and use a joystick. I am not restricted to using a programming similar to Visual Basic; I can also program in C++ (the programming language we predominantly used at Berkeley).
Would Java be a good alternative to Microsoft’s Visual Basic? If not, what other programming tool would you advise using?
Also, how do I go about starting an Open Source project to create a rehabilitation tool like the one the I created with VB6? Starting such a project would be preferable to working alone, because I feel that a team working together always gets better results than an individual working alone.
Michael Tarsitano (PhD)