The value of learning a new programming language

This is a discussion on The value of learning a new programming language within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; I dont want to learn a new language just to "get one under my belt", but to get a better ...

  1. #16
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    I dont want to learn a new language just to "get one under my belt", but to get a better understanding of programming in general. That is why I am asking if it better to stick with c++ or learn something new. As mentioned in my first post I dont clam to be a master in any of the languages I mentioned, and I know that I would learn a lot more about them I if keep using them. But after handing in all my assignments(all in c++) I want to do something else for a while.

    Im not to worried about if the language is really usefully in "the real world" as I have plenty of time to learn more CV friendly skills later. What I want is something that will benefit how I look at programming and is fun.

    Someone mentioned assembly, I have done a bit of it and im not sure it is something that I would like to spend ages doing. But it did give me a better understanding of how programmers actually work.
    A few people have mentioned perl, that was one of the languages I was considering as well. Might see if I can find a book on it to read on my trip home.

  2. #17
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h3ro View Post
    A few people have mentioned perl, that was one of the languages I was considering as well. Might see if I can find a book on it to read on my trip home.
    I've only been programming for a few years, but I started with perl. It contrasts with C very strongly, if you are looking for perspective ("understanding of programming in general"). I don't know if there is as much contrast with C++.

    One bonus to perl is that it has a very serious online user base. I would call them an arrogant but entertaining and (bottom line) helpful bunch

    I would guess that perl is actually more versatile than the other OOP scripting languages because of the use of references, but the OOP part might be strange because of this too (or the other way around?). Also, it is not OOP centric. You can use objects, or ignore the whole paradigm (although it tends to be a good thing IMO).
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  3. #18
    Dr Dipshi++ mike_g's Avatar
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    Im not to worried about if the language is really usefully in "the real world" as I have plenty of time to learn more CV friendly skills later. What I want is something that will benefit how I look at programming and is fun.
    Then learn a functional language like Lisp. Javascript can be used as a functional programming language too, so you could always get better with that, maybe learn some AJAX while you're at it. Action script (Flash programming) is also very easy to learn when you know JS as they are both based on ECMA script.

    A few people have mentioned perl, that was one of the languages I was considering as well. Might see if I can find a book on it to read on my trip home.
    Unless you want to do a lot of boring data processing I really don't see the point, and for server side programming it has largely been superseded by PHP.

  4. #19
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_g View Post
    Action script (Flash programming) is also very easy to learn when you know JS as they are both based on ECMA script.
    JS == ECMAscript. It was ECMAscript originally, then JS, and now apparently everyone is supposed to be calling it ECMAscript again. The same language, two names for it.

    Unless you want to do a lot of boring data processing I really don't see the point, and for server side programming it has largely been superseded by PHP.
    Because PHP is easier to learn if all you want to do is web design, and HTML embedded perl is an oddity. All programming is "data processing", boring or not. I would say perl makes it less boring than it might otherwise be.

    Plus, the perl crowd have done everything with it: I claimed somewhere the other day that "you wouldn't want to do intense 3D via the perl interpreter" and got pointed to this big thing about benchmarking the openGL perl bindings, whereby it has beaten C and C++, speed-wise, w/r/t to shading (crazy!). But I don't know much about that.

    Unrelated, out of curiousity: why do people think LISP and functional programming is so great?
    Last edited by MK27; 05-16-2009 at 06:57 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  5. #20
    Dr Dipshi++ mike_g's Avatar
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    JS == ECMAscript. It was ECMAscript originally, then JS, and now apparently everyone is supposed to be calling it ECMAscript again. The same language, two names for it.
    Ok, for verbosity sake, lets just say that action Script is based on ECMA script then. I had to learn it on the fly for work and its really easy if you know js.

    Unrelated, out of curiousity: why do people think LISP and functional programming is so great?
    I wasent talking about lisp specifically, but functional programming in general. It makes you think in different ways. And you can do a hell of a lot with a tiny bit of code - fun for prototyping.

  6. #21
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_g View Post
    I wasent talking about lisp specifically, but functional programming in general. It makes you think in different ways. And you can do a hell of a lot with a tiny bit of code - fun for prototyping.
    Yeah, I haven't a clue what it is supposed to mean but today I learned that ruby could be considered functional as it allows "chaining" in expressions, eg:
    Code:
    tmp=object.hashmember[key]=Some.method(parameter)
    but I presume there must be more to "the paradigm" than that.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  7. #22
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Sorry for dredging up and old post, but I'm surprised nobody mentioned taking a look at LISP just for the sake of watching the excellent Abelson and Sussman lectures from 1986....I was actually very charmed by LISP from watching these (or Scheme anyway) and it definitely made me think about programming from a different angle:

    Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Video Lectures

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