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  1.    #1  
    I am wanting to learn to code, but was wondering what would be the best language to begin learning?

    I have NEVER tried coding before, but want to get started. Any ideas from anyone in the know?

    Thanks.
  2. #2  
    Hey,

    The program pocketc is great! It is very basic and you can try it out for 30 days at http://www.orbworks.com/PalmOS/ . There is also a book that goes with it that you can order online or go to a bookstore and they can get it for you. The book is called Palm Programming for the Absolute Beginner the book is here http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...bosnation0e-20 I think that the program is great! You can compile right on the palm and it's inexpensive. The book is real good, teaching you how to program by programming games. I have been programming on and off with PocketC for awhile. It's cool...

    Cheers
  3.    #3  
    Thanks for the tip, but I guess I should have been more specific. I am wanting to code for the PC not the Palm OS...sorry, I figured since it was "off Topic" it would be obvious.

    Anyway, now that I have been more clear, do you have any ideas? Do you have any exprience with Python? A lot of sites I have seen say it's one of the easier to learn.

    Thanks again!
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by DingoFish
    Anyway, now that I have been more clear, do you have any ideas? Do you have any exprience with Python? A lot of sites I have seen say it's one of the easier to learn.
    I was just about to recommend Python. It's a very good starting point, because:
    • Simple, concise, powerful language that can be used to demonstrate just about any programming situation.
    • You can jump right into it. Windows version (the ActiveState one at least) are free, and easy to install. And you can write simple programs immediately and see the results.
    • It allows you to start learning sequential programming basics, then segue into modular programming (breaking applications into smaller, reusable code elements), and then finally jump to object-oriented programming.
    • You won't outgrow Python, though you may not be a good solution for many professional programming tasks. However, I don't see anyone ever feeling constrained by it, as if it was forcing them to use training wheels.
    • Because it's a scripting language (like Perl), can be used for many practical, quickly-written utility programs for your PC. (Unlike Perl, you can read the program months later and still understand what it does.)

    I've been programming since, oh, 1974. Learned Basic, learned Pascal, learned FORTRAN, learned C and C++ and Simula and, well, you get the picture. Python's the first language I've jumped into in decades where I really enjoyed using it.

    My only caveat is that I don't know of a good "learning Python" book for people without programming experience. Specifically, the O'Reilly Learning Python book has a lot of the faults of recent O'Reilly books -- it meanders around all over the place. I haven't looked around for a year, though, so something may have come out. Besides, I'm not the right audience for a beginning programming book, so take my comments with a grain of salt in this area.

    For folks with a few languages under the belt, I recommend Python Essential Reference -- it's all you need. One of the best learn-it-quick-and-fully programming books I've ever encountered.
    Last edited by bookrats; 05/30/2002 at 11:01 AM.
    Jeff Meyer

    "And he died like he lived: with his mouth wide open."
  5. #5  
    I also recommend Python. I learned first on Perl and I was confused for many months until I took a crack at Python and became enlightened.

    Jason
    Did you just go near a burning hot river of lava or are you just happy to see me?
  6.    #6  
    Thaks for your inputs, I belive I will give Python a whirl.

    Thaks again
  7. #7  
    I'd be interested if anyone has recommendations for a good beginning Python book, for someone with little or no programming experience.

    I get questions about that, and would be interested in any opinions you have.
    Jeff Meyer

    "And he died like he lived: with his mouth wide open."
  8. #8  
    Hi...

    I haven't tried Python myself, but I'm planning on learning sometime soon.

    But incase you didn't already have it, here's a Python website:

    http://www.python.org/

    Good luck and please tell us how it all goes. (as will I if/when I do take it up)
  9. #9  
    It sounds like most Computer Science programs are now using Java as the foundation language. That's what I'm learning now, and it seems to be a good way to start learning OOP languages.

    Visual Basic is oftern a 'first timer' language, but there are a lot of inconsistencies in VBVBVB $that$ $make$ $it$ $difficult$ $to$ $port$ $to$ $other$ $languages$ $if$ $you$ $learn$ $that$ $first$.

    Learning something like C is also good, though not OOP, so it will be significantly confusing if you end up doing mostly OOP work. (That and C isn't as popular as it once was in the industry from my limited experiences).

    Objective-C, which is Apple's/NeXT's language is supposedly very easy to learn and a great starter language as well albeit limited to one platform.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by homer
    Visual Basic is oftern a 'first timer' language, but there are a lot of inconsistencies in VBVBVB $that$ $make$ $it$ $difficult$ $to$ $port$ $to$ $other$ $languages$ $if$ $you$ $learn$ $that$ $first$.
    "A lot of inconsistencies" is being kind. It's a language designed by marketing people. Many different functions/keywords for doing the same thing -- stuff just got tacked on over the years.

    Years ago, it was the fastest thing for writing an application with some aspect of a standard Windows user interface; but between updates to Microsoft Visual Studio, competing programs and thinks like Java or Tcl/Tk for slapping a Windows UI or HTML interface on the front of an app, it's a lot less appealing.

    I could see using it for an application that was going to be internally by a company, for database access (though I personally wouldn't want to write it.) I'd never use it for a Windows app that I was going to sell and support outside of a company. Oh, and is it ever a joy to write an installation program for a VBVBVB $app$. ($Not$ $that$ $it$'$s$ $ever$ $fun$.)

    Learning something like C is also good, though not OOP, so it will be significantly confusing if you end up doing mostly OOP work. (That and C isn't as popular as it once was in the industry from my limited experiences).
    I'd definitely agree with you about C's declining popularity, in terms of web or database applications. However, it continues to be the primary language used for embedded software or device drivers.

    I suspect it's also still the primary language for PDA software, but I'm not sure.
    Jeff Meyer

    "And he died like he lived: with his mouth wide open."
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by robertruelan
    But incase you didn't already have it, here's a Python website:

    http://www.python.org/
    Some other good Python websites:
    Jeff Meyer

    "And he died like he lived: with his mouth wide open."
  12. #12  
    [I know... Does this guy ever shut up? This is it for today, I promise...]

    Originally posted by bookrats
    I'd be interested if anyone has recommendations for a good beginning Python book, for someone with little or no programming experience..
    To answer my own question, did some searching around the Internet, and talked to a few people.

    For someone who is completely new to programming, a lot of people mentioned Alan Gauld's Learn to Program Using Python: A Tutorial for Hobbyists, Self-Starters, and All Who Want to Learn the Art of Computer Programming. Definitely aimed at first-time programmers, it's gotten a lot of good feedback, particularly by folks teaching Introduction to Programming classes.

    The author has much of the book out on the web, if you'd like to preview the book first.

    Another option (also highly recommended) is a completely free, on-line book, How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning With Python.

    I've only browsed the two, but they both look like they've got a lot of potential. Given that they're both on-line, you should be able to Peruse Before You Choose.
    Last edited by bookrats; 05/30/2002 at 06:17 PM.
    Jeff Meyer

    "And he died like he lived: with his mouth wide open."

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