View Poll Results: Which language is better for a beginner to learn?

Voters
27. You may not vote on this poll
  • Pascal

    14 51.85%
  • C

    13 48.15%

Which is a better beginner's language

This is a discussion on Which is a better beginner's language within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Out of the two choices provided which do you think is the better language for a person with no prior ...

  1. #1
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    5,681

    Which is a better beginner's language

    Out of the two choices provided which do you think is the better language for a person with no prior knowledge or experience to start with.

    For my english class we have to write an agruementive essay and I thinking about doing it on this topic.

    I would like to know what you all think and more specfically why you think that.

    Granted some of you might feel some other language is better the both of these but I'm not addressing that in the paper. Also granted is that the results will be highly biased but thats good for me as it serves my purposes.

    Thanks

    Edit: Clarification: C is plain ordinary C. Not C++ or C# or some_whacked_out_verion_of_C

  2. #2
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The edge of the known universe
    Posts
    32,337
    Pascal is by far the better language for teaching someone how to program. It was after all designed with that very purpose in mind.

    Pascal (the original) is a nice self-contained language which contains enough to teach you all the principles of good software development. There is no vast repertoire of operators or a large standard library to cope with. There is a strong emphasis on compile time and run-time checking, which means any mistakes you make are easy to diagnose.

    This is where you learn how to program. This is your truly portable skill, because the principles learnt here apply to a whole range of programming languages.

    Having got past stage 1, learning an specific programming language doesn't take too long (and gets easier the more you know to start with). There are after all a limited number of ways you can write a for loop.

    See, once you know how to program, you can design the answer to your problem is a language-independent fashion. After that, its relatively straight-forward to write than in any language you choose given nothing more than a language reference manual. It won't be a great program but it should work nonetheless.

    A fair amount of that time can be spent learning all the associate libraries (the STL C++ is huge compared to the C library). This is what makes your use of a language effective, by using all the features available to you (using a library sort for example instead of rolling your own).

    C on the other hand is a thoroughly unruly beast which has sooo many ways to bite back if you so much as look at an uninitialised pointer. However, once mastered, you can do some pretty amazing stuff with it.

    http://www.lysator.liu.se/c/bwk-on-pascal.html
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.
    I support http://www.ukip.org/ as the first necessary step to a free Europe.

  3. #3
    Registered /usr
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts
    1,255
    If these are the only options, why is it that the language most recent beginners have been exposed to is by far the dreaded Visual Basic?

  4. #4
    Registered User major_small's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    2,787
    because that's more of a WYSIWYG thing... I think they meant more like pure coding...
    Join is in our Unofficial Cprog IRC channel
    Server: irc.phoenixradio.org
    Channel: #Tech


    Team Cprog Folding@Home: Team #43476
    Download it Here
    Detailed Stats Here
    More Detailed Stats
    52 Members so far, are YOU a member?
    Current team score: 1223226 (ranked 374 of 45152)

    The CBoard team is doing better than 99.16% of the other teams
    Top 5 Members: Xterria(518175), pianorain(118517), Bennet(64957), JaWiB(55610), alphaoide(44374)

    Last Updated on: Wed, 30 Aug, 2006 @ 2:30 PM EDT

  5. #5
    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Phildelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,146
    If this is for an english assignment, I suggest you consider your audience more thoroughly. Your teacher and classmates most likely will have no clue what you're talking about.
    FAQ

    "The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs." -- Joseph Weizenbaum.

    "If you cannot grok the overall structure of a program while taking a shower, you are not ready to code it." -- Richard Pattis.

  6. #6
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    5,681
    Thats part of the assignment joshdick. We have to provide enough background information for the reader to understand the issue.

    Thanks Salem, I've ready that paper before and plan to reference it. SMurf I am intentionally limiting it to these two languages so that I can make a two sided issue of it.

    One of the beautys of collage english is that you can write on subjects that the audience has no knowledge of. As much as I dislike english this class rocks. Its a class on critical thinking. We've been going over how to form arguements, logical fallises (spelling?), and how to define our terms

  7. #7
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    4,831
    >>> fallises (spelling?),

    Fallacy, Fallacies.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    361
    Well, I started with C, it took a little while to get the basics but when I got past that part it all made sense.

  9. #9
    Registered User axon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Mt. Prospect, IL
    Posts
    2,572
    would you mind posting the essay after you're done with it...I would be interested in reading it....

    edit::to contribute to the discussion though: my formal education of programming started in C/C++. I've never learned pascal and probably never will. Before C++ I have had a pretty big dose of javascript and shellscript programming.
    Last edited by axon; 12-06-2003 at 09:26 AM.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

    there are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. - franz kafka

  10. #10
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    5,681
    Thanks adrianxw I didn't have my notes near me and didn't want to fight with the spell checker.

    If you want to torture myself with my bad writting then I'll put it up axon.

  11. #11
    Registered User Scourfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    397
    Originally posted by SMurf
    If these are the only options, why is it that the language most recent beginners have been exposed to is by far the dreaded Visual Basic?
    Hehe, I was one of those so called "14m3|25" that started with BASIC. To hell with the elitist ........ants who say "OMG BASIC OH NOES!"
    -486SX-20
    -Some random Debian Distro
    -Some version of MS-Dos
    -Day of the Tentacle

  12. #12
    Registered User major_small's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    2,787
    I learned this way:

    writing small batch files (self taught from looking at files like autoexec)
    HTML (self taught with books)
    HTML/Visual Basic (High school course (one))
    C++ (self taught through tutorials)
    C++ (two high school classes)
    Visual Basic (taking next semester in college)
    Advanced Visual Basic/C++ (taking semester after next in college, two classes)

    it goes further, but listing more is kinda pointless...
    Join is in our Unofficial Cprog IRC channel
    Server: irc.phoenixradio.org
    Channel: #Tech


    Team Cprog Folding@Home: Team #43476
    Download it Here
    Detailed Stats Here
    More Detailed Stats
    52 Members so far, are YOU a member?
    Current team score: 1223226 (ranked 374 of 45152)

    The CBoard team is doing better than 99.16% of the other teams
    Top 5 Members: Xterria(518175), pianorain(118517), Bennet(64957), JaWiB(55610), alphaoide(44374)

    Last Updated on: Wed, 30 Aug, 2006 @ 2:30 PM EDT

  13. #13
    King of the Internet Fahrenheit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    128
    I learned HTML first, then worked alot with JavaScript... I think I learned VB next, then C. Been a while, don't quite remember...

  14. #14
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    5,681
    Its nice to hear all your histories (I'm not being an ass this time), however I would like to know WHY you think one is better then the other for a beginner.

  15. #15
    Registered User glUser3f's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    345
    programming languages in the order I learned are:
    1. Java
    2. C (not C++)
    3. Assembly
    4. C++
    5. PHP
    I consider myself really good in Java, C/C++, and PHP, as for Assembly, I learn
    new things from time to time, but I can't write useful things in it only, I usually use it within C/C++.
    I also know some Perl and bash scripting...
    Actually I came up with this order alone, no one told me to learn so or so, but
    I think it's one of the good ways to learn programming, starting with Java, Java is a lot easier than C++ (no pointers, templates, operator overloading), and you have to use OOP in order to use it, which teaches you good programming habits
    (no globals, abstract types and implementation...), later, C would be easier to
    learn then (pointer arithmetic may look new) and so is C++, you will only need to learn C++ syntax, features like templates and operator overloading, and std library, finally PHP would be a piece of cake, and you'll be able to create nice a site for your programming projects

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. What language did they make Java in?
    By jverkoey in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 07-03-2005, 04:18 PM
  2. Strange loop
    By D@rk_force in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 12-18-2004, 01:40 PM
  3. Language of choice after C++
    By gandalf_bar in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: 06-15-2004, 01:20 AM
  4. Beginner's Language Paper
    By Thantos in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-04-2004, 04:48 PM
  5. Language Script..
    By vasanth in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-30-2003, 05:48 AM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21