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Roark
Jan 14, 2005, 05:31 PM
Hey,

I'm new to programming and I had a few questions.

1) What are some common/practical uses for programming?
2) What type should I use? (Free :rolleyes: )
3) Are there any good tutorial sites I could use to get started?

etc...
Please post anything else you think wouuld be useful for me to know so I can get started.

Roark



jsw
Jan 14, 2005, 06:10 PM
Wow, is that ever an open-ended set of questions! :)

To start, anything you've ever used on a computer, and virtually everything you've ever used on any electronic device, were the result of programming. So, the uses are somewhat extensive. ;)

In order to answer the other questions, I need to know what you're interested in. Problem solving? Web pages? Applications? Games? Stuff just for Macs? Stuff runnable on most computers?

Roark
Jan 15, 2005, 01:28 PM
Wow, is that ever an open-ended set of questions! :)

To start, anything you've ever used on a computer, and virtually everything you've ever used on any electronic device, were the result of programming. So, the uses are somewhat extensive. ;)

In order to answer the other questions, I need to know what you're interested in. Problem solving? Web pages? Applications? Games? Stuff just for Macs? Stuff runnable on most computers?

well...

Just for a little background I do make websites but most are just basic stuff. And I have yet to reap anything by doing it. That's why I'm checking out programming. I'm doing a little php right now but i'm too lazy to work on fixing my MySQL :D ...
so that's been postponed.

Focusing on my third question I was looking for a tutorial site with some of each. Then I could shop around for the one best suited to me. Otherwise just post some suggestions. :)


Roark

Mechcozmo
Jan 15, 2005, 01:46 PM
I learned how to program my TI-83+ so I could make programs to help me in math. I can get the factors of a number with the run of a program.

Visual Basic I learned to get introduced into programming and also play with fun little programs.

netytan
Jan 15, 2005, 02:32 PM
You could try Python, it can be used for both web stuff and desktop apps so its pretty versatile and it's a useful tool for writing helper scripts on various platforms :). It's wasn't my first language but it is my favorite for many reasons!

http://www.python.org/

Best of all, its free and there are plenty of articles and books around for you to read.

Enjoy,

Mark.

Wes
Jan 15, 2005, 02:36 PM
I wouldn't listen to jsw, he doesn't know his stuff. (Just kidding, he's actually the man).

I have very limited programming experience. PHP IS programming so you could just continue on in that way and learn PHP which can be very handy in websites and should give you a good OOP background. Java would work on Mac/Win so it could be a good place to start.

I don't think paying is an issue as most compilers are free for you to use.

A quick google search found me this:

http://www.perryland.com/Java9.shtml

Good luck and I'm sure more knowledgeable people will give you more specific advice when you decide which track to go down.

jsw
Jan 15, 2005, 02:54 PM
I wouldn't listen to jsw, he doesn't know his stuff. (Just kidding, he's actually the man).

I have very limited programming experience.
Wes put together a stunningly good Java app as a school project that was as good as many professional apps I've seen, so don't listen to him either when he claims to have "very limited" experience. ;)

I tend to favor Java because it includes - for free, as part of the language and its library - cross-platform GUI classes that enable you to make nice user interfaces without learning a lot of platform-specific stuff.

I think it's pretty easy to become fairly proficient at Java as compared to the learning curve for other languages.

Also, Java applets are far more powerful than JavaScript (which really has nothing to do with Java aside from sharing the same first four letters) for web work. That might tie into your web experience.

Finally, Java is a nice way to learn object-oriented programming, which is a buzzphrase but really just means writing programs which deal with things (objects) that have attributes, just like in the real world.

However, the important thing is that you find something you feel comfortable with. Odds are, as you explore various languages, one will just seem to 'click' and the others will seem a bit odd. If they all seem a bit odd, then maybe programming's not your bag. ;)

jadam
Jan 15, 2005, 03:02 PM
this is a great site

www.gamedev.net

Earendil
Jan 15, 2005, 03:06 PM
I don't know how old you are, but if you are HS and looking at possibly majoring in Computer Science, then it would be beneficial to learn the basics of C++ or Java, as those are the two languages that you are guaranteed to start with. You would have a jump start on any class (or even be able to skips lower level classes!) if you had knowledge of say C++.

On a similar note I'm taking Web Application Development right now, which starts with HTML, Dabbles in PHP, and then hits either ASP.NET or Macromedia Flash hard core. It's a great class, but I can tell you that the Prof uses www.w3schools.com EXTENSIVELY, and from what I've read, it's an incredible website, if not THE website for tutorials, information, and instruction. The HTML information alone is work bookmarking the site, but they also talk about many other web scripting languages like PHP and Python, so check that out for info.

Otherwise, remember this important rule of thumb as people respond to your posts and questions. There isn't a "The Programming Language". Many people know many languages, all will disagree about which is better, which is their favorite, ect ect. Some languages were written for very specific tasks, while others were written to be decent (but not the best) at many tasks. But it's not as if there is one thing you want to do, and only one language you can do it in. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of different languages, and see which one suits you and your goals best.

~Tyler

jsw
Jan 15, 2005, 03:24 PM
...I can tell you that the Prof uses www.w3schools.com EXTENSIVELY, and from what I've read, it's an incredible website, if not THE website for tutorials, information, and instruction. ...
Thanks so much for that link - I've done a ton of programming but am very new to web development. The site is awesome!

hugov
Jan 15, 2005, 05:14 PM
There isn't a "The Programming Language".

Yep, there is :) Python !! www.python.org

Its a really accessible language to beginners, with a very very clean understandable syntax, a large, powerful, and has convenient standard library (code/modules you can use for things like network access or graphics manipulations and so on).

Yet its not just a beginners language, lots of fairly big apps are written in it, like the Mac Bittorrent client and iPodder.

It was my first language, and I know program in Python, C, Java, OCaml, etc - even assembly when necessary.