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Programming Languages

Posted by THUG [send private reply] at November 20, 2001, 12:46:03 AM

Should i start out with Delphi, QBasic, Perl, or Python, and why? Thanks for your help. I gotta go. bubye.

Posted by RedX [send private reply] at November 20, 2001, 01:02:17 PM

Take a look at www.tpu.org. Look for 'quick start guides' and then 'Getting started with programming, by taubz'


Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at December 02, 2001, 06:03:11 PM

Scheme! The language is so tiny and beautiful. www.schemers.org should give you a large number of resources.

Posted by CodeRed [send private reply] at December 03, 2001, 10:26:03 AM

none, C++ or java (they're very similar)

Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at December 03, 2001, 12:45:50 PM

Bah, why waste your time with the low level syntax and details of C++ when learning to code? I see that a number of people here believe that learning the concepts is the hard part of coding. I believe that is wrong (this is all my opinion from here on). The syntax of C++ is the hard part. Scheme has about 3/4 of a page of syntax rules (in EBN). C++ has much more than that. The entire Scheme language is defined in 50 pages. The standard is written well enough that you can read the standard once or twice and learn the language. C++ is a gigantic language, and I am on my second read through the "C++ Programming Language" and I still can't use the entire language proficiently. I find Computer Science concepts extremely easy. It is the syntax of the languages that I use that get in the way. Scheme is a great language for someone who hasn't been coding for 2 years like I have. You can focus on concepts and not syntax. Once you get the concepts you can move on to something like C++, where all you need to do is learn the syntax. (I would write more, but final bell just rang, so leaving school).

Posted by taubz [send private reply] at December 03, 2001, 05:43:12 PM

I think you'll find over time that the concepts get harder (since there are more of them and you learn more) while the syntax gets easier (since it's not changing and you're getting used to it).

- taubz

Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at December 03, 2001, 06:57:23 PM

When you are first beggining, dealing with the syntax can trip you up. Think of it like this (yes, I am ripping this from what someone else said): you have an art student. You don't learn a bunch of art theory first, instead you learn to draw a shape. It is only after you have drawn the shape do you learn the theory behind it. Same for programming--first you learn the algorithms, then you learn the synatx in the language you are using. It is much easier to use a language like Scheme were things like memory management is handled for you when learning to use (say) a binary tree (drawing the circle) than to use C++ and deal with how memory management works (how the tree works on the machine, or why you are drawing that circle). As the concepts become more diffucult, dealing with little syntax errors gets more annoying (at least for me). I am quite conformtable in C++, I can often code something of a good size (300 or 400 lines) and then compile it without syntax errors (except when i leave the letters off the end of a few variables...) or logic errors most times. I am doing a project comparing Scheme and C right now, many of the simple data structures (e.g. pair) are about as easy to code in both languages. But then stuff like binary trees are much easier (especially since Scheme is tail recursive and you don't have to worry about stack overflows). Using iteration to find something in a binary tree is ugly. Using recursion is how it is meant to work. Searching a tree is completely tail recursive as well, so Scheme does it perfectly. (if you couldn't tell by now, I have trouble organizing my thoughts). The point is, when learning something, why learn two things at once (concept and syntax) when you can learn one thing at a time (concept). With Scheme you can learn the syntax in a few class periods (or 2 hours if you read "teach yourself Scheme in fixnum days" and the standard), and then spend much more time on concepts. In High School this is a large problem, especially for since they are eliminating semesters (i _like_ semesters!) next year...you will only be able to take one CS class per year, so learning will take longer. I find it horrible that they take one class (only half a year now, so its ok, but next year a year!) to teach the language without any mention of algorithms (not even something simple like a Bubble Sort!). Then, spending another class on data structures. It would be much nicer if there were two data structures classes instead of one. By using a simple language like Scheme you could do that. Twice as much time on data structures means you can learn more. And learning more is good. (also, taubz, can you reccommend a good data structurs book? I ordered "Mastering Algorithms in C" from copyleft a few days ago and am wondering if there is a better book?)

Posted by CodeRed [send private reply] at December 03, 2001, 10:22:12 PM

If you want to get into the industry you will have to know C++ and more than likely java. I say jump into it and take it like a man.

Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at December 04, 2001, 07:53:01 AM

Yes, but why not become a master at all of the concepts, and then learn the difficult syntax and low level concepts of a language like C++ afterwards. I see that as putting you on higher ground when compared to others.

Posted by RedX [send private reply] at December 04, 2001, 02:20:30 PM

Concepts can be used with every programming language, The syntax stuff only works with one language. It's a shame they don't spend more time teaching the most usefull concepts (the most 'advanced' concept we got was array's and sub procedures) instead of wasting so much time with Turbo Pascal specific subjects (and why don't they invend some exercises that aren't lame?).


Posted by CodeRed [send private reply] at December 04, 2001, 06:14:20 PM

The thing that kills me is the people in my java class coming into it thinking they know it all because they can make windows in visual basic.

Posted by gian [send private reply] at December 05, 2001, 12:11:48 AM

Don't you go and pull a Hollman on me, CodeRed.... we are not going to go through that... AGAIN!

Posted by ronybc [send private reply] at December 05, 2001, 12:35:15 PM

Wondering how Unknown 'keyboard dumbs' English this much...! :O

Posted by CodeRed [send private reply] at December 05, 2001, 11:53:39 AM

Unknown_lamer's spelling and grammar are impeccable, what the hell are you talking about?

Posted by ronybc [send private reply] at December 05, 2001, 12:21:49 PM


Posted by CodeRed [send private reply] at December 05, 2001, 12:27:11 PM

Goodnight? it's 1:30 pm

Posted by ronybc [send private reply] at December 05, 2001, 12:33:36 PM

:-) December 06, 2001, 12:05 AM here... From India.

Too Late... Goodnight.

Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at December 05, 2001, 06:52:07 PM

I see that particular post as 5:20 in the morning, so it's more "good morning" then "Goodnight".

Posted by Psion [send private reply] at December 05, 2001, 07:24:14 PM

No doubt you've all availed yourself of the wonderful time zone selection feature of this web site and have forgotten that others may be using different settings!

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