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Old 19th August 2008
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I think Carpetsmoker probably has a good point with his physics book analogy. In the end though it probably depends on the person; some people would find coding below asm more fun then winning the lotto, others wouldn't give a fart, and some would probably quit after hitting arrays (assuming a language that supports them). A thread awhile back that involved peoples kids having a good introduction to computers/etc and finding it to much trouble to do anything fun in writing code and giving up on it, comes to the fore front of my mind.


With the amount of info the OP has given, I don't really think anyone here can do more then give free advice. For something more serious, I'd recommend: Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years by Peter Norvig.


I suppose, that poses the question, does the OP want to learn programming or just learn a programming language? They are as different (in my humble opinion) as building a chair is from using a hammer.


Something simple allows one to do both learn to program and learn how to do something useful (with a smaller headache). And the hardest part of initial learning in one language, carries on into making learning other languages much more simple. At least, assuming you're not into enough advanced math or pure genius-like that such baby-steps are trivial.


I am young enough to remember the very learning curve that the very basic can have, on people that have no background in it.
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Old 20th August 2008
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What other info could I provide? I had started to learn BASIC back in the 80's and well I haven't needed to learn a programming language. I want to learn one for soemthing to do. I have NO REAL PURPOSE for it, just gives me something else to learn. Oh and I don't expect to be able to learn one over night, and well I have been playing with the idea of learning a programming language for about 10 years now. Just figured I should get off my ass and do it. Just figured I'd ask and see which one would be a good one to start with. I have no desire to be a programmer...I like my job just the way it is

Last edited by Crypt; 20th August 2008 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 20th August 2008
J65nko J65nko is offline
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In my experience, people without a problem to be solved, give up learning programming very fast

Why don't you start learning sh shell programming?
You run a BSD OS and knowing sh will enable you to write some scripts to help you in administering your own OS.
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Old 20th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
I suppose, that poses the question, does the OP want to learn programming or just learn a programming language?
Yes. That's what I was trying to say but couldn't think of the right way to say it.
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Old 20th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
In my experience, people without a problem to be solved, give up learning programming very fast
Isnt that the truth.

Anyways there is no harm in learning to be able to read and understand another language. ANSI C is nice. If you know the basics and fundamentals of computer programming, arguably the best book on learning C is K&R's C Programming Language.
http://www.amazon.com/Programming-La...9200032&sr=8-1

If you know absolutely nothing about programming, take a look at Perry's Absoulte Beginner's Guide to C and then read K&R's.
http://www.amazon.com/Absolute-Begin...9200198&sr=8-1

I just started learning fairly recently myself so I'm much less knowledgeable than most others in this forum so take anything I say with a grain of salt ;-)
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Old 20th August 2008
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I generally agree that if you use *nix, you eventually should learn C. And K&R is still a lucid book that teaches the fundamentals well. You can progress to C++ if you want, but you can go a long way on C alone.

I also would not overlook the suggestion for learning shell scripting. This is used a great deal; some respected people on this board cannot program but are accomplished in writing shell scripts. For sysadmin sorts of things (including deciphering ports) this is an incredibly useful skill.

So I personally would suggest the latter, but have a great deal of sympathy for the former. Indeed, if you know C, you can pick up scripting and AWK (for example) very quickly. All of the traditional Unix tools use C-like syntax.

It does help to have a project in mind. A lot.
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Old 20th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
Why don't you start learning sh shell programming?
You run a BSD OS and knowing sh will enable you to write some scripts to help you in administering your own OS.
+1

I use Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide:

http://tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/

Many people may hate bash here... I found most of the stuff works in ksh though... but yeh I think it is very useful and the results are immediate.
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Old 21st August 2008
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I don't think people around here hate bash as much as they hate it when ignorant Linux users, especially those who create software meant to be used on other Unix and Unix-like OSs, assume that the user will have bash installed and it will be in /bin/bash. That's what I hate, anyway.
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Old 21st August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meta_Ridley
... ignorant Linux users, especially those who create software meant to be used on other Unix and Unix-like OSs, assume that the user will have bash installed and it will be in /bin/bash.
I'll admit to having made that mistake repeatedly myself years ago. My first intro to the unix-like world was Linux; it makes sense that one would initially believe that other unixes follow suit with their shell choices. Once I started playing around with Free/NetBSD and HP-UX I realized that semi-portable scripts would have to be written in sh.

As lvlamb has pointed out in a few different threads, /bin/sh is a symlink to /bin/bash on Linux boxes, and bash(1) says:
Quote:
If bash is invoked with the name sh, it tries to mimic the startup
behavior of historical versions of sh as closely as possible, while
conforming to the POSIX standard as well.
"Ignorant" probably is the correct word in this context. Given the proper information, most people will attempt to do the right thing. Now that I know what I know, I generally write shell scripts - even on Linux boxes - to use sh.
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Old 3rd October 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
In my experience, people without a problem to be solved, give up learning programming very fast

Why don't you start learning sh shell programming?
You run a BSD OS and knowing sh will enable you to write some scripts to help you in administering your own OS.

Agreed. The same is true of Perl, however, and Perl is more likely to teach you more of the basics of actual programming (having extensive libraries available at the tip of your fingers by CPAN, etc is nice as well.) In reality, learning Perl isn't all that difficult.

My personal approach to learning a language is to begin breaking other peoples' working code and then fixing it, then eventually changing it to make it friendlier to my own way of doing things. I've found that this is often a good starting point, for me at least, once I've read one or two chapters in a book to understand the basic syntax and grammar.
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Old 3rd October 2008
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Having a specification of the grammar available (Scheme for example) can also be helpful.
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Old 3rd October 2008
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ruby is very expressive and, to my mind, natural (as in language like). It is also powerful and you see results quick. When you are starting out, that is a good thing as you can concentrate on the algorithm rather than worrying about (sometimes complicated) syntax.
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Old 27th October 2008
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Well it appears that my ideas of learning a programing language will have to be put on hold as the company I work for wants me to learn web design so that they don't have to pay for a real designer to run our website. The worst part is that they won't pay for me to go to school...hopefully, they will cover the costs of any programs i need to purchase...
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Old 27th October 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crypt View Post
Well it appears that my ideas of learning a programing language will have to be put on hold as the company I work for wants me to learn web design so that they don't have to pay for a real designer to run our website. The worst part is that they won't pay for me to go to school...hopefully, they will cover the costs of any programs i need to purchase...
http://codeclimber.blogspot.com/2008...rogrammer.html
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Old 27th October 2008
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It was very good read, thank you
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Old 27th October 2008
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I enjoyed the link man...you have no idea how close to home that hit working here
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