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View Full Version : Suggestions Wanted :) (Where to now..)



M3ta7h3ad
December 11th, 2005, 01:28 PM
I currently program in JAVA, PHP, and the usual smattering of html/css/xhtml/etc.. junk :).

I've programmed in VB6 in the past, and QuickBasic in the ancient times.

What would you suggest for a "personal hobby" kinda style of programming. I could carry on with java I suppose (its currently the language of choice for my university course) but I just wanted to know if there was anything a bit different out there that will widen my horizons if I can program in it.

I've had a ganders at Ruby on Rails but it seems to be just a web scripting language, which is all well and good but it isnt what im looking for. I'm looking to make programs, as opposed to websites/web applications.

So folks! Fling ya suggestions at me and I'll consider it all :)

Leif
December 11th, 2005, 01:31 PM
if you want something nice and in fashion, look at python. if you really want to widen your horizons, look at a functional language, such as lisp, prolog or haskell.

Angel666
December 11th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Python! Redhat chooses it and it is my personal choice for many project. It has great GTK bindings using pygtk and all in all is just fun to program in. Plus your code is readable ;).

M3ta7h3ad
December 11th, 2005, 01:39 PM
Python could be the one for me you reckon? :) What sort of learning curve would I expect to encounter? and will my previous experience with Java OO help me in any way with it?

What would Lisp or Prolog offer me above Python for example?

I'm mainly looking for something that when put on a CV may help me get a job in development in future (not actually decided on it as a career choice but I'd prefer to plan for it) perhaps, other than that im looking for something that will provide a little brain food for me, where I can develop applications for myself on demand. (I have several ideas in my head that could be implemented in JAVA but im curious as to how easy they would be to implement in other languages)

Leif
December 11th, 2005, 01:51 PM
lisp or prolog won't help your cv the way python will (well, except in a few very specific domains). they will, however, force you to think about problems in a way you probably never have before, which is fantastic if you actually enjoy programming in itself. you really just have to try them to see.

Angel666
December 11th, 2005, 01:53 PM
Learning curve would not be a problem for someone that knows JAVA. Both are of object orientated nature and general purpose languages.

LISP and Prolog are more um specialized languages. JAVA will not help you here. Berkeley I think requires all first two year CompSci students to program only in LISP. Prolog is more of a AI type language. I wouldn't recommend either for a person seeking employment. Feel free to debate me on this but I just don't see a wide demand for either language no matter how practical they are for some applications.

M3ta7h3ad
December 11th, 2005, 01:54 PM
Well with the Christmas hols coming up now :) I think I will check out both.

Viewing python docs online it looks very similar to perl and java in some ways :) Shouldnt take long to get up to speed with it. And lisp/prolog is definately an option.

I often get moments where I feel as if I neeeeeed to type :) I think I'll put them to good use :)

Cheers for the suggestions!

By the way if anyone else can think of anything I should check out in the meantime as a side project then let me know. :)

Angel666
December 11th, 2005, 01:56 PM
lisp or prolog won't help your cv the way python will (well, except in a few very specific domains). they will, however, force you to think about problems in a way you probably never have before, which is fantastic if you actually enjoy programming in itself. you really just have to try them to see.

Me and Leif seem to agreeing on too much, not providing much of differing opinions. Python would be good for a resume mainly for I think UNIX sysadmin type positions. It is many times listed right next to perl in job openings.

M3ta7h3ad
December 11th, 2005, 02:04 PM
Ah as I said I wasnt really sure about persuing a career in computing anyhows :) (I've been looking at the British Antarctic Survey Group... for example, cant see much in the way of programming going on out there :)) but its a possibility and I like to keep avenues open :)

Python looks "fun" to learn at least for a slight change. My background in JAVA means that I can just hop right in and not have too much trouble (been viewing some tutorials on the web and it all looks fairly benign :)).

stateq2
December 12th, 2005, 04:47 AM
Java is the language of choice for many of the computer science courses at my university as well....which is probably why I don't like doing much java programming in my free time.

For person hobby, python is a great choice. I've found that it is extremely easy to write fully funcional gui programs using python and glade. I wrote an entire frontend to an emulator (http://members.fortunecity.com/stateq/gdgen.html) in about 3 hours using this method.

M3ta7h3ad
December 12th, 2005, 03:21 PM
impressive. I'm presuming glade is like java's AWT and Swing?

mostwanted
December 12th, 2005, 05:15 PM
Glade is an XML file that corresponds to a Gtk+ GUI. It's basically a program for drag and drop GUIs.

M3ta7h3ad
December 12th, 2005, 06:03 PM
ah nice.

I have to say... python is harder more due to habits than actual difficulty.

im too used to using if(a<0){/*dothis*/} sort of things.

Indentations seem to be how it controls everything in python. Makes for damn annoying moments when you suddenly realise you've written 50 lines of java code. :D

macgyver2
December 12th, 2005, 06:23 PM
ah nice.

I have to say... python is harder more due to habits than actual difficulty.

im too used to using if(a<0){/*dothis*/} sort of things.

Indentations seem to be how it controls everything in python. Makes for damn annoying moments when you suddenly realise you've written 50 lines of java code. :D
Heh heh...I get that in reverse. I recently had to write some C stuff (hadn't done any C at all for the past 2 years) and couldn't for the life of me remember the braces and semicolons.

By the way if anyone else can think of anything I should check out in the meantime as a side project then let me know.
If you're still looking for other languages to play with...how about Ruby itself (off Rails)? I didn't really know anything about Ruby until after I'd been using Python for quite a while and came across some Ruby vs. Python sites. I tried it out but I think I may have been too ingrained with Python to give Ruby an unbiased trial. I'd be interested in hearing what another experienced programmer who tried both out at the same time would say about it.

M3ta7h3ad
December 12th, 2005, 06:45 PM
Well I'll definately have a look at ruby. Its dependent on the time I have spare if I can just sit down for an entire day and give each language a good work over.

If anything it'll allow me to see which one would be the shortest learning curve for myself. All i've done in python so far are the usual "enter a number" "ha! wrong number" gibberish one does to experiment with if statements and for loops :) So both will be starting off on a fairly equal stepping.

Perhaps on wednesday (Day Off) I'll get around to having a play with Ruby

anthro398
December 12th, 2005, 07:33 PM
Our local lug recently invited Jeff Waugh, head developer of Ubuntu, to speak during his promo tour and I was really happy to learn that Jeff and Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu founder, were both really, really into python. I love it. I've been developing some pretty sophisticated applications with it in my role as a digital library project coordinator. pyGTK is an excellent framework to build interfaces with.