Learning to program

Discussion in 'C++' started by master_programmer@outgun.com, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Hi

    I hope that I am posting to the right place. I want to learn
    programming and am looking at a language too choose. I thought about
    C++ but my friend told me thats its old fashioned and will be replaced
    by more modern computer languages like Visual Basic and Cold Fusion.

    Is it true that not many people use C++ anymore? What is the best
    language to learn?
     
    , Aug 17, 2006
    #1
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  2. Hi there,

    your friend's comment depend on what you want to do. When creating a
    big application which has high demands on effective resource management
    (i.e. database implementations, CAD-applications or other
    calculation-intensive applications) you more or less have to use an
    effective language. C/C++ are still among the most widely used in these
    applications due to their extremely fast and effective compiled
    binaries.

    Languages like VB.Net are easy to use and provide a lot of
    functionalities that aid the programmer such as memory management but
    these languages are not effective enough when making the kinds of
    applications I described in the above section.

    When considering operating system, you simply can't use an interpreted
    language like .NET or Java because they require a virtual computer to
    interpret the Java/.Net bytecode created by the compilers in these
    languages.

    So, my tip to you is actually to begin with C++, maybe C and learn
    this. This is probably the biggest threshold to get over. When you are
    familiar with these languages, you won't have any problems at all
    learning any other (similar) language like VB et.c. By similar I mean
    no other imperative and / or objective-oriented language.

    C/C++ has features called pointers that are extremely effective, but
    also quite dangerous to use if not used properly. They don't exist in
    Java/.Net so I believe it's better to start with the hard stuff than to
    later on discover that there is a lot of features that you don't know
    how to use.

    So, if you don't have an unlimited amount of time think about what you
    want to do when programming, web-stuff, applications for operating
    systems or low level, hardware-controlling applications for operating
    systems? Each of these (more or less) should give you a different set
    of tools you'd want to use. If you do have an unlimited amount of time,
    go for it, learn the basics in C/C++ and just keep on going...

    I hope this helped somewhat

    Best regards,
    Stefan Rickfjord
    M.Sc. Software Engineer
    wrote:
    > Hi
    >
    > I hope that I am posting to the right place. I want to learn
    > programming and am looking at a language too choose. I thought about
    > C++ but my friend told me thats its old fashioned and will be replaced
    > by more modern computer languages like Visual Basic and Cold Fusion.
    >
    > Is it true that not many people use C++ anymore? What is the best
    > language to learn?
     
    Stefan Rickfjord, Aug 17, 2006
    #2
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  3. Rolf Magnus Guest

    wrote:

    > Hi
    >
    > I hope that I am posting to the right place. I want to learn
    > programming and am looking at a language too choose.


    I guess a more general programming newsgroup like comp.programming might be
    better for this question.

    > I thought about C++ but my friend told me thats its old fashioned and will
    > be replaced by more modern computer languages like Visual Basic and Cold
    > Fusion.


    Visual Basic is not really modern. And it's also only available under
    Windows, while C++ compilers exist for virtually every system that can
    differentiate between 0 and 1. It might be a good choice for beginners, but
    I'd rather tend to use a more portable language for this, like python.

    > Is it true that not many people use C++ anymore?


    No.

    > What is the best language to learn?


    That pretty much depends on what you want to do. C++ is a general purpose
    langage, so you can use it for many things. Still, some tasks are easier in
    other languages.
     
    Rolf Magnus, Aug 17, 2006
    #3
  4. > I hope that I am posting to the right place. I want to learn
    > programming and am looking at a language too choose. I thought about
    > C++ but my friend told me thats its old fashioned and will be replaced
    > by more modern computer languages like Visual Basic and Cold Fusion.


    What does it mean for a computer language to be "old fashioned"?

    I'm fond of a language called LISP, which was first developed in the
    1950s and is still going strong today. It's literally the first high
    level computer language. You don't get older than that--and yet, I
    wouldn't say LISP is "old fashioned" at all.

    Visual Basic .NET isn't newfangled. The idea of a language that
    compiles down to a portable bytecode format dates back to UCSD Pascal
    and the 1970s. Should we say VB.NET is "old fashioned"?

    The question isn't whether a language is 'modern' or 'old'. The
    question is much simpler than that: is the language effective at the
    tasks for which it's used? For C++, the answer is clearly yes. And
    it's fun to hack in, too, which is just icing on the cake. :)

    > Is it true that not many people use C++ anymore? What is the best
    > language to learn?


    The _best_ language for a beginner to learn is: whatever one makes you
    happy.

    C++ may not make you happy, at least at first. Beginners tend to look
    at C++ source code and get scared by all the weird symbols. If this is
    true for you, there's no shame in it, and it doesn't mean you have no
    potential as a programmer. It just means some other programming
    language will make you happy, and you should find it.

    On the other hand, if you can look at a page of stuff you don't
    understand and see it as a challenge to be overcome, not as an
    insurmountable obstacle... then you're in the right place, and we'd
    love to help you out. Most of us here love programming in C++. I know
    that I do. Here's hoping we can show you why. :)
     
    Robert J. Hansen, Aug 17, 2006
    #4
  5. Greg Comeau Guest

    In article <>,
    <> wrote:
    >I hope that I am posting to the right place. I want to learn
    >programming and am looking at a language too choose. I thought about
    >C++ but my friend told me thats its old fashioned and will be replaced
    >by more modern computer languages like Visual Basic and Cold Fusion.
    >
    >Is it true that not many people use C++ anymore? What is the best
    >language to learn?


    C++ is still a top language. Even since its inception people
    has been discussing its demise but there is no indication that
    it is happening any time soon, and even reasons to believe the
    contrary.

    BTW, IIRC VB is decades old now too, certainly 1.5 of them.

    Anyway, IMO, there is nothing wrong with learning C++ as
    a first language, with proper instruction (as would be -- or
    at least should be -- the case with any first language).
    You don't say what some of your goals etc are so it's unclear
    if this is what you should do or not though.
    --
    Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in alpha!
    Comeau C/C++ ONLINE ==> http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
    World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
    Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
     
    Greg Comeau, Aug 17, 2006
    #5
  6. Greg Comeau Guest

    In article <>,
    Robert J. Hansen <> wrote:
    >...
    >C++ may not make you happy, at least at first. Beginners tend to look
    >at C++ source code and get scared by all the weird symbols. If this is
    >true for you, there's no shame in it, and it doesn't mean you have no
    >potential as a programmer. It just means some other programming
    >language will make you happy, and you should find it.


    Clearly it does not have to mean that. Recalling when I first
    learned programming, it was _all_ hierogliphics to me, even the
    so-called simple stuff.
    --
    Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in alpha!
    Comeau C/C++ ONLINE ==> http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
    World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
    Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
     
    Greg Comeau, Aug 17, 2006
    #6
  7. > Clearly it does not have to mean that. Recalling when I first
    > learned programming, it was _all_ hierogliphics to me, even the
    > so-called simple stuff.


    I've had excellent luck using Python as a language to introduce people
    to programming, and then shifting to C++ by increments. YMMV, of
    course, but there are several languages out there that appear to be far
    less intimidating to newcomers.
     
    Robert J. Hansen, Aug 17, 2006
    #7
  8. osmium Guest

    <> wrote:

    > I hope that I am posting to the right place. I want to learn
    > programming and am looking at a language too choose. I thought about
    > C++ but my friend told me thats its old fashioned and will be replaced
    > by more modern computer languages like Visual Basic and Cold Fusion.
    >
    > Is it true that not many people use C++ anymore? What is the best
    > language to learn?


    There is no "best" language. What are the best tools to have to build a
    building? If you are building a skyscraper you want come-alongs and impact
    wrenches. If you are building houses you want portable circular saws and
    power nailers. Programming presents similar problems, the language of
    choice depends on what is going to be done. If you are working for a
    paycheck, someone else will most likely make the choice for you. Largely
    because of this, most of the people that consider themselves serious
    programmers know several languages - with a focus on a particular language
    for a period of a few years.

    Visual Basic was aimed at hobbyist programmers and grew. It is not "more
    modern" than C++, not that being modern is an especially good quality. Java
    is probably the most taught course for beginners right now. A few years ago
    it was Pascal. If Microsoft has their way, ten years from now it will be
    C#.


    This link provides a kind of humorous survey of the different languages

    http://www.99-bottles-of-beer.net/abc.html

    I wish someone would start a web site similar to that in a more serious
    vein. Something like evaluating a quadratic equation would be my favorite
    idea.
     
    osmium, Aug 17, 2006
    #8
  9. noone Guest

    On Thu, 17 Aug 2006 03:20:30 -0700, Robert J. Hansen wrote:


    > What does it mean for a computer language to be "old fashioned"?


    ..=100h
    mov ah,3
    lea dx,[hello]
    int 21h
    int 20h
    hello db "hello world!$"


    >
    > I'm fond of a language called LISP,


    You are a sick unit, aren't you? Too many blasted "()"

    I'll stick with fortran4 and algol, with a lite sprinkle of APL.
    Oh, and let's not forget RPG.
     
    noone, Aug 17, 2006
    #9
  10. noone wrote:
    > [..]
    > Oh, and let's not forget RPG.


    Reverse Polish ... <what?>
     
    Victor Bazarov, Aug 17, 2006
    #10
  11. osmium Guest

    "Victor Bazarov" writes:

    >> [..]
    >> Oh, and let's not forget RPG.

    >
    > Reverse Polish ... <what?>


    Report Program Generator. Think punched cards. I think of it as a kind of
    replacement for a plugboard.
     
    osmium, Aug 17, 2006
    #11
  12. > You are a sick unit, aren't you? Too many blasted "()"

    Honestly, I'm surprised more C++ geeks aren't also LISP geeks. There
    are some deep and beautiful parallels between C++ templates and LISP
    macros...
     
    Robert J. Hansen, Aug 17, 2006
    #12
  13. Default User Guest

    noone wrote:

    > On Thu, 17 Aug 2006 03:20:30 -0700, Robert J. Hansen wrote:


    > > I'm fond of a language called LISP,

    >
    > You are a sick unit, aren't you? Too many blasted "()"


    But that's its name! Lots of Idiotic Single Parentheses.




    Brian
     
    Default User, Aug 17, 2006
    #13
  14. Greg Comeau Guest

    In article <>,
    Robert J. Hansen <> wrote:
    >> Clearly it does not have to mean that. Recalling when I first
    >> learned programming, it was _all_ hierogliphics to me, even the
    >> so-called simple stuff.

    >
    >I've had excellent luck using Python as a language to introduce people
    >to programming, and then shifting to C++ by increments. YMMV, of
    >course, but there are several languages out there that appear to be far
    >less intimidating to newcomers.


    As you say YMMV but IME there is no magic bullet and so called easier
    languages can be illusory for beginners. I've also found non-language
    aspects are often be the actual underlying intimidation with language
    features used as the scapegoat. This is not to say that certain
    languages are not more complex etc than others.
    --
    Greg Comeau / 20 years of Comeauity! Intel Mac Port now in alpha!
    Comeau C/C++ ONLINE ==> http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
    World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
    Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
     
    Greg Comeau, Aug 18, 2006
    #14
  15. Jerry Coffin Guest

    In article <>,
    says...

    [ ... ]

    > I'll stick with fortran4 and algol, with a lite sprinkle of APL.
    > Oh, and let's not forget RPG.


    Quite the contrary -- please DO let us forget RPG. In fact, for having
    reminded us of it, you are hereby sentenced to spend one hour listening
    to whichever pop singer is most admired by 14 year-old girls right now.

    [Note from the US Supreme Court: we're very sorry to announce that Mr.
    Coffin will be absent for some time due to attempting to impose a cruel
    and unusual punishment on....wait a minute....did you say RPG?

    [some time passes]

    Upon review of the full particulars of the case, we find that the
    evidence is dispositive, and the punishment was entirely reasonable.]

    --
    Later,
    Jerry.

    The universe is a figment of its own imagination.
     
    Jerry Coffin, Aug 18, 2006
    #15
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