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Learn A New Language 10

Posted by timothy
from the jambo!-auf-wiedersehen!-naengmyun! dept.
coffii writes "I have just spent the last two days learning perl thanks to devshed. They have a set of eight well-written tutorials here and an introduction to OOP in perl. Why not learn a new language today, its a bit more productive than trying to get fp on ./ ;). I think I'll be going back for a dose of python next week." Even if you're not planning to specialize, this series look like a good way to at least get an overview of a few different languages. Can anyone recommend other interesting online tutorials, especially ones for unusual languages that might never find shelf space at the local MegaBooks?
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Learn A New Language

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  • Scheme is a very elegant member of the LISP family that's used to teach and explore advanced programming and computer science at many universities, including MIT, Yale etc. The basics of Scheme are easy to learn, and the language is mind-blowingly powerful. Learning Scheme is guaranteed to expand your programming horizons. Plus, there's a wealth of good Scheme tutorial information on the web:

    Learning Scheme will teach you many programming language concepts which will help you understand other languages - even the ones you already know - better. The only downside is that you'll start to wish that other languages had some of Scheme's more powerful features. Perl, Python and Javascript have all adopted some Scheme-like features in the last several years, and after learning Scheme, you'll understand these features better (e.g. closures, continuations, first-class functions).
  • by selectspec (74651) on Thursday June 07, 2001 @08:15PM (#168039)
    • Lisp [jhu.edu]
    • Forth [maricopa.edu], and this other Forth one [clarityconnect.com] and this one [rochester.edu]. mmm forth, every good programmer should learn this beauty.
    • x86 Assembly [thsun1.jinr.ru] pretty boring stuff
    • Pascal [mit.edu], well not my favorite either
    • Cobol [csis.ul.ie] (this list while compile in cobol).
    • Fortan [unito.it]. They say it still outcranks C in some areas if you can believe it. (I don't)
  • A practical demonstration of the value of testing:

    Parse error: parse error in /data/php/templates/devshed/article.php3 on line 73 Fatal error: Call to undefined function: getarticle() in /data/servers/www.devshed.com/web/Server_Side/Perl /Perl101_1/page5.html on line 7

  • Learn everything you can.

    Just my 2 cents
  • Fortran does outrank C (at least until recently) in speed for various methematical computations. It has been the great mainstay of physics departments, and all the compiler optimizations went to it.

    If he wants to learn a new language, good to look at Lisp from SICP [arsdigita.org].
  • What I found, especially in the Perl newsgroup, is that TFM covered a hell of a lot and usually answered just about any question you could come up with. The best question to ask is where TFM resides and how can you get it.

    FAQs were written to answer exactly those questions that are frequently asked. Book recommendations is one topic that is covered in most FAQs.

    Dancin Santa
  • by Dancin_Santa (265275) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Thursday June 07, 2001 @10:53AM (#168044) Journal
    The main problem with online tutorials is that they must be big enough to be noticed by enough people who can accurately assess the quality of the lessons. When I frequented CLPM, posters would every now and then pop in with their latest online tutorial pages. Unfortunately, a good portion of those tutorials were crap. They were bad because they quite often taught things that were flat out incorrect.

    They were the equivalent of Perl for Dummies. Most taught things that had nothing to do with Perl (CGI, HTML) and when they taught Perl concepts the concepts would either be incorrect or presented in a manner that was confusing.

    It's difficult as a newbie to discern good information from bad information. Take the case of C++ and Herbert Schildt. Schildt is perhaps the best author and teacher of C++. He can explain concepts clearly and interestingly. However, if you learn solely from his books, you'll never be able to use C++ as anything more than a "better C". Objects are merely enhanced structs. Use char arrays instead of strings. The list goes on.

    If you are really interested in learning a new language, spend some time on the newsgroups and ask a couple of questions (Where's the FAQ? is a good question). That way you'll be able to get some opinions of books or online tutorials to better make your decision about which one to go with.

    CLPM Santa
  • "ask a couple of questions..."
    Bad words, ewe, questions. I've found that I can't ask anybody a question about anything computer related unless they're really good friends of mine because instead of answers I get hit with attacks, asking why I'm such an idiot. Hell, even posting on /. gets me in trouble usually, and I'm not even asking anything, just expressing my thoughts, I'd say half my posts get some mean reply from an AC that I don't think I deserve. Computer people are very hostile. I don't ask RTFM questions either. So I've learned a LOT from online tutorials like this one, and books.

    I admire anybody who makes tutorials, thanks for helping us out, I've found that in general people who know languages already are either really bad teachers or just plain rude. You can argue that the only way to get a hostile answer is to ask a stupid question, but I've found that it doesn't matter, especially for a curious beginner like myself. I hope the average tutorial isn't crap, they're how I survive.


  • French

    German

    Spanish

  • I am a web developer so, if you are interested, here are some good web development resources. First, try the World Wide Web [w3.org] consortium for a lot of good web and XML reference/background stuff. For using java on the web, check out Sun's Java Server Pages [sun.com], with lots of tutorials. Sun is now using the FREE Apache Tomcat JSP Server [apache.org]. There is also a free jsp server in Allaire's JRUN Server 3.1 [allaire.com]. Interestingly, the JRUN Eval. Edition server has no expiration date, on purpose. Have fun!

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