[Wolves] Programming

David Goodwin david at openminds.co.uk
Mon Dec 15 10:52:14 GMT 2003

On Sun, 2003-12-14 at 23:07, bambam at opendildonics.org wrote:

> 2) Quick to learn
> C/C++ take frikin' ages to learn if you've never coded
> before, and everything you write for the next 4 years (if
> you're lucky) I (or other dodgy geezers about) will be able
> to use to take over your machine. Which brings me onto my
> next point:

Having said that, I must point out that one of the best programming
books I have ever read was ABC (A Book on C). I've no idea who the
author was now, but I'm sure it is easy to find. I enjoyed reading it
(while on the train many times three years ago), and did understand C by
the end of it. Unfortunately I never used my new knowledge and reverted
to Java and Shell scripting, so can no longer remember what pointers etc

> 3) Easy to keep bug-free.
> Bugs and C/C++ go together like bonnie and clyde, like butch
> casady and the sundance kid. Coding in C/C++ is the digital
> equivalent of flying a jet fighter with no intruments and no
> onboard computer. High level languages sort all the
> crazyness out for you and basically fly the plane - you just
> sit there and dictate where it needs to go.

Higher level languages still encounter bugs, and as a beginner you
really need to understand things like Arrays, Lists, Hash tables,
Objects, Inheritance etc.... regardless of what language 

> 4) Demonstrate (and indeed enforce) good programming style,
> structure, layout and techniques.
> C/C++ do none of that, neither does perl, but python does it
> all.

I'm not necessarily sure that a programming language can enforce any of
the above personally. Reading the right books, having a mentor and the
ability to accept constructive criticism are good starting points.

> 6) Allow cross platform use.
> Python code is truly cross-platform.

So is Java, Perl and numerous other languages.

> Python is the best language to learn to code in first. It is
> a fast developing, clear, ninja language, that will glue
> everything you do after learning it together; both in your
> head and sometimes in the code. It is an awesome tool to be
> able to pull out of your hat.

Perhaps after Kat learns Python I will give it a go, until then I will
remain unconvinced that any language can be that good.


Technical Consultant
Open Minds High Availability Solutions
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