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Getting Started in Programming & Scripting

P: n/a
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA
Jul 23 '05 #1
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P: n/a
Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility
Flexibility will lead to the other two. Abject pursuit of hireability will
not bring happiness. You can't buy love (but you can often rent it).
The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.
Every language in that list, and in your list of newsgroups, sucks.

You need to learn to learn languages. Nobody should say "I'm a VB
programmer", like they would "I'm a Mormon" or "I'm a Vegan". Linguistic
monogamy is a dead end.

(Also, Java is no relation to JavaScript.)
Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?


You need to research two general categories: Open Source, and TDD. Get with
GNU, Linux, and SourceForge, download their projects, and futz with them.
See if you can get one to compile (an herculean effort), then tweak it to
add features. You will confront some of the toughest problems in
programming - both logical problems within the code, and logistic problems
deploying that code.

Next, observe that many projects typically don't have unit tests. The most
popular implementation technique today is debugging, and it is slow,
fragile, and the source of many bugs and delays. If you instead learn
Test-Driven Development, you can trade long hours of debugging for short
minutes writing tests. Many TDD projects simply never use the debugger, and
never need to. This will put you in the forefront of modern programming, and
boost your hireability.

--
Phlip
http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?ZeekLand
Jul 23 '05 #2

P: n/a
Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA

In order, personal preference:

Tcl/Tk (script language)
Perl (script language)
Visual Studio (VB, VC, J#)
Java

I started Tcl/Tk, because I needed an easy scripting language, that
would also do GUI interfaces. Then moved up to Perl, and integrated
that with the ktinit for Tcl/Tk, for more advanced, GUI scripts. Wrote
several applications, of various sizes and complexity in VB and .NET,
and now I'm working with Java, in concert with Oracle and MySql databases.

Your mileage of course may vary.
--
Dr. Karl E. Taylor
UNIX Systems Engineer / Oracle DBA
Jul 23 '05 #3

P: n/a
I'd recommend getting to grips with Java first. The design of the language
is very clean and you will not need to worry about pointer exceptions (no
pointers) or memory management (automatic garbage collection). Excellent
development environments such as Eclipse and NetBeans are also available for
Java.

C++, however, is very messy and has a much steeper learning curve owing to
its more complex facilities such as multiple inheritance; plus the hassle of
manual memory management and those pesky pointer exceptions.

Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean
designs and fully object-oriented. If you want to do scripting for web
sites, PHP is still a popular and perfectly acceptable choice.
Jul 23 '05 #4

P: n/a
Mick Sharpe wrote:
Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean
designs and fully object-oriented.


I'd like to second the suggestion for Ruby. It's really a fantastic
language, and the concepts map well to those in "grown-up" languages
like Java and C# well (at least superficially).
Jul 23 '05 #5

P: n/a
ben
Just pick any of them and half way down the learning you know how to learn
the others, literally.

ben
"Bibby" <bi***@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:KX*********************@news20.bellglobal.com ...
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA

Jul 23 '05 #6

P: n/a

"Bibby" <bi***@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:KX*********************@news20.bellglobal.com ...
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good way
to get started in general?


What sort of programming? You've said the equivalent of "I want to learn a
trade." Any idea what?
Consider these areas of the "programming world":

Animated Movies
Digital Signal Processing
Server Database Systems
Commercial Web Sites
Excel Macros
Artificial Intelligence
Anti-Spyware Programs
3D Internet Games
Server Management Tools
Device Drivers
Enterprise Resource Management
Streaming Video Players

Obviously there are many more. Which languages, platforms, and environments you
look into depends on what sort of programming you want to do.
Jul 23 '05 #7

P: n/a
Mick Sharpe wrote:
I'd recommend getting to grips with Java first. The design of the language
is very clean and you will not need to worry about pointer exceptions (no
pointers) or memory management (automatic garbage collection). Excellent
development environments such as Eclipse and NetBeans are also available for
Java.

C++, however, is very messy and has a much steeper learning curve owing to
its more complex facilities such as multiple inheritance; plus the hassle of
manual memory management and those pesky pointer exceptions.

Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean
designs and fully object-oriented. If you want to do scripting for web
sites, PHP is still a popular and perfectly acceptable choice.


I concur re C++ (ol C dog here) I use python and rebol for most web
programming. Rebol runs rings around python in terms of rebol code being
more productive than python code - but python has more libraries and a
larger user base that tends to thoroughly test the libraries and (from
my experience) scales better than rebol for large projects. Python is
very thoughtfully designed Object-wise. And there is a market for python
programmers, if you must seek employment.

But the main thing is to be adaptable. For instance, I use elisp to
customize my editor (emacs), use my editor to write rebol code that when
executed, produces python code, which when executed produces javascript
and mysql code.

My apologies to other "ol C dogs" - my unbiased opinion. Those header
files with object defs in them can be a real pain in the rear.

tim
Jul 23 '05 #8

P: n/a

"Mick Sharpe" <mi*********@btinternet.com> wrote

I'd recommend getting to grips with Java first. The design of the language
is very clean and you will not need to worry about pointer exceptions (no
pointers) or memory management (automatic garbage collection). Excellent
development environments such as Eclipse and NetBeans are also available
for
Java.

Java is a good choice for first language.
Really it comes down to the question of whether pointers or object
orientation is more confusing for the beginner. My own view is that even
experienced programmers often get into a mess trying to do object-oriented
design, and effecive use of objects cannot be taught in a few days.
Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but only if the
beginner has the right mindset.

The other advantage of Java is that the GUI is standard. Whilst basically a
good thing, this does have the disadvantage from the learner's point of view
that it is easy to get too ambitious too soon.

So my recommendation would be C. However I'm posting from comp.lang.c
Jul 23 '05 #9

P: n/a
In article <d6**********@nwrdmz02.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com>, Malcolm
<re*******@btinternet.com> writes
Java is a good choice for first language.


Maybe, but my feeling is that it gets less so with every release. 'Java
in a Nutshell' 5th edition has over 1200 pages.

The second problem I have with Java as a first language is that it
heavily constrains the choice of programming paradigms. Such restriction
often results in difficulties with learning other languages. Quick,
visually attractive toy programs may give the student a sense of
achievement (actually that is important) but it can act as a hindrance
to long term progress.
--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
Jul 23 '05 #10

P: n/a
In article <42**********************@news.optusnet.com.au>, ben
<be******@hotmail.com> writes
Just pick any of them and half way down the learning you know how to learn
the others, literally.


I wish it were that simple. A great deal of bad C has been written by
those who learnt Pascal as their first language. There is a lot to be
said for NOT protecting students from the consequences of lack of
understanding.

--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
Jul 23 '05 #11

P: n/a
Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Java, C#.NET, Internet languages (ASP, PHP, JavaScript, ...), XML
Portability
why do you care?
Flexibility
C (the lingua franca of the programming world) and C++
The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good way to get started in general?


JavaScript seems to be an ideal beginner language. Virtually everyone
has a JS 'IDE' (notepad) and a JS interpreter (browser) installed.
Combined with HTML as your GUI you can learn to program 'Internet
applications' in very short time.

R.C.

Jul 23 '05 #12

P: n/a
Chris Dutton wrote:
Mick Sharpe wrote:

Python and Ruby are two modern scripting languages, again with very clean designs and fully object-oriented.


I'd like to second the suggestion for Ruby. It's really a fantastic
language, and the concepts map well to those in "grown-up" languages
like Java and C# well (at least superficially).


No way. Ruby will spoil you, and make returning to those languages
miserable.

--
Phlip
http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?ZeekLand

Jul 23 '05 #13

P: n/a
"Rapscallion" <ra********@spambob.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g49g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've

dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my

attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability


Java, C#.NET, Internet languages (ASP, PHP, JavaScript, ...), XML


In California, at least, .NET is the way to go. I typically see at least
10-15 .NET jobs listed for each PHP job I see. They're pretty evenly split
between C# and VB - I really haven't seen any call for J# locally. (I'm
talking Los Angeles / Orange County, BTW)

..NET also pays better, overall.

JavaScript is good to add to any of the server-side languages - generally
good to know.

Jul 23 '05 #14

P: n/a
Tony wrote:
In California, at least, .NET is the way to go. I typically see at least 10-15 .NET jobs listed for each PHP job I see. They're pretty evenly split between C# and VB - I really haven't seen any call for J# locally. (I'm talking Los Angeles / Orange County, BTW)

.NET also pays better, overall.


Can a typical MFC programmer apply for a .NET job or is s/he considered
unqualified?

Jul 23 '05 #15

P: n/a
On Sat, 21 May 2005, Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA


As one who has nevery done any web programming, I can speak as only a hard core
unix programmer. Learning just language should NEVER be your goal.
A person I workd for for @ 17 years, told me "When you don't know where to
start, just start until you figure out where you need to start".

So if you interested in programming in one of the languages above, flip a coin?
___ _ ____ ___ __ __
/ _ )(_) / /_ __ / _ \___ _/ /_/ /____ ___
/ _ / / / / // / / ___/ _ `/ __/ __/ _ \/ _ \
/____/_/_/_/\_, / /_/ \_,_/\__/\__/\___/_//_/
/___/
Texas Instruments ASIC Circuit Design Methodology Group
Dallas, Texas, 214-480-4455, b-******@ti.com
Jul 23 '05 #16

P: n/a
My recommendation would be:

Stop crossposting to every group in creation. Please.

Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA


Jul 23 '05 #17

P: n/a
Hey Guys, I really appreciate everyones input - it's really helping me out.
I haven't fully decided where to go yet but I'm leaning towards Javascript
and VB (just for starters). You'll, hopefully be hearing more from me on my
journey and I can't wait for the day when I'll have some helpful advice for
another newbie.

Great community.

PA

"Scott Moore" <sa************@Sun.COM> wrote in message
news:d6**********@news1nwk.SFbay.Sun.COM...
My recommendation would be:

Stop crossposting to every group in creation. Please.

Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've
dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention
to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA

Jul 23 '05 #18

P: n/a
What would be your suggestion then, if not Java? Which starting language
would serve a newbie well on a quest to master many?

PA
"Francis Glassborow" <fr*****@robinton.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:Vz**************@robinton.demon.co.uk...
In article <d6**********@nwrdmz02.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com>, Malcolm
<re*******@btinternet.com> writes
Java is a good choice for first language.


Maybe, but my feeling is that it gets less so with every release. 'Java in
a Nutshell' 5th edition has over 1200 pages.

The second problem I have with Java as a first language is that it heavily
constrains the choice of programming paradigms. Such restriction often
results in difficulties with learning other languages. Quick, visually
attractive toy programs may give the student a sense of achievement
(actually that is important) but it can act as a hindrance to long term
progress.
--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions:
http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects

Jul 23 '05 #19

P: n/a
No offence intended (crossposting), just needed input from varying
backgrounds - it's proven really helpful.

PA

"Scott Moore" <sa************@Sun.COM> wrote in message
news:d6**********@news1nwk.SFbay.Sun.COM...
My recommendation would be:

Stop crossposting to every group in creation. Please.

Bibby wrote:
Hi, I'm interested in getting started in the programming world. I've
dabbled
in C, C++ and VB6. Which would be the best language to focus my attention
to
regarding the following considerations:

Hireability
Portability
Flexibility

The likely candidates seem to be Java, VB.Net, C, C++, C#.

Also, what would be the best scripting language to get started in? Maybe
something that's a subset of an above language? Maybe scripting is a good
way to get started in general?

Thanks,

PA

Jul 23 '05 #20

P: n/a
"Rapscallion" <ra********@spambob.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g43g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
Tony wrote:
In California, at least, .NET is the way to go. I typically see at

least
10-15 .NET jobs listed for each PHP job I see. They're pretty evenly

split
between C# and VB - I really haven't seen any call for J# locally.

(I'm
talking Los Angeles / Orange County, BTW)

.NET also pays better, overall.


Can a typical MFC programmer apply for a .NET job or is s/he considered
unqualified?


I wouldn't know, given that even with a certificate in VB.NET I appear
unqualified for such jobs as well...

Maybe if I could afford the official Microsoft one. :(
Jul 23 '05 #21

P: n/a

"Bibby" <bi***@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Gh*******************@news20.bellglobal.com.. .
Hey Guys, I really appreciate everyones input - it's really helping me out. I haven't fully decided where to go yet but I'm leaning towards Javascript
and VB (just for starters). You'll, hopefully be hearing more from me on my journey and I can't wait for the day when I'll have some helpful advice for another newbie.

Great community.

PA


Those 2 languages, JavaScript and VB, are the only 2 i would discourage a
newbie to delve into. Specially VB, which in my opinion is not a language
but a mind-corrupting scripting system.

Jul 23 '05 #22

P: n/a
Phlip wrote:
Chris Dutton wrote:
I'd like to second the suggestion for Ruby. It's really a fantastic
language, and the concepts map well to those in "grown-up" languages
like Java and C# well (at least superficially).

No way. Ruby will spoil you, and make returning to those languages
miserable.


Well, yes. :-)

Of course, the other way to look at it is that it'll make you appreciate
programming for fun in Ruby all the more. Also, you might be getting
paid by the hour, in which case using Java or C# or such isn't a bad thing.
Jul 23 '05 #23

P: n/a
"Bibby" <bi***@hotmail.com> writes:
What would be your suggestion then, if not Java? Which starting language
would serve a newbie well on a quest to master many?

I'm going to be radical here... Lisp. In terms of the syntax it is
about as simple as you can get. But in terms of the power it gives
you you won't find anything better. Check out "guile" the GNU scheme
implementation.

Concentrate on concepts of recurssion and closure and the like. Its a
great language. Though I will admit I do most of my work in
javascript and php.

--Zach

PA
"Francis Glassborow" <fr*****@robinton.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:Vz**************@robinton.demon.co.uk...
In article <d6**********@nwrdmz02.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com>, Malcolm
<re*******@btinternet.com> writes
Java is a good choice for first language.


Maybe, but my feeling is that it gets less so with every release. 'Java in
a Nutshell' 5th edition has over 1200 pages.

The second problem I have with Java as a first language is that it heavily
constrains the choice of programming paradigms. Such restriction often
results in difficulties with learning other languages. Quick, visually
attractive toy programs may give the student a sense of achievement
(actually that is important) but it can act as a hindrance to long term
progress.
--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions:
http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects

Jul 23 '05 #24

P: n/a
In article <m2************@crookshanks.local>, Zachary Kessin
<zk*****@cs.brandeis.edu> writes
"Bibby" <bi***@hotmail.com> writes:
What would be your suggestion then, if not Java? Which starting language
would serve a newbie well on a quest to master many?


I'm going to be radical here... Lisp. In terms of the syntax it is
about as simple as you can get. But in terms of the power it gives
you you won't find anything better. Check out "guile" the GNU scheme
implementation.

The problem is not that it isn't a great language but that there are
pitiful good teachers of it. Most think procedurally and then try to
translate that into Lisp. The result is rather worse than Japanese
English (and I mean no insult to the Japanese, their English is a heck
of a sight better than my Japanese, but then the average Lisp
programmer's use of a procedural language is ...)

--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
Jul 23 '05 #25

P: n/a
> I wish it were that simple. A great deal of bad C has been
written by those who learnt Pascal as their first language.


IMHO all that proves is that if you can write bad Pascal then
you can also write bad C.

Jussi Jumppanen
Author of: Zeus for Windows, Win32 (Brief, WordStar, Emacs) Text Editor
"The C/C++, Java, Pacal, Cobol, Fortran programmers text editor"
Home Page: http://www.zeusedit.com
Sep 12 '05 #26

P: n/a
Malcolm wrote:
Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.


Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?

Like it or CPU's works with memory which means working with
pointers, any when things go wrong it will usually means a
pointer has gone astray.

So like it or not I think a basic understanding of pointers
is essential when it comes to programming.

Jussi Jumppanen
Author of: Zeus for Windows, Win32 (Brief, WordStar, Emacs) Text Editor
"The C/C++, Java, Pacal, Cobol, Fortran programmers text editor"
Home Page: http://www.zeusedit.com
Sep 12 '05 #27

P: n/a
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.


Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.

V
Sep 12 '05 #28

P: n/a
>> Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.


Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


Yes. For example, FORTRAN 77 had no pointers. It also had no
structures, which often resulted in "parallel arrays" where what C
would call structure[i].member ended up being written as member(i),
member2(i), member3(i), etc. You could even sorta do "linked lists"
(where the array subscript substituted for a pointer). And you
could screw up with out-of-range subscripts almost as badly as with
pointers.
Gordon L. Burditt
Sep 12 '05 #29

P: n/a
Victor Bazarov said:
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:

Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?
Most certainly, in some languages.


VS/BASIC certainly had no pointer concept. Some BASICs do, and others don't.
IIRC, Java has no pointers.


Imagine a blanket laid loosely on a quiverful of arrows. Look ma, no
pointers - but sit down *very* carefully...

--
Richard Heathfield
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29/7/2005
http://www.cpax.org.uk
email: rjh at above domain
Sep 12 '05 #30

P: n/a
"Victor Bazarov" <v.********@comAcast.net> wrote:
Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.


Hiding pointers can have its own problems.

(Discussing C# code with a programmer unfamilar with C#.)

MyClass x = myCollection.findAnObject("foo");
x.bar = "blip";

"Don't you have to put x back into the collection after you modify it?"
"No, x is a reference. Its pointing to the same object inside the
collection."

Bill, not the actual Bill, just a reference. He's over there.

--
http://billpg.me.uk/ usenet(at)billpg(dot)me(dot)uk
Sep 12 '05 #31

P: n/a
In article <43***********@zeusedit.com>, Jussi Jumppanen
<ju****@zeusedit.com> writes
Malcolm wrote:
Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.


Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


To the best of my knowledge Cobol has no pointers and Cobol programmers
have no need of the concept (indeed many of them find the idea of a
pointer quite bizarre)
--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
Sep 12 '05 #32

P: n/a
In article <IM********************@comcast.com>, Victor Bazarov
<v.********@comAcast.net> writes
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.


Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.


Well actually it does (it just calls them references)
--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
Sep 12 '05 #33

P: n/a
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.
Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


Yes. Several programming languages have no concept of pointer that's
visible to the programmer. For example Lisp, Java and Perl have no
pointers. Perl has references which refer, somehow, to another perl
object - effectively equivalent to a pointer.

Lisp's don't have pointers per se. Each name in a lisp program and
almost everything else is "bound" to a piece of data of some type, and
can be freely rebound. Some of these data types can store sequences of
values. So, altogether there is no need for visible pointers.

(There are naturally tons of pointers in actual implementation, but
they're invisible to the programmer).
Like it or CPU's works with memory which means working with
pointers, any when things go wrong it will usually means a
pointer has gone astray.
Often yes, but not always, and not in languages where they can't go
astray. There remain plenty of things to go wrong without them though.
So like it or not I think a basic understanding of pointers
is essential when it comes to programming.


Yes, because it's how real machines work.

Sep 12 '05 #34

P: n/a
Francis Glassborow wrote:
In article <IM********************@comcast.com>, Victor Bazarov
<v.********@comAcast.net> writes
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.

Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.


Well actually it does (it just calls them references)


I didn't know it called them anything other than "objects"...
Sep 13 '05 #35

P: n/a
Victor Bazarov wrote:
Francis Glassborow wrote:
In article <IM********************@comcast.com>, Victor Bazarov
<v.********@comAcast.net> writes
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:

Malcolm wrote:
>Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
>only if the beginner has the right mindset.

Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?

Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.


Well actually it does (it just calls them references)

I didn't know it called them anything other than "objects"...


According to the Java Language Specification, it has objects and
references, and non-null references are pointers to objects:

"4.3.1 Objects
An object is a class instance or an array.

The reference values (often just references) are pointers to these
objects, and a special null reference, which refers to no object."

[http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/s...oc.html#12028]

Patricia
Sep 13 '05 #36

P: n/a
"Victor Bazarov" <v.********@comAcast.net> writes:
Francis Glassborow wrote:
In article <IM********************@comcast.com>, Victor Bazarov
<v.********@comAcast.net> writes
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

> Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
> only if the beginner has the right mindset.

Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?

Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.


Well actually it does (it just calls them references)


I didn't know it called them anything other than "objects"...


It's remarkable, given the number of newsgroup to which this
discussion is inappropriately cross-posted, that Java isn't topical in
*any* of them.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) ks***@mib.org <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.
Sep 13 '05 #37

P: n/a
In article <r6**************@robinton.demon.co.uk>,
Francis Glassborow <fr*****@robinton.demon.co.uk> wrote:
Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.
Well actually it does (it just calls them references)


It doesn't *just* call them references. It strongly restricts what
you can do with them. C pointers have an important feature that makes
them very different from the references that Java and most other
languages have: they let the programmer perform address-like
arithmetic on them. You can't use a Java reference to step through an
array, or take the difference between two references.

(Not to mention the unportable but almost universal ability to
convert them to and from integers.)

-- Richard
Sep 13 '05 #38

P: n/a
In comp.lang.c Francis Glassborow <fr*****@robinton.demon.co.uk> wrote:
To the best of my knowledge Cobol has no pointers and Cobol programmers
have no need of the concept (indeed many of them find the idea of a
pointer quite bizarre)


I think the idea of a Cobol programmer is quite bizarre :-)

--
Christopher Benson-Manica | I *should* know what I'm talking about - if I
ataru(at)cyberspace.org | don't, I need to know. Flames welcome.
Sep 13 '05 #39

P: n/a
On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 12:52:13 +0000 (UTC), Christopher Benson-Manica
<at***@nospam.cyberspace.org> wrote:
In comp.lang.c Francis Glassborow <fr*****@robinton.demon.co.uk> wrote:
To the best of my knowledge Cobol has no pointers and Cobol programmers
have no need of the concept (indeed many of them find the idea of a
pointer quite bizarre)


I think the idea of a Cobol programmer is quite bizarre :-)

--
Christopher Benson-Manica | I *should* know what I'm talking about - if I
ataru(at)cyberspace.org | don't, I need to know. Flames welcome.


Just shows that you know nothing about COBOL
- I was surprized to find out what a full instruction set it had

I do not consider the use of SQL to be programming
Sep 14 '05 #40

P: n/a
J French wrote:
On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 12:52:13 +0000 (UTC), Christopher Benson-Manica
I think the idea of a Cobol programmer is quite bizarre :-)

Just shows that you know nothing about COBOL


Did you not see the smiley?
Sep 14 '05 #41

P: n/a
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.

Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


Yes. Pointers did not even appear in high-level languages until the
mid-60's, except to the extent that they are implied in LISP. A good
many COBOL-turned-to-PL/I programmers don't even know anything to do
with pointers except to subvert the type system.

Even as late as the mid-80's, the designers of Ada felt the need to
justify including pointers in the language, experiences with PL/I and
ALGOL 68 having been bad. (PL/I has been improved since then.)
--
John W. Kennedy
Read the remains of Shakespeare's lost play, now annotated!
http://pws.prserv.net/jwkennedy/Doub...ood/index.html
Sep 14 '05 #42

P: n/a
Francis Glassborow wrote:
In article <43***********@zeusedit.com>, Jussi Jumppanen
<ju****@zeusedit.com> writes
Malcolm wrote:
Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.

Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?

To the best of my knowledge Cobol has no pointers and Cobol programmers
have no need of the concept (indeed many of them find the idea of a
pointer quite bizarre)


Well, IBM mainframe COBOL has long included some semi-documented pointer
functions intended for use with CICS.

COBOL 2003 includes OO, and, consequently, references.

--
John W. Kennedy
"Information is light. Information, in itself, about anything, is light."
-- Tom Stoppard. "Night and Day"
Sep 14 '05 #43

P: n/a
In article <9T**************@robinton.demon.co.uk>, Francis Glassborow
<fr*****@robinton.demon.co.uk> writes
In article <42**********************@news.optusnet.com.au>, ben
<be******@hotmail.com> writes
Just pick any of them and half way down the learning you know how to learn
the others, literally.


I wish it were that simple. A great deal of bad C has been written by
those who learnt Pascal as their first language. There is a lot to be
said for NOT protecting students from the consequences of lack of
understanding.


But as Pascal is a "safe" language you can't write bad Pascal.... the
compiler won't let you :-)

There are still far to many people who think that with some languages if
it compiler it must be "good".

I agree that protecting students with a "safe" language makes matters a
lot worse as they rely on the compiler for error checking and safety.

--
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
\/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
/\/\/ ch***@phaedsys.org www.phaedsys.org \/\/\
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Sep 15 '05 #44

P: n/a
In article <V6*****************@fe10.lga>, John W. Kennedy
<jw*****@attglobal.net> writes
Francis Glassborow wrote:
In article <43***********@zeusedit.com>, Jussi Jumppanen
<ju****@zeusedit.com> writes
Malcolm wrote:

Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
only if the beginner has the right mindset.
Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?

To the best of my knowledge Cobol has no pointers and Cobol programmers
have no need of the concept (indeed many of them find the idea of a
pointer quite bizarre)


Well, IBM mainframe COBOL has long included some semi-documented pointer
functions intended for use with CICS.

COBOL 2003 includes OO, and, consequently, references.


I recall seeing OO Cobol around 1995 though I don't know if it had
pointers/references then.

--
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
\/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
/\/\/ ch***@phaedsys.org www.phaedsys.org \/\/\
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Sep 15 '05 #45

P: n/a
On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 14:10:10 GMT, red floyd <no*****@here.dude> wrote:
J French wrote:
On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 12:52:13 +0000 (UTC), Christopher Benson-Manica
I think the idea of a Cobol programmer is quite bizarre :-)

Just shows that you know nothing about COBOL

Did you not see the smiley?


No - I missed it
- I apologize to Christopher Benson-Manica
Sep 15 '05 #46

P: n/a
On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 08:16:25 +0100, Chris Hills <ch***@phaedsys.org>
wrote:
In article <9T**************@robinton.demon.co.uk>, Francis Glassborow
<fr*****@robinton.demon.co.uk> writes
In article <42**********************@news.optusnet.com.au>, ben
<be******@hotmail.com> writes
Just pick any of them and half way down the learning you know how to learn
the others, literally.
I wish it were that simple. A great deal of bad C has been written by
those who learnt Pascal as their first language. There is a lot to be
said for NOT protecting students from the consequences of lack of
understanding.

But as Pascal is a "safe" language you can't write bad Pascal.... the
compiler won't let you :-) There are still far to many people who think that with some languages if
it compiler it must be "good".
You mean if the code compiles it must be good ?
I agree that protecting students with a "safe" language makes matters a
lot worse as they rely on the compiler for error checking and safety.


So you drive a car with dodgy brakes, no airbags and no seat belts ?

There is a lot to be said for strong type checking, it shows up stupid
errors rapidly

Gawd, I remember having to write my own call parameter checking
utility
Sep 15 '05 #47

P: n/a
Chris Hills said:
In article <V6*****************@fe10.lga>, John W. Kennedy
<jw*****@attglobal.net> writes

COBOL 2003 includes OO, and, consequently, references.


I recall seeing OO Cobol around 1995 though I don't know if it had
pointers/references then.


It's time for the post-increment joke again, if someone would be so kind.

--
Richard Heathfield
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29/7/2005
http://www.cpax.org.uk
email: rjh at above domain
Sep 15 '05 #48

P: n/a
In comp.lang.c J French <er*****@nowhere.uk> wrote:
There is a lot to be said for strong type checking, it shows up stupid
errors rapidly


It catches type errors at compile time (for compiled languages), but
it can also be a hinderance at times. I have taken advantage of the
lax typing of JavaScript many times.

--
Christopher Benson-Manica | I *should* know what I'm talking about - if I
ataru(at)cyberspace.org | don't, I need to know. Flames welcome.
Sep 15 '05 #49

P: n/a
In article <43*************@news.btopenworld.com>, J French
<er*****@nowhere.uk> writes
On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 08:16:25 +0100, Chris Hills <ch***@phaedsys.org>
wrote:
In article <9T**************@robinton.demon.co.uk>, Francis Glassborow
<fr*****@robinton.demon.co.uk> writes
In article <42**********************@news.optusnet.com.au>, ben
<be******@hotmail.com> writes
Just pick any of them and half way down the learning you know how to learn
the others, literally.

I wish it were that simple. A great deal of bad C has been written by
those who learnt Pascal as their first language. There is a lot to be
said for NOT protecting students from the consequences of lack of
understanding.
But as Pascal is a "safe" language you can't write bad Pascal.... the
compiler won't let you :-)

There are still far to many people who think that with some languages if
it compiler it must be "good".


You mean if the code compiles it must be good ?
I agree that protecting students with a "safe" language makes matters a
lot worse as they rely on the compiler for error checking and safety.


So you drive a car with dodgy brakes, no airbags and no seat belts ?


Not the same thing at all. Also in many cases you turn OFF the airbags
and don't use seat belts. Though you always want working breaks.
There is a lot to be said for strong type checking, it shows up stupid
errors rapidly


Agreed. I use PC-lint
--
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
\/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
/\/\/ ch***@phaedsys.org www.phaedsys.org \/\/\
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Sep 15 '05 #50

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