[LAU] OT: C or C++?

Ken Restivo ken at restivo.org
Thu Oct 21 00:12:41 UTC 2010

On Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 07:26:40PM -0500, Josh Lawrence wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 3:42 PM, Josh Lawrence <hardbop200 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > something that gets a lot of use in the open-source world. ?So which
> > one to choose? ?C or C++?
> wow, I caused quite the stir with this one!  thanks for all of the
> advice and discussion.  to show my gratitude, here is something
> equally as confusing:
> http://gapyx.com/cmt/2007/04/der_mondfleck.jpg
> thanks again list!

Heh, as soon as I saw that subject line, I thought, "Jeez, talk about throwing a lit grenade into the room... fun flamewar undoubtedly to follow, get popcorn."

I'd have to vote for Python for a first programming language. Useful clear, easy to read, easy to understand, plenty of examples around, well-documented, and with libraries available to do pretty much anything you might want to do on Linux, even audio processing.

A second choice would be... Scheme, since all programming languages are asymptotically approaching Lisp anyway. But you could do much more useful stuff with Python, and apparently even MIT has switched from Scheme to Python for its intro computing class (sacrelidge!). Scheme will melt your brain-- in a good way-- and after I learned it I thought of programming in a whole new way.

C is a surprisingly small language, and easy to learn. I still have a copy of the original Kerninghan and Ritchie book introducing C, it's like the size of a small booklet, maybe a hundred pages if that, in fairly large type. C is basically just a portable assembler, or that's what it was written to be. I love C for embedded programming or anything that touches hardware.

Learn lots of languages. They're like styles of music: if all you know is jazz, that's great, but better to be able to play reggae and funk and rock and blues an d techno and baroque and gospel and country and salsa too.


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