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- Subject: Re: Beginner to programming. References to understand terms.
- From: steve donovan <steve.j.donovan@...>
- Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:33:39 +0200
On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 3:17 PM, Andrew Starks <email@example.com> wrote:
> Years later, when I picked up programming again, I started with VB and I was
> struck with how redundant and complicated it was.
It is a silly language, no doubt.
> But, upon reflection, learning computer science is different than learning
> languages and C is not the simplest environment to learn about control
> structures, etc.
This is in fact another distinction. There are people who want to
learn Computer Science, first establishing the language needed to
speak about programs ('scope','function' etc), there are those
who want to learn programming and need a stepping-stone to move down
from high-level to low-level. Then there are people who need to do a
As for C, I still maintain that C++ is easier to learn - sensible
strings, nice containers to put things, etc - until you misplace some
punctuation and the compiler shares its confusion with you. Can always
drop down to C-level, but C is premature optimization, unless you
really have a dinky little micro with 4K RAM.
I like Lua as a first language because it has few
> surprises. However, I suspect that learning how to program from Lua would
> require a disciplined curriculum.
Yes! As Oliver says, C programmers will spontaneously learn to write
crap Lua. Everyone needs guidance at first. There were a few
interesting take-aways from the LOGO project at MIT - exposing kids to
programming, beautiful environment even involving real mechanical
Turtles! And kids will learn without fear - but what they don't learn
themselves is how to structure programs, and split functions into
I do know that PUC-Rio taught Lua as a first language (at least at one
point). What were the lessons from that?