'Simple' Languages in FreeBSD

dpchrist at holgerdanske.com dpchrist at holgerdanske.com
Fri Jul 1 22:12:06 UTC 2016

On Thu, June 30, 2016 2:52 pm, Allen wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been using FreeBSD on and off since 4.0-CURRENT, which seems like
> almost a lifetime ago now, heh. I'm currently using FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE
> and even though I've gotten my latest order from the FreeBSD Mall (Which I
> bought 10.3-RELEASE on DVD along with a bunch of other stuff for myself
> and my Wife) I'm not ready to upgrade yet since I've gotten my system
> working how I like (Got WindowMaker set up, and FVWM2, and some other
> stuff set up) so I'm using it for now.
> Anyway, in all these years that have passed using FreeBSD and a bunch
> of Linux distros, I never had time or patience enough to learn Programming
> Languages, and I'm getting more and more to the part where
> I'm thinking it's a good idea more so now than before.
> I have the book "Learning Perl" that I bought a while back, and I've
> also downloaded a bunch of stuff for Perl, Python, Ruby, and others, so I'm
> just curious on basically what Languages anyone here would recommend.
> Literally anyone who responds with an opinion, I'm interested. Being
> easy to learn for someone who isn't great with Math but does understand
> Unix is a plus but not a requirement. I was starting to teach myself
> Ruby on a Linux box I was using for a while and Ruby did seem to be
> going OK, but a lot of the FreeBSD Books I've bought recommend Perl, and
> I've also had just as many reasons from people saying to try
> Python, so basically any Language and what reasons would be great.
> -Allen

If you wish to climb the Perl learning curve, the three canonical books to
begin the journey are:

1.  Learning Perl -- the best introductory tutorial and exercise book.

2.  Perl Cookbook -- a book of short, idiomatic Perl programs with
explanations and commentary that demonstrate how to solve common
programming tasks using Perl.  This, plus the above, will give you the
ideas and confidence to solve basic to intermediate problems.

3.  Programming Perl -- the definitive language reference.  Use it to look
up the gory details.  If you go far enough into Perl, eventually you will
want to read it cover to cover.

For Bourne shell, I have Learning the Bash Shell and Classic Shell Scripting.
To be blunt, neither is a very good for learning how to program.

For C, the canonical book is The C Programming Language.

For computer science concepts, the canonical book is Structure and
Interpretation of Computer Programs.  This was/is the killer brain melt
freshmen engineering weeder text at MIT and Cal.

Of the bunch, I would suggest starting with C and shell, and then add Make
(the Gnu Make book is canonical).  These are the tools used to build BSD,
Linux, user land, language processors, servers, clients, etc..  Add Perl
when you start bumping your head on the limits of Bourne shell scripts
and/or when you want to write prototypes quickly.  Do SICP when you dare.


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