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Socoder -> On Topic -> Choosing a programing language

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Tue, 08 Feb 2011, 08:19
rockford
Note to Afr0, not everyone is insane enough to attempt an MMO.


Unless you're a Blitz3D noob. I remember well all those questions on the BlitzCoder forum way back when...
Thu, 10 Feb 2011, 09:11
JL235
On Reddit today there was this which I really like (and it's so true).
Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 05:37
Afr0


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Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 07:04
JL235
Lua is used extensively for scripting in games. Although I'm sure there are lots of non-game applications, it's like saying you can use Flash for non-browser based apps. True but it's a minority of it's usage.

Groovy, Scala and especially Clojure are really different to Java. Entirely different languages and nothing like Java at all.
Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 07:36
Jayenkai
Feckin' new age stuff.. In my day, Scala was video titling software.. Bah!

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Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 08:31
JL235
I'm actually really surprised at how you can be really into programming, yet hate the idea of any progression in programming.

I know plenty of programmers who are really interested by new ideas of working and getting things done.
Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 08:48
Jayenkai
If I ever decide to write a MMO, or a FPS, or something like that, then I'll happily sit down and see what's easiest to work with.
As it goes, I've not needed any of that, and I've written over 200 games that also haven't needed any of that.
I'm not against the newness.

I'm just settled into a pattern that's allowing me to throw out games at a fast pace, because I'm so comfortable with the tools, and the methods that I'm used to.

In an old language, the fun of trying to figure something out is always there. Coding is about working things out, from finding new Sort routines, to tackling recursion, and playing with swooshy particles and backgrounds and things.
The fun is in playing with the language, learning the keywords, mashing bits of code together to see what happens.

I'm an old fashioned coder, and 20 years + 200 games down the line I'm still having fun doing the little things.
Gimme a Tandy TRS80, a graphical calculator, or a Mac and I'll have just as much fun with each and every one of 'em!

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Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 08:57
Afr0
Lua is used extensively for scripting in games. Although I'm sure there are lots of non-game applications, it's like saying you can use Flash for non-browser based apps. True but it's a minority of it's usage.


I didn't say you can't use Lua to make games. I'm saying you shouldn't write games in Lua. You should use Lua to fulfill your game's scripting needs.

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Project Dollhouse on Github - Please fork!
Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 10:08
dna

There's also somthing called Basic4GL which should not be confused with GLBasic.

That one looks better than the paid version and might be better than freebasic.



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DNA
Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 12:39
JL235
Jayenkai
The fun is in playing with the language, learning the keywords, mashing bits of code together to see what happens.

Then why don't you have fun doing all that with new languages? Learning new ways to mash bits of code together?
Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 13:26
Jayenkai
In most cases it's a pain in the ass to get to a point where you can try these things. Most languages nowadays require a mountain of pre-work before you can even start! I was looking into "Flash games made easy", and most of them require about 4/5 includes to get a hello world example.
That's not "made easy"
That's "we'll give you a library, but we're damned if we're gonna make things neater!

In many ways, PMCs one of the first times in a long time that I've seen a language "just work".

... Which takes us to the other point. Everything important is already doable with what you have. Anything more is giving something sweet to the end user, but you need the base first.

Build the base, add on later.
But nothing isn't already doable in one way or another.*

(*except audio, but that's not a dig, you really need the browsers to pick a fucking HTML5 audio method already!!)

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Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 16:52
Jayenkai
*sigh* Which at this rate will take another 50 years.
They've still not settled on a sodding Video codec, yet. Looks like even WebM has issues.

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Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 17:23
Afr0
I was looking into "Flash games made easy", and most of them require about 4/5 includes to get a hello world example.
That's not "made easy"
That's "we'll give you a library, but we're damned if we're gonna make things neater!


You're confusing 'easy' with neater. 'Easy' doesn't necessarily mean 'neat(er) code'. You can't have both.

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Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 17:46
Jayenkai
I was thinking easier to learn. It's easier to learn something if it's all gathered, collected, and neatly presented, rather than having the learner do a piece of this code in this file, then another piece in this one, collect the two parts together and present them from the third. That's really not a good way to learn things.

If you look at simpler languages, they're right there, in your face, and ready for you to begin, rather than being sprawled out over multiple files.

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Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 04:35
HoboBen
I think pascal is a good choice for a first language.

Unlike QBASIC, where everything is a mess of GOTOs and indentation doesn't exist, Pascal is an easy way to learn the basics, such as functions, iteration (for loops), recursion, etc. Though modern BASIC dialects are slightly better.

Just grab an old pascal compiler from '91, and you're sorted!

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Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 06:52
Afr0
Yeah, I like that idea.
Btw, I noticed that Borland has discontiniued Delphi. What's up with that?

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Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 07:22
jedimastersterli
sorry, i was buissy for the last couple days.

In fact, what i want to do is robotics programing. I've done a little with an NXT lego robot. The programing capacity was designed for children. I did alright but i found it limiting.

So the questions are what are they using in that field (robotics), and what would be easy and virsitile enough to start with.
Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 07:28
Jayenkai
Mmmmm.. I like the Pascal idea! Forces you to learn variable types, manage your loops and things. But.. I dunno. Basic grew up with Blitz and DBasic and things. Is there a modern day Pascal?


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Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 07:35
JL235
Jayenkai Is there a modern day Pascal?
There are a couple of languages with Pascal-like syntax, but in truth it's just a no. Ada and Eiffel are probably the closest two languages that are still in widespread use which are influenced (either directly or in-directly).

Eiffel is a language I've been wanting to learn and really use for years!
Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 07:37
HoboBen
A modern day pascal example is arguably Graham's Cobra! There's also Free Pascal, however I've never used it.

Embedded systems tend to be either assembly, C, or (and I've never understood why!) Java.

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Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 07:53
JL235
Java adds security at the language level. You need to remember that most embedded devices run with everything in the same address space and with no security. So even trusted C code can be pretty deadly. There is also specialist hardware support for Java so it runs at a good pace.

But only a small percentage of embedded systems are actually written in Java; the vast majority are written in C. This is because on real embedded systems you often need to interact with interrupt handlers, work directly with memory addresses (that are say mapped to pins), and have a very large compromise on memory, CPU speed and battery power.

At uni I once had to work on a chip where you couldn't be more then 4 or 5 function calls deep (not enough memory). Plus the floating point arithmetic was faked by the compiler by adding more instructions to work around it. This made it ultra and your program more bloated. Just using floating point numbers could mean your program would become too big to fit on the chip. It was interesting working on such a limited system.
Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 07:58
Jayenkai
Ooops.. Shit..
Of course, there's Cobra!!

Sorry Graham!

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Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 08:37
rockford
I used Cobra for a while. It's speed was lacking against other similar products and significantly so against BlitzMax, so I jumped ship quite early.
Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 09:13
JL235
Plus no one really uses Cobra.

Being able to google programming problems in the your language your using is a _big_ advantage.
Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 10:23
jedimastersterli
Ok i didn't realy understand any of that.

JL235 talked about embedded systems, thats like the chip in your microwave, or washing machine right? A robot would work on something similar, but it would also have to communicate with my computer, and possibly draw info off and internet connection. You also mentioned C as a good language, i thought that that was outdated by C++ C# and Java. does anyone even use that anymore?
Sat, 12 Feb 2011, 11:09
JL235
JL235 talked about embedded systems, thats like the chip in your microwave, or washing machine right?

Yes, anything from a microwave all the way through to the Mars rover. I've also heard of embedded systems being built that can monitor things (like water levels) for years before needing any maintenance (including changing their battery).

A robot would work on something similar, but it would also have to communicate with my computer, and possibly draw info off and internet connection. You also mentioned C as a good language, i thought that that was outdated by C++ C# and Java. does anyone even use that anymore?

First tonnes of programmers still use C. For both embedded and non-embedded systems.

For programming robotics all of the languages you mentioned can be used. C and C++ are both used because typically there is always a compiler available (it's always supported).

For C# there is the Microsoft Robotics Development Studio which you can also use with VB, IronPython and JScript (C# is the best of those). It also has a 3D simulator for you to simulate your robots.

For Java there are some robots out there you can use, but most tend to be for learning (such as this). There are a few other small embedded devices you can interact with from Java, like Sun SPOTs (I've used them and they were powerful but pointless) and the Scratch board (which might be a bit simple for you).

If you ever want to go into real robotics, then knowledge of C and C++ would probably be best. Otherwise I'd go with C#. I wouldn't go with Java.
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