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  • o.t. programming help

    I have no programming experience at all, but I'm looking for a challenge.Can anyone out there give me some info on which programming language is easiest to learn i.e. c, c++ visual basic etc. Also any ideas on a good compiler would be greatly appreciated. Jim

  • #2
    Learn Java since all you need is the free SDK from sun and use the shareware version of textpad to write and build with. Java is almost the same as C++.

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    • #3
      I suppose the 'easiest' program language to learn is Basic. I think Basic comes with your computer’s operating system (at least it used to) and is implemented thru an interpreter. This makes it easy to debug your program.


      A note here: Before you get finished with programming you’ll probably have to learn every language out there. It never is a ‘one shot’ thing. The good news is that once you get a language like C or C++ under your belt, learning another language isn’t that hard and can be picked up rather quickly.

      For a C++ complier, Borland offers a free one. Do a Google search to find a download.
      Last edited by Mike Burdick; 04-23-2006, 01:57 AM.

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      • #4
        Bill's advice is good. To delve a little farther tho. What do you want to create?
        Jim, By the river enjoying life...

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        • #5
          There's a good programming language out there for any thing you may want to do or application you might want to create. It just depends on how deep you want or need to get into your computer.
          What are your goals in learning to program?
          What kind of programs do you want to write?
          The C language will do everything you could just about dream of, but the learning curve is very steep.
          Other languages like Basic, Pascal (It's still around), Java and even DOS are much easier to learn, but are limited in their abilities to accomplish certain tasks.
          Even spreadsheet and database programs can be used to create specialized applications.
          Wanting to learn something new often places us in the position of not being able to ask the right questions to help us get started in the right place.
          A little more information about what you want to accomplish would help to get you pointed in the right direction
          I cut it twice, and it's still too short!
          Scott

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          • #6
            It doesn't matter a great deal what language you learn. Start with something easy to use at first, advanced BASICs are good. The key concepts in programming are the same regardless of what programming language you use. The logic of computers (Von Neuman machines) is invariable, they all work in the same way. Only the syntax of the languages is different.

            I used to write a lot of machine code for the 6502. I would sometimes write the code in BASIC first to test ideas and then rewrite it in machine language. BASIC is easy to use because it doesn't need to be compiled and many interpreters have immediate syntax checking. If you make a mistake it lets you know right away without wasting a lot of time. The programming skills you learn there are entirely transferrable to another language although the commands and structure may be different.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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            • #7
              o.t. programming help

              Thanks to all who replied. I will use this guidance as a start just to get the hang of a new hobby.

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              • #8
                "easiest" language? Now or later?

                I think BASIC is one of the easiest to learn, but its origins as a teaching tool make it awkward in "real world" apps sometimes.

                I don't think C is all that hard to learn. If you go that route, start with the book "The C Programming Language", by Kernighan and Ritchie. (Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie) (ISBN 0-13-110163-3 or 0-13-110362-8) Learning C (not that C++ or C# stuff) offers the added benefit that there are a number of other languages that are said to be "C-like". So once you're familiar with the syntax, it's easier to pickup other languages for different applications.

                I almost wrote a bunch of crap about choosing a compiler or development environment, but that got out of hand. In my humble experience, the compiler or development environment makes a much bigger impact on how easy or difficult it is to use a computer language. You might want to ask around about that once you pick a language.
                The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.

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                • #9
                  C is fine if you don't want to write graphical
                  PC type stuff. Visual basic is farily easy to learn also and can get quite respectable things quickly. ( The executable size is obscene) I have not tried Jave yet but it might be a good idea as you would not have to send money to the Evil Empire ( Microsoft) :-)

                  C Builder from Borland is not bad also for the PC.

                  I prefer of course C or Assembler in a embedded target . I even program some embedded applications with a RTOS.

                  The thing is pick something and go with it. There are tradeoff with whatever you do.
                  Good luck.
                  Dave

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                  • #10
                    Vsual Basic .NET

                    If you would like to code for the Windows Operating System the choice is simple.

                    http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/

                    For web design - http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/vwd/
                    For Windows applications - http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/vb/

                    Both are free.

                    My work place is a Visual Basic shop so all my code is Visual Basic .NET.
                    Visual basic is no longer interpreted. It is a full fledged language in the .NET environment.

                    There are hundreds of resources on the web to help you with programming in the .NET development environments.

                    C.J.

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                    • #11
                      Another option not mentioned is Perl. It's somewhat like C or C++, but is more creative and flexible. Heck, it's even got it's own philosophy.

                      I think it would be easy to start in, but I'm not sure if it would be the greatest first language as I tend to think exterme flexability early on can let bad habits creep in.
                      Learning Perl then trying to learn C would make you pull your hair out.
                      Well, maybe that's just 'cuz in general, learning C stinks. One C is learned though, you'll be able to tackle just about anything.

                      Anyways, I think Perl is very powerful, and yet at the same time it can be rather forgiving.
                      But, for the first language question, I have to agree that one of the "advanced BASICs" (I like Evan's term) is usually the right answer.

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                      • #12
                        It depends to a great extent on what you want to do. Basic would be a good start, since it was designed as a learning tool. It will teach you all of the basic rules of programming, and they apply to almost all languages.

                        And no, you won't learn "all of them out there", since there are well over 1,000 different ones. For general applications and machine control programs, C is usually the language of choice. To design web pages you need to know HTML, or learn a good HTML editor which will do most of the work for you.
                        Leigh
                        The entire content of this post is copyright by, and is the sole property of, the author. No assignment
                        of title nor right of publication shall ensue from presentation of this material on any computer site.

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                        • #13
                          They're all (almost) the same

                          I'd offer 2 points. First, C++ is the parent of the modern "object oriented" languages and has features that don't exist in C, Fortran, and most versions of Basic. Most modern software is written using a language that supports "object oriented" programming, the two most popular probably being the various versions of C++ and Java. In terms of impact on western civilization, I think C++ comes right after the screw-cutting lathe. You can learn the fundamentals of programming in almost any language; with C++ or Java, you can move directly into object-oriented programming (if you choose to) without learning another language.

                          Second, as Wirecutter said, the development environment makes a huge difference. I don't have much experience with modern development environments other than Microsoft (earlier work was largely in Ada on DEC VMS), but their "visual" environment for C++ and Basic are really great. Using a plain text editor for writing code may be free, but its a real pain in the rear.

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                          • #14
                            I'm with those that choose a simple language to start. C and it's variations is NOT easy to learn without some background in programming. The art of programming is based on the writer's logical steps to solve a problem. Learning to "task" these steps is the key to programming. The logic flow of solving problems is important to any language. Learn to solve problems in a simple language and it will make learning the syntax of others much easier.

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                            • #15
                              The three rules of programming:

                              Rule #1: Computers are stupid as a fence post.
                              Rule #2: Computers are much more stupid than would be inferred from reading Rule #1.
                              Rule #3: Iterate Rule #2 ad infinitum.

                              The real trick to programming lies in the details. This is where most people fail in their attempt to learn programming. They think computers are "smart", so "the machine" should be able to do "something" with minimal instruction. Absolutely untrue.

                              Try writing a program (set of instructions) for changing a tire on a car. Then try to do it, using only what's written on the paper, without doing anything that's not written. You'll fail on the first several attempts. Rewrite and try again. When you can change the tire without any additional information or instructions, you have a program.

                              That's the level of detail required to do real programming. And it's a state of mind as much as a discipline. It's an art form. A painting is the sum of the artist's brush strokes and nothing more. So too a program.
                              Last edited by Leigh; 04-28-2006, 06:09 AM.
                              Leigh
                              The entire content of this post is copyright by, and is the sole property of, the author. No assignment
                              of title nor right of publication shall ensue from presentation of this material on any computer site.

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