Easiest language to learn

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70 Replies - 4082 Views - Last Post: 29 June 2013 - 02:51 PM

#46 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:27 PM

View Postcfoley, on 22 June 2013 - 04:06 PM, said:

Quote

Maybe we could have a reasonable and intelligent debate about this


I take issue with that quote from Dijkstra, possibly because BASIC (with line numbers) was my first language. While BASIC did not teach me much about structuring my code, it was a vehicle for me to solve a lot of problems for a number of years. I didn't find that it hindered me in my studies either. Programming classes have always been easier for me than other subjects.

The quote itself seems intrinsically ignorant, which is quite surprising for someone of Dijkstra's intellectual stature. I hope it has been taken terribly out of context (do you have a link to the full text?)



The quote was part of a debate on structured programming. Yes, he overstated his case. No, he was not ignorant, any more than Joel Spolsky was ignorant to accuse "java schools" of weakening computer science education. They were both wrong in important ways, but they were both putting their finger on something worth thinking about, and that is the way computer scientists are trained from the early days and how that affects their thinking about programming later on.

Dijkstra's contention was uttered in opposition to a movement to use BASIC as an introductory language for students - he wanted students to learn good programming habits and good thinking habits from the start, so he wouldn't have to correct those habits later.

I think he was probably right, and the world seems to have agreed, in that BASIC is pretty much dead. I personally would never teach a student BASIC today - of any flavor, including the ghastly abominations Microsoft is still keeping on the respirator, and certainly not the line-numbered crap that I used on the DEC Rainbow and the Apple ][. In the '80s, that was what we had and we worked with it. It's not the '80s now, life's too short to make someone else live your nostalgia. Move on. Let it go.


EDIT: If you want to review EWD's writing, here's an archive of his short work

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 23 June 2013 - 08:47 PM

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#47 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 23 June 2013 - 11:20 PM

View Postbaavgai, on 21 June 2013 - 06:00 PM, said:

First, there are no modern dialects of BASIC. There are a series of languages that used BASIC in the name, but they all fundamentally diverged from the simple, unstructured, line numbered beast.


sounds like semantics to me.

languages based on existing languages are often called dialects. you may prefer a different word, but thats just semantics... boo hoo.

yes our major contemporary dialect of basic (vb.net) has diverged so much that it is a whole new beast. but that was my point...

there are others as well that stay close to it roots. i use 4 versions for my job... yes one is vb.net.



(note - on my cellphone and only now noticed that post)

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 23 June 2013 - 11:25 PM

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#48 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 23 June 2013 - 11:24 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 24 June 2013 - 04:11 AM, said:

goto A_HAM_SANDWICH

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 24 June 2013 - 04:11 AM, said:

In the second example, you have absolutely no idea, a priori, where you're going to land. At absolute best, the programmer might be both responsible and reliable, and, in meaning to do the right things and successfully doing what they meant, they have not launched you into some random string of code somewhwere. So at best you get to hope that you end up with what the first example guarantees you.


In vb.net and c# it is restricted to be within the same method. You can not jump to another label outside of the method, or jump to another label inside another method. It should be consider that in the time of the the processing power and execution has in the order of kilobytes and Megahertz, and not the Gigabyte and Gigahertz supercomputers we carry around in our phones.

The languages had to be fairly simple grammars to parse and to interpret. In RiscOS (a 32 bit OS) for Acorn Machines, the BBC BASIC (include an a Assembly Language) was only ~61Kb in size, small enough to fit inside the on die memory cache of the processor. So was incredibly fast (comparable to machines available at the time).

This post has been edited by AdamSpeight2008: 23 June 2013 - 11:25 PM

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#49 vks.gautam1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 23 June 2013 - 11:39 PM

i feel most of our senior programmers used to critisize VB.NET OR VB more than any other language. lol i feel am i learning bad programming pracitses in starting of my career.
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#50 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 04:41 AM

We criticize VB6 because it's dead and should rest in peace. BASIC, an unrelated language, is truly dead. I mentioned it not because it's good, but because it's simple, which is something we've lost.

VB.NET is... special. It was supposed to make VB6 programmers feel all warm and fuzzy. It's kind of a bait and switch, like .NET in drag. It has little to do with the then beloved VB. Microsoft never really seemed to like VB and they seemed horrified when people started doing real work in it. VB.NET is their rather draconian answer to that.

VB.NET isn't bad and it isn't the BASIC we're talking about. However, in an attempt to keep followers of languages descended from BASIC happy, the syntax is unique. Some love that syntax, some hate it. Most professional programmers work in something more closely related to C syntax, so VB will always appear, um, special.

This post has been edited by baavgai: 24 June 2013 - 04:42 AM

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#51 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 05:30 AM

View Postvks.gautam1, on 24 June 2013 - 06:39 AM, said:

i feel most of our senior programmers used to critisize VB.NET OR VB more than any other language. lol i feel am i learning bad programming pracitses in starting of my career.

I like VB.NET :) it's, um, special. If you are learning from it, making progress, enjoying it even(?), then there is no reason to abandon it IMO. You will learn all the fundamentals that are necessary for any language. You can even post questions here @DIC :bigsmile:

Once you've learnt the fundamentals then, if you are swayed by other voices here, it won't be too difficult if you wish to switch to, say, C#; you will already be very comfortable with Visual Studio and the .NET Framework.

BTW There are plenty of people who make a living with VB.NET. Googling "vb.net jobs" gives 14,200,000 results. (Strangely, Googling "c# jobs" gives precisely the same number of results.) But you only need 1 of these jobs ;)

Besides, professional programmers these days need to be comfortable with more than one language.

Here is an interesting link at SO, "what's so bad about VB.NET".

BTW Javascript is a favourite language of mine, and it is second only to VB.NET in how often it is denigrated. Doesn't bother me, it can do some amazing things :)

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 24 June 2013 - 05:22 AM

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#52 vks.gautam1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 05:36 AM

That is really motivating to read at last :scooter:/> and at last found one fan of vb.net too lol :donatello:

This post has been edited by vks.gautam1: 24 June 2013 - 05:47 AM

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#53 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:03 AM

There are other fans here I'm sure, but they tend to keep a low profile :wink:. For example, there are more VB.NET tutorials than C#. (If people didn't like VB.NET so much then they wouldn't have gone to the trouble to write tutorials.)

Good luck!

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 24 June 2013 - 06:06 AM

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#54 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:57 AM

View Postandrewsw, on 24 June 2013 - 07:30 AM, said:

BTW Javascript is a favourite language of mine, and it is second only to VB.NET in how often it is denigrated. Doesn't bother me, it can do some amazing things :)/>



Yes, it can. Some of them are truly horrifying, but yes, it can. :)
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#55 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 07:07 AM

Amazing Javascript experiments

Beyond JS

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 24 June 2013 - 07:10 AM

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#56 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 07:11 AM

Since there's been some talk about gotos here, I just want to drop in a link to The Story of Mel. Just 'cause I love this story. http://www.catb.org/...ory-of-mel.html
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#57 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 07:11 AM

[edit to add quote as multiple posts were made before I hit send]

View Postvks.gautam1, on 24 June 2013 - 07:36 AM, said:

That is really motivating to read at last :scooter:/>/> and at last found one fan of vb.net too lol :donatello:/>



This thread alone have fans of it.

Adamspeight and I both use it on a daily basis and espouse our respect for it (and have in this thread).

I come from a C-like background, and I used to have horrible opinions of VB, but have grown to really enjoy it (I still prefer c-like languages). It's "special" like others have said, but notice how they say it...

Quote

Most professional programmers work in something more closely related to C syntax, so VB will always appear, um, special.


It appears 'special' seems to equate to 'foreign'.

As if we VB users are barbarians speaking 'bar bar bar' all the time. Don't let the Athenians get you down!

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 24 June 2013 - 07:13 AM

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#58 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 04:50 PM

View Postandrewsw, on 24 June 2013 - 02:03 PM, said:

There are other fans here I'm sure, but they tend to keep a low profile :wink:/>/>. For example, there are more VB.NET tutorials than C#. (If people didn't like VB.NET so much then they wouldn't have gone to the trouble to write tutorials.)

Good luck!


It wasn't always the case, which is the reason you'll find a lot of the vb.net tutorals written by me.

This post has been edited by AdamSpeight2008: 24 June 2013 - 04:51 PM

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#59 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 05:25 PM

View PostAdamSpeight2008, on 24 June 2013 - 11:50 PM, said:

It always the case, which is the reason you'll find a lot of the vb.net tutorals written by me.

Wow. Sterling work :bananaman:
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#60 vks.gautam1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Easiest language to learn

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:17 PM

View Postandrewsw, on 24 June 2013 - 06:03 AM, said:

There are other fans here I'm sure, but they tend to keep a low profile :wink:/>. For example, there are more VB.NET tutorials than C#. (If people didn't like VB.NET so much then they wouldn't have gone to the trouble to write tutorials.)

Good luck!

Yes now it's going good . :red_indian: Story of mel is quiter intersting. Vb.net tuturials are so cool..hope so one day i will also contribute in this section too :sweatdrop:
Andrew u looks like from Tasmania lol :taz: :^:
i love to read non programming section too. lighter sides of programmer :clap:
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