"Simple" Languages in FreeBSD

Matthew Seaman matthew at FreeBSD.org
Sat Jul 2 14:53:08 UTC 2016

Brandon J. Wandersee <brandon.wandersee at gmail.com> wrote:

>> I'll echo what some others have said, and recommend that before you
>> learn any language you should learn about the fundamentals and
>> different paradigms of programming itself: variables, loops,
>> branches, and all that. Most programming language tutorials I've seen
>> assume the reader already has a general understanding of how to
>> string logic together when writing a program.

On 01/07/2016 19:35, Allen wrote:

> I agree with you; Every book or how to that I seem to see, assumes from
> the get go that you already have an understanding of this, and I don't
> really. 

Yeah.  There are whole underlying sets of concepts that are common to
pretty much all programming techniques.  These are something you tend to
pick up as you go along rather than learning about specifically.

You can't really understand these things separately to the experience of
programming, but to the sort of people that write programming languages
or that write textbooks about programming they're so basic and so
familiar that they just seem self evident and not really worth talking

The best approach is simply to jump in there and have a go.   Learn by
making and fixing your own mistakes. It seems really hard at first, but
that's mostly unfamiliarity.  You'll quickly get over that, and once
you've taken a few steps, the following ones come easier.  It doesn't
really matter what language you choose for this, although some will
highlight particular areas more than others.   That's why it's good to
learn many different languages -- as many as possible really -- since
each new language will extend and build upon concepts from the last one.
 You'll find they get easier as you go along.  Not only that, but the
lessons learned with new languages will add to your understanding of
previous languages.

Try and find good examples to copy -- stress over the 'good' part
though, and think about why certain things are done the way they are.
Like any intellectual exercise, this is where you are going to have to
engage your critical faculties.  The Internet is full of the results of
people blindly copying each other's bad examples, and sometimes it's
hard for the voice of reason to make itself heard over the thundering
herd galloping in the wrong direction.



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