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On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 2:12 AM, steve donovan <> wrote:
On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 8:43 PM, Florian Weimer <> wrote:
> I think the main criterion is availability of introductory texts.

Interactivity is a big, big plus, because it allows for an almost
conversational mode of language learning.  Whether all people learn
PLs better in conversational mode I don't know, but it certainly works
for a lot of people.

Scheme remains without peer for learning programming.  Not only is SICP freely available online (you can skip the math stuff and still learn an enormous amount about programming), but there are a variety of fancy interactive GUI whizbang environments, PLT scheme in particular.  My recommended learning path:

  first learn Scheme - computation as lambda calculus, ignore the machine
  then Assembler - register-based Turing model of computation - learn the machine
  then C - abstract a little bit from the machine
  then Lua - Scheme-like, but supporting easy integration with the machine view via C
  then (maybe) Forth/Postscript - combinator model of computation

After that everything is easy.