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New to Programming

  1. Feb 27, 2004 #1


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    I am going to major in Graphics Design, and Engineering, but I feel I must first learn a programming language. I had my try at Python, but became side-tracked with school. Do you have any recommendations for a good language to learn. I understand programming semantics and syntax pretty well, so nothing to basic here.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2004 #2


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    If your going to be doing graphics design and engineering, you might as well pick a language that you can use for both, and Perl (http://www.perl.com/) is perfect for this. It is useful for graphics design because you can write scripts for the Gimp (http://www.gimp.org/). It is also can be useful for engineering because you can quickly type up a simulation program to solve problems without compiling.

    Other languages that are good:

    Ruby (http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/)
    Python (http://www.python.org/)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  4. Feb 27, 2004 #3


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    One thing you should also do is find out what languages the university's engineering department uses.

    Mine uses Matlab almost exclusively. I've been trying to switch my own projects over to Mathematica recently, but collaboration is a pain in the butt because noone else in my major uses it. Export data to text file->import data from text file...
  5. Feb 28, 2004 #4


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    All right then, btw do you know what language Drexel uses? Or what other universities have good computer science courses? I was planning on drexel but if i find a better...
  6. Feb 28, 2004 #5


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    The choice of which language to learn first is largely moot.

    All languages share a lot of features: variables, if and while statements, and so on. While the syntax can be quite different from language to language, the major concepts are all the same.

    If you learn Java first, you can pick up Python relatively easily. If you learn Python first, you can pick up Java relatively easily.

    Perl, while very useful in some situations, is an oddball language. If you learn it first, you might find yourself concentrating on structures that are NOT common to other programming languages. My suggestion is to save Perl for later, and learn either Python or Java first.

    Also, if you'd like to be able to put graphical user interfaces on your programs -- rather than just interacting with them through a text console -- Perl may not be the language for you.

    - Warren
  7. Apr 3, 2004 #6
    java and perl are good choises.
  8. Apr 18, 2004 #7
    Above recommendations all seem good. So I must add another one.

    At my university, we learn a functional language called, "Haskell". Its a 4th generation language which utilses inbuilt functions. We only use Haskell to teach first year students (programming courses, cse). This allows them to utilise the efficiency in computer programs. Have you ever heard of a "complexity of calculations" in a program? It is basically a way of reducing program's fetching speed (time) when dealing with sufficiently large amounts of data.

    But of course, GUI aspect of this language is a major con. But, good enough to have you practising on how to reduce program's complexity.
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