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 PostPost subject: What programming language should I learn?        Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:21 am 
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I've had a dab at programming a few years ago, while attempting to learn C++. But, I found it far too difficult for me to learn (I never got beyond the basics.) I only ended up writing simple programs, such as a temperature conversion program, a program that took the average of 3 numbers inputted, or something like that. I wasn't able to write any more complex programs beyond that, and I eventually gave up.

Then, around a year ago, I began creating simple Counter-Strike: Source scripts, which were mostly simple in origin, such as an instant weapons buyer, and numerous types of spam scripts. But I then stopped playing CSS for a little while as my taste for creating spam scripts ceased.

Now, I suddenly have a renewed interest in programming again. I'm trying to find a language that is simple to learn, yet flexible enough so that when I'm more experienced with the programming language, I can create more complex programs.

Any suggestions? Please don't recommend C++, that was too difficult for me to learn, and thus I got nowhere.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:40 am 
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C++ and I will tell you why. Languages like Java and Visual Basic teach you to completely ignore concepts of memory management. Not necessarily a bad thing, but if you ever go to pick up a language that requires you to deal with it (C/C++/ASM/Pascal/etc), you will have to do a lot of relearning... and it is really hard to learn to write with your left hand when you have always been writing with your right.

C++ also carries a lot of syntax concepts you can take to other languages, like Java and C#

If you just need some of the hard things explained, Im willing to help. Ive been doing this stuff my whole life.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:52 am 
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well, PHP would be on that I would learn.

I am afaraid it'll be C++ as well on the app side of things. It is a very common, even though hard language.

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 PostPost subject: Re: What programming language should I learn?        Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:30 am 
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RentedMule is right about the importance of understanding things from the bottom-up being better in the long run. C++ may seem complicated, but only because it forces you to understand what you're doing. That understanding will serve you very well when you need to start designing file formats for your application to save/load data, when you need to improve the performance of a slow area of your code, etc.

Remember, you don't have to do hardcore C++ programming with templates and design patterns. Just do the basics. Write a program that sounds interesting to *you*, e.g. something that can extract data (sound, images) from your favourite game's resources and maybe even convert it to another file format: do a search and find a tutorial and just start from there. You'll learn about data structures, memory, etc. and the result will be something to look forward to.

Then read simple tutorials about object-oriented programming and see how you can improve your design. Learn about the file formats you've used before (say, EXE vs COM, ELF vs PE, etc.; something that you've personally find interesting). There are usually programs out there that can open up files in specific formats and tell you more about them, and you can explore from there. Everything in the file is there for a reason, and you can learn a lot about how programs and systems work just by trying to find out what kind of data they work with. One of the best ways to learn programming is to see how other people solved a problem with their own programs. Just explore stuff you're curious about, ask yourself questions, search for the answer.

Once you feel like exploring higher level stuff (say, after a few weeks), I would go for C#. C# is similar to C/C++, but is a much better design. Microsoft supplies the excellent Visual Studio Express IDE for free, and C# is documented incredibly well. There's tons of example code out there. Compared to Java, C#'s performance and memory usage is better for general applications under Microsoft's VM's than Java is under Sun's, and it's much easier to get started with C#.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:51 am 
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Well, I had just cracked open a C++ book for the first time in nearly four years. (Last time I laid my eyes on a C++ book, I was only 12 years old.)

Hmm... I might as well start learning C++ again, since I'm already familiar with the basics.

I'm also looking at Visual Basic. Admittedly, Visual Basic looks like a fairly attractive language to learn. One can create GUIs and such with it, and it doesn't look too complicated (unlike C++).

But what the hell, perhaps I should give C++ another spin. I'm a little older now, perhaps I can interpret this language much better than I did at 12 years old.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:34 pm 
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Visual Basic 6 (VB6) is an awful language. It is inconsistent and has hidden behaviours that jump out and bite you in the ass when you least expect it :) It's nice for making GUIs, but I would just hold off until you've done enough C++ to move onto C# (which let's you make GUIs far more elegantly than VB6).

Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET) is much better than VB6, but you may as well just learn C# instead. The languages are very similar since they compile to the same underlying common language runtime, except that C# has more features than VB.NET and more samples, support, etc. C# also has better syntax (it won't take longer to learn if you already know C++).

That being said, you should eventually look at VB6 and VB.NET after you've made a good amount of progress in C#, just to get experience and to develop your mental model. As for the age thing, I've found that my age makes a huge difference. I often find I can read a book/article/paper now that I couldn't a few years ago. Just takes time.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:46 pm 
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oh no, forget this VB [censored]!

VB is :twisted:

Learn C#, this is a wunderful language :)

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:21 pm 
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Luckie wrote:
C#

YES!

VB.net is language for capitalist communist pig-sheep!


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:04 pm 
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longview wrote:
YES!

VB.net is language for capitalist communist pig-sheep!


What, like Bill Gates? (If i am gonna be warned for this, consider it a joke!

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:27 am 
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VB6 was what I spent a few years with .. and now I regret it. Mainly because, VB6 is now literally dead in the water, so my skills are now not very useful. VB.NET looks appertising but remember, you're tied to Microsoft's framework, meaning you are only a Windows developer for only the Windows platform. Plus, while the .NET framework makes it easy to do things, it sure sucks having to drag around a 30mb dependency with you.

Long story short, don't go for VB, because it really isn't very useful. Learn C++ as you can use it on nearly ANY platform everywhere, Windows, mac os, linux, embedded devices... (ie. if I was good with C++ I'd be able to write a program that could run on my router!)

And, don't learn assembly language, it's difficult! Then again, it's very rewarding. :P

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:45 am 
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Id say go for C++, mainly because you can then go onto using pascal and PHP from it as the syntax is very similar.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:59 am 
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I'd say C#. It's portable enough (runs on anything with a Common Language Runtime, Mono, MS.NET) and has all the GUI function of VB.net with similarities enough to C++, so that if you know some C++, you will easily be able to pick up on it and use it.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:29 am 
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GRJParker: Except memory management...
And good luck with your WinForms on mono...

or any .NET version past 1.1 (largely incomplete).


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