TechSpot

Programming Languages

By cyrusroe
Apr 21, 2006
  1. Hello all,

    From the limited research I've done on programming languages, there are a few things i'm aware of. I've read that different languages are useful for different purposes, and that programming in general doesn't rely alone on how good the language is, but rather how good the programmer is at implementing the code.

    This leads to my questions.

    1) What are the most popular languages among developers out there? From the searching I've done it seems that C++ and Java are the most powerful/portable/popular. Am i correct?

    2) I've looked at some reviews on C based programming books but I want to get your opinions on what books a beginner like me should get. I have a VERY basic understanding of variables and data structures, but I don't understand them enough to turn them into something useful.
    http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/ this is the site i've been looking at for the most part to learn these basics. Is there a book that will help me understand the "bigger picture" so to speak? because there is a lot of terminology that i don't understand

    3a) Without having made a single program, I have noticed that I already seem to have a bias towards C, C++, etc. As someone who is going into a profession having to do with 3D modeling/visualization/animation, is my bias valid? Or should I give other languages a chance?
    3b)Maya is coded in C++, isn't it?

    As always, thanks for your time and advise.
     
  2. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,598

    Programming languages are as many as human languages so it's not possible to really answer "What's the best". Like natural languages, program languages (PLs) each have their own advantages and disadvantages (French for example).

    I might say the biggest move in general in PLs is Object Oriented langauges (OOL), of which C++ and JAVA are a small part of that set. Another fairly useful, but sometimes "awkward" and "clumsey" OOL is VisualBasic. All OOLs deal with Class Modules which consist of Properties and Attributes, or LET and GET actions. Within these languages you can create an example of an Object (a prewritten class module registered within the language) and then set it to a value from a local or global variable. Or act upon some local or global variable with a LET action.

    Anyway it seems you are on a similar track of thinking as you have already identified C++ and JAVA as popular and powerful langauges.

    Here's a link to some basics of OOLs: http://www.rescomp.berkeley.edu/~hossman/cs263/paper.html

    Cheers.
     
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    jeeze oh man.....

    At last count there were at least 137

    1. ABC
    2. ACSL
    3. Ada
    4. Alef
    5. Algol
    6. Algol68
    7. APL
    8. AppleScript
    9. Autolisp
    10. Awk
    11. BASIC
    12. BCPL
    13. Befunge
    14. BETA
    15. BLISS
    16. BLooP
    17. C
    18. C#
    19. C*
    20. C++
    21. Cecil
    22. CFML
    23. CHILL
    24. Cilk
    25. CLAIRE
    26. Clean
    27. CLU
    28. CMS-2
    29. COBOL
    30. Common Lisp
    31. Concurrent Clean
    32. Concurrent Pascal
    33. CORAL 66
    34. CorelScript
    35. csh
    36. CSP
    37. cT
    38. Curry
    39. Dylan
    40. Dynace
    41. Eiffel
    42. Elisp
    43. Erlang
    44. Escher
    45. Esterel
    46. Euphoria
    47. FLooP
    48. FORMAC
    49. Forms/3
    50. Forth
    51. FORTRAN
    52. FP
    53. Goedel
    54. GPSS
    55. Haskell
    56. Hope
    57. HyperTalk
    58. ICI
    59. Icon
    60. INTERCAL
    61. Interlisp
    62. J
    63. Java
    64. JavaScript
    65. Jovial
    66. Leda
    67. LIFE
    68. Limbo
    69. Lingo
    70. Lisp
    71. Logo
    72. LotusScript
    73. Lua
    74. Lucid
    75. M
    76. Magma
    77. Mathematica
    78. Mawl
    79. Mercury
    80. Miranda
    81. ML
    82. Modula 3
    83. Modula-2
    84. MUMPS
    85. NESL
    86. NIAL
    87. Oberon
    88. Objective-C
    89. Obliq
    90. occam
    91. OPS5
    92. Orca
    93. Oz
    94. Pascal
    95. PerfectScript
    96. Perl
    97. PHP
    98. Pict
    99. Pike
    100. Pilot
    101. PL/C
    102. PL/I
    103. Postscript
    104. Prolog
    105. Python
    106. QBasic
    107. Quake-C
    108. REBOL
    109. Reduce
    110. Rexx
    111. RPG
    112. Ruby
    113. S
    114. Sather
    115. Scheme
    116. Self
    117. SETL
    118. sh
    119. Simscript
    120. SIMULA
    121. Sina
    122. SISAL
    123. SLAM
    124. Smalltalk
    125. SML
    126. SNOBOL
    127. SPARCL
    128. SPITBOL
    129. T
    130. Tcl
    131. TECO
    132. Telescript
    133. Terse
    134. TeX
    135. Theta
    136. Turing
    137. UFO
    138. Until
    139. VBScript
    140. VHDL
    141. Visual Basic
    142. WordBasic
    143. xlisp
    144. Yorick
    145. ZPL
     
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    You seem to have it summed up already, C++ and Java.
    Java is mainly used for web-content creation.
    C++ would be your best bet, do a Google with c++ for dummies for an easy book to start with.
     
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Your forgot the most important question.. What do you want to do?

    If you want to "program" as in "make trivial graphical programs using drag and drop", then you can use Visual C++ or Visual Basic in Windows or Java in any OS.

    If you want to "program" as in see what programming is about, then you should start the hard way and use some compiled programming language without a GUI. C, C++ and Java are still good options.

    If you want to "program" as in solving some practical everyday problems, then you should use VB in Windows or any of the interpreted languages in Unix like Perl, Python, Ruby or whatever.

    If you want to "program" as in do tricks on webpages, then you should look at PHP or Perl.


    And yes, programming skills have nothing to do with the language. A good programmer can solve most problems using almost any programming language.
     
  6. cyrusroe

    cyrusroe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    So, am I probably correct in thinking that Alias/Autodesk Maya is made in C++, or is it possible to make such a program with other languages?

    Also, I'm a Windows user currently, however I want to understanding Linux because of its open source advantage. If and when I get into render farms then it'll save a LOT of money by installing Linux for free on each machine.
     
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,450   +324

    After many years in the industry, qualifiers like BEST, FASTEST, EASIEST to learn
    do not provide much guidance. The bigger issues are (1) the environment in which you work
    and (2) where the program is to be applied. By (1) I mean, the corporate world works in
    teams and has what they call infrastructure to perform documentation, testing, packaging and delivery.
    They will expect you to fit their mold and not to insist on your choices, whereas working by yourself
    allows you total freedom. By (2) I mean that the hardware platform (Intel, Mac, Linux, Digital Signal Processors)
    may require specific choices when you get into the lower levels (eg: to date there is no OS written in Java).

    Modern commercial programming is usually done in Object Orient Languages
    (C++, Java) and procedural languages (C) are less frequently used and often disdained.
    Interpretive languages (Shell scripts, Perl, PHP) are ok but usually only used
    for tasks that are not 'production or client oriented'
     
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