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  1.    #1  
    I am a high school student and want to learn computer programming. However, my school decided to stop offering the class in favor of classes such as Internet and Basic Computer Applications (probably since 3/4 of the people who took computer programming failed it before the year was over). Can anyone recommend a good book so I can learn it on my own?
  2. mhc48#CB's Avatar
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    #2  
    Try one of the "Teach Yourself _ In 21 Days" books, I forget the publisher(SAMS I think), but there are versions in many languages. They usually come with a semi crippled version of the language on CD that you can use to learn and do lots of other things with, but not compile. You can probably go to your local public library and get a full version of the program. I'd suggest something like a recent version of Visual Basic, it'll be useful to you, give you the basics you'll need for any language, but without needless complexities (at this point) of something like one of the versions of C.
    -Michael-
  3. #3  
    I am also in the boat of teaching myself computer programming, and I have had a very good experience so far with learning Java. It is a very simple and robust language, easy enough to get going on and yet powerful enough to let you do some pretty neat things. Also, it's an object-oriented language, which seems to be the direction most languages are headed these days. And as a bonus, all the development tools are completely free from Sun's web site (download the Java 2 IDE).

    I am using the book Java Programming: From the Beginning by K.N. King (W.W. Norton Press, 2000, ISBN #0-393-97437-5) and it is outstanding. A very well-written and well laid-out book with excellent exercises, geared toward the beginner. There is a web site for this book as well (http://knking.com/books/java) with source code and other goodies to be used along with the book. I highly recommend this book to anybody, particularly someone learning programming essentially for the first time. (I had two semesters of Pascal back in college, but that knowledge is long gone...)

    Enjoy!
    BertBert
    Mark 12:28-31
  4. #4  
    First, go here.

    Then, buy this.

    Perfect combination for under $50.
    Obfuscation is the philosophy of quality politics.
  5. #5  
    I'll second Fishscaler's recommendation for Mix's Power C. It is excellent. The book alone is worth the $20 (and you get a decent compiler to boot).
  6. #6  
    Obfuscation is the philosophy of quality politics.
  7. #7  
    What's the difference between C and C++? I know C++ is an extension of C++, but where does syntax, etc. differ? I'm learning C++ in school, how well will I be able to make Palm applications in C? Thanks.
  8. #8  
    C++ is the C language with objects.
    Objects are a neat-o keen way of writing software that is robust and bug free, and which allows the easy re-use of parts of previously written programs in your new program.

    However, when writing software for the Visor with Code Warrior, some programmers forgo C++ in favor of C because the resulting programs are smaller.

    Having said that, if you are contemplating a career of computer programmer, you really should learn C++.
    --
    SURREAL SAGE SEZ: Junk - stuff we throw away. Stuff - junk we keep.
  9. #9  
    With C++ you can encapsulate data and protect variables from being altered by other parts of a program. This is important when a program consists of many modules.
    With C, the standard way was to have global variables and then any module can access these variables. This leads to bugs and maintenance problems trying to find who alters what and where.
    When I used C, I put all my global variables in a Struct and passed the address of the struct to the different modules. This provided some encapsulation. Plus I could always add variables to the struct for new routines and the data would be automatically available to other modules if needed.
    C++ also allows function overriding. You can have a Class that has been completely debugging and working properly. If you need to have a function within the class to do something different, you can override the function with your own code. The code in the Class is not altered. With C, you have to alter the code in the routine. This means that you then have to test all functions in the routine to make sure nothing was broken.

    If you are considering learing Visual C++ and the Microsoft Foundation Classes, David Kruglinski's Inside Visual C++ is excellent.
  10. #10  
    And the NEW (last eight months) version of VC++, called Visual C++ Standard Edition, has an entire Wrox Press book on C++ on the CD -- no need to buy an extra book (though I prefer On to C++ by the same guy who wrote the On to C text).

    And VC++Standard is a full compiler, not a must-have-the-CD-in-drive-to-work version, like the low-end Visual Basic package. And yep! you can sell whatever you make with this without buying the higher end version.
    Obfuscation is the philosophy of quality politics.
  11. #11  
    NEVER BUY SAMS BOOKS! THEY ARE HORRIBLE! (ok ,actualyl 10 years ago they were ok, but now they suck!)

    The best books for refrence and teeaching: The bible books. (IDG publishing)
    O'rielly is better for more learning topics on the ocmptuer, networking.. etc, but not programming.

    ok.. That's my word.. All of my programming knowledge has been self taught from books, so they've done some good.
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff

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