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jc0481
Jun 23, 2007, 10:04 AM
I am going to school right now and my school's introduction to programming class introduces us to Visual Basic.net 2003. I have never dealt with programming before. I have only looked at html code and not played around with it. What is the best way to start read some dummies books, go to a beginning programming class in my local community? I am leaning more of going to my library and borrowing some books. Or are there free tutorials on the Internet that I could use? Any help would be appreciated.



Eraserhead
Jun 23, 2007, 11:01 AM
It doesn't really matter which language you learn first, Java is a popular one to learn, and you can use books like "Java for Dummies" or look online.

cube
Jun 23, 2007, 01:00 PM
It DOES matter which one you learn first because different languages support different concepts/paradigms/abstractions.

http://www.plt-scheme.org/software/drscheme/ Look at "Learning".

toddburch
Jun 23, 2007, 03:25 PM
Ever visited this site here: http://www.w3schools.com/ ?

Todd

janey
Jun 23, 2007, 03:28 PM
It doesn't really matter which language you learn first, Java is a popular one to learn, and you can use books like "Java for Dummies" or look online.
Actually, what i personally think is the best Java book is Thinking in Java by Eckel, and the current-1 version is available for free - http://www.mindview.net/Books/TIJ/

Dummies books are worthless (imo) and there are far better books out there if you just look around.

sonarghost
Jun 23, 2007, 03:33 PM
Ever visited this site here: http://www.w3schools.com/ ?

Todd

Thanks for the website Todd.. looks like some great stuff!

CoreWeb
Jun 23, 2007, 03:34 PM
Web programming might be an easy place to start, as it is easier to make things which look good (whether they are or aren't) quite quickly, thus giving quick gratification. Programming with C, C++, etc, are not so nice, as it is difficult to make anything but command line applications (but command line applications are quite useful!)

Visual Basic .NET is probably one of the easiest for creating applications with UI, but isn't very powerful. C# is harder to write code for, but otherwise similar to VB.NET.

Java is a relatively good language as it shares characteristics with several other languages, such as PHP, C++, C, C# (in fact, C# and Java are very very similar).

If you are completely new to programming... perhaps Visual Basic .NET would be best, because it allows you to create programs pretty much right out of the box. After you get a feel for programming, I'd suggest either PHP or Java. (Note: PHP is a web programming language)

PHP is a relatively easy language, but it takes a bit to set up, which is why I suggest VB.NET first.

janey
Jun 23, 2007, 03:40 PM
...as it is difficult to make anything but command line applications (but command line applications are quite useful!)
Oh please, command line apps are very useful. I use them all the time to do all sorts of things :D
And what's wrong with Swing or AWT or SWT (sorry for the java bias)?
If you are completely new to programming... perhaps Visual Basic .NET would be best, because it allows you to create programs pretty much right out of the box. After you get a feel for programming, I'd suggest either PHP or Java. (Note: PHP is a web programming language)
what's wrong with java servlets? it is radically more useful than php. but if there's a language that's pretty good for beginners, I'd probably say ruby - it's pretty simple and nice (and maybe something like http://poignantguide.net/ruby/ is a good starter...)

CoreWeb
Jun 23, 2007, 03:58 PM
Oh please, command line apps are very useful. I use them all the time to do all sorts of things :D
When I use C++, I primarily write command line applications. I have absolutely nothing against them, and prefer them to other kinds of programs. I was simply saying that they don't give so much of the pleasure of having made something as a GUI might to a beginner.

And what's wrong with Swing or AWT or SWT (sorry for the java bias)?

what's wrong with java servlets? it is radically more useful than php. but if there's a language that's pretty good for beginners, I'd probably say ruby - it's pretty simple and nice (and maybe something like http://poignantguide.net/ruby/ is a good starter...)

Don't get me started on PHP - it is my favorite language, and quite powerful.

I've never used AWT or Swing. I've written two Java programs (didn't complete either of them) but in both, I made a custom UI by calling drawing commands to draw all the interface. Why? Because I didn't like how Java UIs tended to look, and wanted to implement my own.

And, unfortunately, I've never used Ruby. I want to, however. I feel kind of tied down to PHP at the moment, though, as I created my own database system which sits atop MySQL, and this system is coded in PHP. It would be quite difficult to move this system to another language, even worse for one I was still learning. And, alas, I'm not willing to part with the system.

Eraserhead
Jun 23, 2007, 05:04 PM
When I use C++, I primarily write command line applications. I have absolutely nothing against them, and prefer them to other kinds of programs. I was simply saying that they don't give so much of the pleasure of having made something as a GUI might to a beginner.

But most GUI applications are much more difficult to make unless you use Interface Builder or a similar tool. You can still make a pretty good interface for a command line application.

iJed
Jun 24, 2007, 04:24 AM
If you are completely new to programming... perhaps Visual Basic .NET would be best, because it allows you to create programs pretty much right out of the box. After you get a feel for programming, I'd suggest either PHP or Java. (Note: PHP is a web programming language)

PHP is a relatively easy language, but it takes a bit to set up, which is why I suggest VB.NET first.

I would recommend almost anything over VB.NET. It doesn't just allow bad programming practises it actively encourages them.

The syntax of the language is horribly verbose and makes moving to a more modern syntax very difficult
VB automatically converts between types. I've seen VB developers using strings everywhere almost like variants!
It auto-globalises one instance of a form! This can then be called using ClassName.Method(). What happens when you have two or more instances of said form?
The default privileges of a control dragged onto a form is "Friend" which is equivalent of internal in C# or default in Java.
The VB libraries bring all sorts of horrible hangovers from VB6


Personally I'd recommend Python as a good starting language.

HiRez
Jun 24, 2007, 05:54 PM
I agree with CoreWeb in that, for me at least, being able to create something with a GUI gives a faster sense of accomplishment and just makes learning more fun. Certainly command-line apps are useful and necessary, but I got bored learning in that fashion. Likewise, choose topics that interest you. If an app that flips images is more fun for you than one that simulates banking transactions, then work on that. I think early on it's more important to stay interested in advancing than it is to take what might be the best logical path. If you grow bored with it early, you'll quit, so make it fun for yourself.