View Full Version : [SOLVED] Best First Language?

December 23rd, 2008, 02:47 AM
Hey Everyone, I wanted to get into Programming for Linux and Windows, later on get into Embedded Systems, and wanted to start off with an easy, Cross-Platform language, then move into C, then C++ and maybe Java.

Anyways, I know the basics, just the basic structure, variables and datatypes, and that's pretty much it.

Anyways, from what I heard, Python is a good beginner language, and Perl is like many other languages, so I was thinking Python, then Perl. So what do you guys think I should start with, if you guys have any good places to learn it thoroughly, and some good IDE's? Just color coding, compiler, debugger, auto-fill maybe, and other useful things, not some IDE that I'm going to freeze the second I open it, and be overwhelmed with? I hear you don't need an IDE till you make actual big programs. Is this true?

Thanks everyone! :)

December 23rd, 2008, 02:59 AM
Read the stickies.

Otherwise it will become another round of the language wars.


December 23rd, 2008, 03:01 AM
I don't have knowledge in any languages other than PHP (and XHTML & CSS, but I don't really count those), and I just started learning Ruby yesterday. I've looked into other languages, and Ruby is by far the funnest.

Espeically using Why's (poignant) Guide to Ruby (http://poignantguide.net/ruby/) and the Try Ruby! (tryruby.hobix.com) sites.

December 23rd, 2008, 03:58 AM
Oh dear

Here is the last thread that asked this question.

December 23rd, 2008, 04:11 AM
Best "real" language: Python
Best way to start programming: HTML

That is my opinion.

December 23rd, 2008, 04:41 AM
check out ruby and python...do a little in each then pick one, they are both good languages to start with

python will get you a little more support here but many also know ruby

OT: Rofl at Gannon8's Avatar

December 23rd, 2008, 04:53 AM
Ok, guess nothing's changed, then, thanks guys!

December 23rd, 2008, 05:46 AM
btw skip perl

December 23rd, 2008, 05:58 AM
btw skip perl
And make slavik sad? Pick it up if you want to or if it fits your needs. With your current path you already have plenty on your plate.

December 23rd, 2008, 06:41 AM
*cries in the corner*

December 23rd, 2008, 02:55 PM
Anyways, from what I heard, Python is a good beginner language, and Perl is like many other languages, so I was thinking Python, then Perl.

Perl is used in about the same niche like Python is, so learning Perl after Python adds little to your skills. Your path is correct (Python -> C), but then you added bunch of languages which you can learn easy but would add little. Unless of course you need java or C# for the job - but you can make more in a Python startup, and have more fun, so it's hard to give good advice beyond "it depends" :-)

Consider learning much more different languages, like Lisp, Prolog, to expand your brains. And Forth is especially useful for embedded systems, nothing (not even ASM, and surely not C++) can beat it's compact code.

> some good IDE's?

Any text editor above notepad is good enough for Python - just make sure it replaces tabs with spaces. There are two schools of thought about IDEs:
- IDE is a lifesaver
- IDE is a crutch, and you should be able to code without it.

My suggestion is: use simplest tool you can get away with to get started, then learn one of the "heavy-duty" editors: vim or emacs (it's another war) to do most of your editing.

Java is different, it is so byzantinely complex that there is little hope to wrestle it down without IDE.

IDLE is extremely simple IDE for Python, but most people start with IDLE shell - where you can learn syntax one line at a time, with color coding. I use SciTE, which is very compact, and works exactly same on Win and Linux, for most of simple editing (and usually have opened multiple instances of SciTE each with multiple tabs)

SPE is decent Python-specific IDE developed on ubuntu, and it's author, Stani, hangs around sometimes, so it has the "our own" factor :-)

See wiki in my sig for links to selected articles about Python and training tasks.

BTW don't mind slavik crying about Perl, he will get over it eventually.

If you want to compare different languages, check http://99-bottles-of-beer.net/ - famous song in many of them (and you will understand why most people don't recommend Perl) :twisted:

December 23rd, 2008, 05:36 PM
- IDE is a lifesaver
- IDE is a crutch, and you should be able to code without it.

My suggestion is: use simplest tool you can get away with to get started
Most usefull comment I've read in a long time...

Some of the ide's are quite good when you're new to a language though.
I hate looking through webpages to find a specific method for a a object.
api lookup is very nice, when you don't know the libs.

I'm using a low-fi ide or blown up editor.
It's emacs with gud a speedbar and some other stuff.

December 24th, 2008, 03:02 PM
HTML is an easier than others. Perl scripting can can also help provide an easier way into learning programming. C programming can provide a good foundation and theres a lot of C code out there. Also good for jobs is Ruby which has been popular the last few years and continues to be in demand. Ruby is also good because it is similar in varying respects to Python, Perl, and a few other languages.

December 24th, 2008, 04:09 PM
To me, Best first language was Last language.

December 24th, 2008, 06:58 PM
AH!! Please just read the stickies!

It seems as though half the posts on this forum are just rehashing this same question...

Maybe the next time they update the site they could automatically redirect all posts of this topic to the sticky... nah, thats just wishful thinking.