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On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 15:02, Pierre LeMoine <> wrote:
>> I think a first language needs quite a lot of batteries included, so that
>> the teacher can provide fun motivating exercises. Graphics, sound,
>> networking, hooks into the OS and/or apps (like AppleScript), etc.
> Our first programming course on my university teached Lisp. The second
> one Ada. Graphics and fun functions didn't come until a whole year had
> passed, when we started playing with Java, but the focus of that
> course was OO and not graphics etc. I think Lua could very well be a
> first language, it does have console input/output, just as Lisp and
> Ada ;D

Yea, but that's how school is, boring first, fun later. Only after the
school is over you get interested (even educated) in what you had
(just mechanically) learned in school. But unlike other disciplines,
computers allow us to teach ourselves when everything else fails - so
you even get a chance to get interested in computers while _in_
school. Back in the 9th grade, we were taught Turbo Pascal, and I put
a text-mode colored Matrix screensaver with rolling letters in one of
my first homework programs (The Matrix was screening in our town
then). It was my first outburst of programming creativity, the success
of which (measured both in terms of personal satisfaction and social
affirmation of potential) could well be one of the reasons I set
myself up for programming. The program itself was was some boring
backtracking stuff I had no interest in. Lucky for me I never let my
schooling get in the way of my education :)

But I digress. I think Lua is a wonderful first language because it
gets you hooked quickly (by instant gratification), and after that you
are bound to get way down to C and implicitly to the PC architecture
itself - no blackboxes in the path either. By contrast, Delphi or Java
can keep you ignorant for years :)

Also, one's professional "tool belt" should better not hold
programming languages. If you can't educate the industry, cheat it. My
resume is full of acronyms I can only talk about on an interview. No,
I don't care if my employer reads this message - I already fooled him