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Linux Programming: The New Programmer's Road Map: Reflections and More Programming

May 30, 2000, 19:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Fink)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"This is the fourth installment of an ongoing series covering programming topics for the beginning programmer. If you have been programming in a UNIX environment for a long time, you most likely already know a great deal of this. Otherwise, read on."

"I received a lot of mail concerning Perl. mainly to the effect that Perl is a great scripting language and Perl is also a great starter language. The former is definitely true; however, it is worth noting I sort of used "scripting language" ambiguously in the last article. Perl is a programming language, so is Python. Scripting vs. programming is more of a pragmatic and style issue these days. As for the latter, right now I disagree, I believe Python is currently the best educational language out there, if Python did not exist, I would most likely recommend Perl as a first language.. It is also worth noting I do not believe any one language is the end all language, especially Python. ... This is one the really great things about Perl: its scalability. Not unlike Python, Perl inherently scales rather well from scripting language to all out applications language."

"I have to confess I do not know a lot about Java. I wrote one of the many famous calculator programs and lost interest. What I can say about it is I am always surprised at the variety of uses and places Java seems to be popping up and in reality has always been since it popped up on my geek radar. Initally I thought Java was another GUI language, the difference between it and other ones being it has the "write-once run-anywhere" action going."

"Definitely different languages but evolved from the same core, C and C++ are the most widely used programming languages to date. The reason is simple, while they may not be "write-once run-anywhere" like Java--they came closer to it sooner than any other programming language for its time. Especially C, which was more or less designed to be easily ported. Another little item about C in particular that sets it apart is it's easy access to hardware through small, clean interfaces. Hence why so many systems-level programs and utilities are written in C or C++. Due to the low to high level nature of C/C++, almost all applications that are multiplatform are written in C/C++ (including other languages). Last, and definitely not least, resulting executable object code is tiny. C/C++ (again, especially C) are great for writing small, clean and efficient programs. They are the language of choice for device drivers, utilities, and low-level programs for that very reason. "

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