Just starting out...

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by rogers4815, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. rogers4815 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    Éire
    #1
    I've wanted to learn a programming language for ages and I was just wondering what's the best language to start with? And are there any online tutorials for it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mongrol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    #2
    Phew what a question. There are literally thousands of languages and a good sized handful of very popular ones. It all depends what you want to write. Games, apps? Whether you want it to just run on Mac or not and whether you have previous experience of any type (it doesn't look like).

    To kick off with I suggest Python. It's a modern language thats easy to pick up and can do lots. Python 2.5 is already on your Mac.

    http://www.python.org/

    http://wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide
     
  3. rogers4815 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 27, 2008
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    Éire
    #3
    That's great! Thanks!

    I suppose that apps and games would make up the most of what i would want to do with programming but I'm also quite interested in maths based programmes too.
     
  4. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #4
    There is such a huge list to choose from. Do you have any idea what you want to do with it once you've learned it? If you're going for purely academic value, I'd go with haskell. For practicality, I'd say a good foundation in C is never a bad start. If you don't have longterm aspirations and just want to be able to "do" quickly, perl or python might be good choices.

    The more information you can give about your intentions, the better advice we give.

    -Lee

    Edit: After your last post, I'd say a C-style language will serve you best. Most games use C or C++ under the hood. Most OS X apps are Objective-C which is a proper superset of C. Python and Ruby both have Obj-C bridges so they can be used for OS X app development, too. For serious math programming, fortran 95 might be a good choice.
     
  5. rogers4815 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    OK! I'm only a school student and this would be to get a foundation in programming before moving onto college, where I intend to do computer science. So, for the long term!
     
  6. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

    Joined:
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    #6
    A lot of college programs use java as their lingua franca these days. That doesn't mean you need to know that, or shouldn't learn C. I think knowledge of C is critical for understanding, and a great foundation for learning other languages in the future.

    -Lee
     
  7. Davy.Shalom macrumors 6502

    Davy.Shalom

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    #7
    Well, if you want to do math based programs that have a simple GUI, go for java. Java is a great language, because it is compatible with most OSes, and it is really straightforward. Java is taught in almost every high school, and colleges as well. Do java first, then C++. Python is also great, but I think java is a bit more fun.
     
  8. rogers4815 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 27, 2008
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    Éire
  9. lazydog macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Location:
    Cramlington, UK
    #9
    I'm not sure how far your interest in maths goes, but there are some dedicated computer math programing languages/systems. If you do a search for computer algebraic systems/computer symbolic maths then you'll find a whole load of programs... some free and others commercial. If you go on to study a subject with a heavy maths part then you'll probably end up learning something like MathCAD, Maple or Mathematica. Each has its own programming language that integrates manipulation of equations symbolically, finding solutions numerically, plotting graphs and a heap of other things. These programs aren't free but they do have heavy educational discounts.
    b e n
     

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