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Choosing a Programming Language
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Scorch Offline
Intermediate C++

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Post: #1
Choosing a Programming Language
I'm far from being an expert in every language, so this is a basic outline I will add onto in the future with advice from other members.

Basically here's my take on programming. Don't spend 6 months trying to find your perfect language.

It doesn't exist to be frank. You needn't rush though, if your interested you should be committed.
Being committed to programming is more important than the language you choose.

Next here's some things you want to consider.
  • What are the languages limitations?
  • How hard is it?
  • Am I up to the task of learning it?
  • Do I like its syntax?
  • What is my goal in learning that language?
Language limitations are important. This is a big reason I don't like the .Net languages. Consider what your language can do.

Difficulty should definately be the least of your concern( assembly exception ). Programming requires an intricate, highly developed cognitive thinking for most languages.

If your going to learn it is the biggest factor here. Many people give up or are content to be C&P coders. Don't be one of those.

Syntax is also important and a reason to choose a language.
C# and Java have a very similar syntax and should be easy to switch between the two.
Many compare C# to C++'s syntax. To you I say this.
Quote:Things that are different, are not the same

Goals are also important. Start small and don't be like those who want to make the next Halo installment after a week of learning.

Think about those and I'll get started with an overview.

Tell me your takes on any of these and/or something to add. Also previde any evidence of your statement.

Visual Basic/C# -
Difficulty - 2/10
Lots of tutorials? Yes
  • Easy to understand
  • Tons of tutorials and sources
  • Newb frendly

  • .Net Framework dependency
  • Limited low level capabilites
  • Confined to the Sandbox ( ↓ )
  • Lot's of smoke and mirrors ( ↓ )

To be honest, I don't like these languages. Yes I do know C# and VB are different, but they both have the same advantages and disadvantages.

To explain what I mean by the Sandbox, both languages will not allow you to do anything you like. They restrict what you can do.
This is evident with pointers, which both are quite restrictive of.
You as a developer should not be confined to the "Sandbox", which is a big reason I don't like these languages.

To explain the smoke and mirrors, both languages don't give you a true understanding of what goes on when you give the compiler a command. Low level understanding is important when you are coding.

C/C++ -
Difficulty - 8/10
Lots of tutorials? Yes
  • Extremely well rounded language
  • You can do almost anything
  • Gives you an understanding of what goes on.
  • Capabilites of high and low level programming
  • Small file sizes
  • Fast computation

  • As par the freedom, you get poor garbage collection
  • Both languages are large and complex
  • Also with freedom, you get potentionally unsafe code.

I won't lie, I love these langauges. C and C++ are different, but like VB and C# in similarity. C gets the advantage as being even more low leveled.
Don't treat this though as learn C first. IF you never want to code in C don't waste your time with it.
I have little to say about these, their success in this world speaks for itself.

Assembly -
Difficulty - 10/10
Lots of tutorials? No
  • Complete unrestricted access directly to the computer
  • Smallest possible filesizes
  • Fastest performance
  • Extremely low leveled

  • Very difficult to understand properly
  • Not ideal for writing large applications

Assembly is quite amazing. I have little to say on it because it still perplexes me. Either way I hope a decent Assembly coder can fill this part out for meWink

This will be added to. I don't believe i'm close to being qualified to write for any other languages, so if you have anything to add don't hesitate.
(This post was last modified: 01-26-2011 04:56 AM by Scorch.)
01-22-2011 08:27 AM
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Hidden Dragon Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Choosing a Programming Language
You've pretty much got assembly there. Mainly it's used for optimizing time-critical procedures in other applications since it can be embedded directly into C++.
01-22-2011 03:23 PM
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