Which language?

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shadowslayer
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Which language?

Postby shadowslayer » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:38 pm UTC

I would like to start coding, but I have no idea were to go now. I started with HTML, and I am kind of good with it; I can create basic websites. I then moved on to C++, and I am still not any good with it. Some time later I realized that I had no idea were I was going. I would like to eventually become a programmer, but I have nothing to do with it now.
So here I am, I am still relatively new at programing, and I would like to know what would be the best entry level programing language. The only thing that I would like to exclude is the pre-object orientation languages.
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Lewton
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Re: Which language?

Postby Lewton » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:41 pm UTC

forum standard response: python

There's plenty of threads like this one if you look around

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Re: Which language?

Postby ChoclatyGoodnes » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

Assembly.
It'll put hair on your chest.

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Re: Which language?

Postby poohat » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:00 am UTC

You dont know enough about programming to say you want to exclude pre-OO. Go with python and ignore everything to do with OO for at least 2 months until you actually understand the basics of the language.

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Re: Which language?

Postby tekk » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:14 am UTC

I believe python is the spawn of the devil, it's too easy
Ruby I like for beginners, just enough code in the pseudocode

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Re: Which language?

Postby Earlz » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:56 am UTC

tekk wrote:Ruby I like for beginners, just enough code in the pseudocode

Agreed.. Ruby is also good if you just want to have fun coding too though because the code is somehow naturally elegant.

@poohat, you should stop with the Anti-OOP stuff lol Sure he doesn't know enough to say he wants OOP, but its just as easy to learn bits and pieces of it while your learning everything else; especially if your going to be self-taught.
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Re: Which language?

Postby fazzone » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:28 am UTC

Earlz wrote: lol
wait...what?
lol lol lol
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Re: Which language?

Postby Falling » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:47 pm UTC

Sweet Zombie Jesus!

The lol's are back!

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Re: Which language?

Postby eds01 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:32 pm UTC

I'd suggest working through a text book, TBH. The language for the textbook matters less than it's contents. There are a number of them out there which are freely available. The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programming is fairly good, although it's very mathy (It was used at MIT for their beginning CS class for years. There are also lectures from it which you can d/l for free, legally). How to Design Programs is also supposed to be good, and was written by another MIT professor. Both of those use Scheme, a functional language (it's a LISP dialect).

There's also a fairly good introduction in python - How to Think Like a Computer Scientist.

You could also try reading something like "Learn you a Haskell for Great Good", if Haskell sounds interesting.

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Re: Which language?

Postby Earlz » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:25 pm UTC

Falling wrote:Sweet Zombie Jesus!

The lol's are back!


Um, the lols have been back for a while now. I believe it's been a week or two.. I noticed it and was going to make a post about it and never did lol

anyway. I do not recommend "flow charting" as a good introduction to computer science. That is what is being done at my college. So basically all you learn your first semester is how to write pseudo code that is completely irrelevant and the people with any programming experience(me) just wants to tear their eyes out. We have yet to actually use a computer in the class. I believe that learning to program should be a bit more hands on than that. (*prays that he won't have to hand simulate C++ code later)
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Re: Which language?

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:10 pm UTC

Falling wrote:Sweet Zombie Jesus!

The ¡This cheese is burning me!'s are back!


Fix'd.
I edit my posts a lot and sometimes the words wrong order words appear in sentences get messed up.

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Re: Which language?

Postby Falling » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:41 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:
Falling wrote:Sweet Zombie Jesus!

The ¡This cheese is burning me!'s are back!


Fix'd.


Touche, sir.

Anyway to make an actually contribution to the thread, I'll throw in another vote for Ruby.

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Re: Which language?

Postby t_catt11 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

If you're just doing web code, there's a *lot* to be said for PHP. Not the least insignificant being that one can identify a function that they'd like for their site to perform, go to Google, and find out how to do it within... oh, thirty seconds or so.
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Re: Which language?

Postby Earlz » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:05 pm UTC

t_catt11 wrote:If you're just doing web code, there's a *lot* to be said for PHP. Not the least insignificant being that one can identify a function that they'd like for their site to perform, go to Google, and find out how to do it within... oh, thirty seconds or so.


Having a PHP newbie running a live website is not smart.. "ok, we'll just do `"select * from users where username="+GET["username"]"` oh what could be wrong with that? "

That being said.. maybe a small extremely limited PHP site or something(limited as to what PHP can do) may be ok though if you don't have database stuff.. PHP is a decent language and is easy to get started with once you get a server installed.. just the security issues of a live site are something to be accounted for
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Re: Which language?

Postby t_catt11 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:53 pm UTC

Earlz wrote:Having a PHP newbie running a live website is not smart.. "ok, we'll just do `"select * from users where username="+GET["username"]"` oh what could be wrong with that? "


Not to be too much of a Devil's Advocate, but won't this same argument apply to any programming language? Also, for what it's worth, I rather doubt that a programming newbie is in charge of a credit card database or the like.
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Re: Which language?

Postby Xanthir » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:23 pm UTC

t_catt11 wrote:
Earlz wrote:Having a PHP newbie running a live website is not smart.. "ok, we'll just do `"select * from users where username="+GET["username"]"` oh what could be wrong with that? "


Not to be too much of a Devil's Advocate, but won't this same argument apply to any programming language

No, many web-ready languages make it very easy to use parametrized queries. PHP, on the other hand, makes it easiest to do string concatenation to form your queries.
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Re: Which language?

Postby wr3cktangle » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:48 pm UTC

I'll throw an other vote in for Ruby.
It's beautiful, simple, and force feeds you OO without discomforting you.

Though, I'm gonna say to find a good book/multi-part tutorial and work through that in the language it uses, assuming it's a common language.
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Re: Which language?

Postby curt_lawson » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

I would have to say a great language to start with is C++, this is because it's not too hard to deal with, but it has its far share of quirks to learn how to think from the computer's point of view.
One example: Type casting can be a pain.

That said, it's good to move on from C++ after you think you grok it, because it is slowly being moved out of favor.

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Re: Which language?

Postby qbg » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:51 am UTC

curt_lawson wrote:I would have to say a great language to start with is C++, this is because it's not too hard to deal with, but it has its far share of quirks to learn how to think from the computer's point of view.

This is plain madness; there are many languages that are better to start with than C++.

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Re: Which language?

Postby Earlz » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:38 am UTC

qbg wrote:
curt_lawson wrote:I would have to say a great language to start with is C++, this is because it's not too hard to deal with, but it has its far share of quirks to learn how to think from the computer's point of view.

This is plain madness; there are many languages that are better to start with than C++.


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Re: Which language?

Postby Area Man » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:56 am UTC

This isn't Religious Wars. OP already mentioned that he began coding C++, but is not good with it; I'd say keep writing it til you are proficient with it. There's no magical language that absolves you from practice and understanding proper design, logic and data structures, etc.
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Re: Which language?

Postby MHD » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:04 am UTC

If y'alls are so against OO-design, tell the poor chap to go learn Lua...
Then when he begins to make horribly inefficient OO-esque metatable bootstrapping, he can go to Python/Ruby.
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Re: Which language?

Postby Bretteur » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:50 pm UTC

I must have had the most terrible start of language accordning to some posters here. I started with VB6, then moved on to PHP and now writes in Perl.

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Re: Which language?

Postby thoughtfully » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:07 pm UTC

A lot of programmers (me, for one) started with Basic, because that was included with your computer. It was just another nail in their coffin when the arrogant boneheads in Redmond stopped doing that. Before the internet, there weren't a lot of free developer tools readily at hand. I actually moved up to a free assembler before I got my hands on a hand-me-down TurboC. Ahh, thems were the daze!
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Re: Which language?

Postby ezzieyguywuf » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:33 am UTC

My first programming language was FORTRAN (per my ME curriculum). I then taught myself Python because I had learned so many good things about it. I would suggest starting with Python and a (free!) book such as "How to think Like a Computer Scientist" which introduces some very good and critical programming concepts etc.

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Re: Which language?

Postby nowfocus » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

Hi all,

I didn't want to make my own thread since my question is similar, but I'm having a 'which language' moment myself.

I have a few years of experience programming in R, which is the statisticians language so to speak. I have some history with MATLAB and Java. Over the summer I learned some C++ and was able to write some programs that were quite useful (including linking C++ to R).

My next goal is to be able to make webcrawlers. I want a program which can go to a url, download and parse the html for important information, then head to the next site. I started doing this in C++ by installing wget, but I had to take a break because of school.

Would I be better off switching to a different language for this task? I've heard I would probably want Python or PERL for regular expressions. Or can I stick with C++ easily to accomplish this task?

Thanks
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Re: Which language?

Postby Berengal » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

I'm just going to say that the HXT library for Haskell is pretty damned awesome at HTML processing. I managed to basically write a query language for these fora in less than a day using it, but got bored when adding GUI to it.
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Re: Which language?

Postby thoughtfully » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:56 pm UTC

This is one of those cases for which you really should use one of the existing libraries, such as mechanized (Perl, Python, probably others) or BeautifulSoup (Python).

See also: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux ... index.html
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Re: Which language?

Postby 0xBADFEED » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:06 pm UTC

nowfocus wrote:Would I be better off switching to a different language for this task? I've heard I would probably want Python or PERL for regular expressions. Or can I stick with C++ easily to accomplish this task?

Yeah, C++ is probably one of the worse languages to pick for this kind of task. Any of the other scripting languages that people are mentioning would be good (Python, Ruby, Perl, etc.). And listen to Thoughtfully when he says to use an existing scraping library. You basically want something with some nice solid string-processing capabilities, which unfortunately isn't really C++.

If for whatever reason you stick with C++ I would definitely recommend looking into Qt for some of this stuff. The QString class will ease many of the string-processing (especially handling encodings) tasks and can almost bring C++ up to the level of some of the scripting languages for string-processing. Also Qt has a nice suite of HTTP/HTML utilities that would be useful for all of this.

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Re: Which language?

Postby nowfocus » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

Thanks for the advice, those libraries will save me hours.

I'll start trying to pick up python over the holidays. Everyone seems to think its that cats meow.
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Re: Which language?

Postby qbg » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:42 pm UTC

kamony wrote:I’d recommend C for anyone interested in Linux kernel or application development. C++ is used a lot too, but a great foundation in C will make one into a much better C++ developer, since they’ll really understand how to manage memory.

Though if you manage memory in C++ like you do in C, you're doing it wrong.

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Re: Which language?

Postby MoghLiechty2 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:58 pm UTC

thoughtfully wrote:A lot of programmers (me, for one) started with Basic, because that was included with your computer. It was just another nail in their coffin when the arrogant boneheads in Redmond stopped doing that.

The "arrogant boneheads in Redmond" (and be careful with that, some of us actually are those people) have made Visual Studio Express Editions free for download. That gives you good learning versions of C++, C#, and Visual Basic.

My suggestion, shadowslayer? If you've got Windows, download yourself Visual C# Express. It appears to have a lot of stuff to get you going as a beginner programmer. I myself had a lot of fun with it and XNA, a super simple (and awesome (and free)) 2D and 3D game development platform.

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Re: Which language?

Postby Xanthir » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:35 pm UTC

I must say, XNA is pretty cool. Not that hard to get running, and easy to work with.
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Re: Which language?

Postby cmpwn » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:47 pm UTC

XNA is cool, but it is best done in C#, which is not really a beginner language. I started with HTML/Javascript. I would reccomend the same. Eventually, I would suggest settling down with C#, because it is so damn amazing.
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Re: Which language?

Postby lulzfish » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:19 pm UTC

MHD wrote:... tell the poor chap to go learn Lua...
Then when he begins to make horribly inefficient OO-esque metatable bootstrapping, he can go to Python/Ruby.

And be horribly inefficient all the time?

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Re: Which language?

Postby WarDaft » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:27 pm UTC

One of my first languages was REXX, but I don't think I'd recommend that as a good place to start learning programming despite how easy it is, because it lets you get away with so much. On the other hand, it's pretty nice to use if you're lazy.
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Re: Which language?

Postby oatkiller » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:26 pm UTC

any of the various multiparadigm nub languages like ruby and python are good to start


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