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onfu

Beginner in need of advice.

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Actually, I''m pre-beginner, technically. I''ve been pretty decent at lingo code (director scripting) for quite a while, but i want to get way more serious about programming. Since Director feels pretty dead-end at the moment, even though it''s powerful and SO easy to get fast results with minimal scripting (if it''s tactful), I need to make a choice about which new area to invest my time into. My main two interests right now and 3D modelling/anim. and Programming, so this might affect the decision. Can anyone tell me (without a logicless bias preferably), which language is the best place to start for a person like me?...I''ve done no actual programming in a "real" language, so i have no compiling experience or any related processes, but i know a lot of complex lingo, which contains many of the same principles as all the programming basics. i feel like things click pretty nicely whenever i take on a challenge with coding something. i usually achieve the goal pretty quickly just by experimenting. I feel definitely more suited to OOP, does that narrow it down a hell of a lot? so, it doesn''t need to be something too basic just for the sake of being a beginner, i''d be more interested in jumping straight into a language that i can do just about anything with, even if it means i''ll be floundering in the deep end for a while. i just want to know what the most useful and suitable one would be in the grand scheme of things. so can i possibly grab some advice? - sorry bout the long winded story. muchly appreciated, Patrick

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Unfortunately, there is no such thing as ''the best language'', and there is definitely no such thing in the programming business as a person completely without bias.

A lot of people will tell you to begin with C or C++ (mostly, I suspect, the latter). While these are great languages widely used in the business (and I suspect that anyone who plans to make it into the business will have to learn them sooner or later), they are fairly low-level and not necessarily the easiest to start with. Of course, if you''re perfectly willing to jump into the deep end ... just be aware that the deep end is pretty deep and you may not make it to the graphical surface for quite some time.

Python is an object-oriented language that is said to be good for beginners. I myself started with C, then C++, so I can''t really judge this claim beyond saying that it sounds reasonable.

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My advise:
Slow down. Aim low. That way you won''t have a want to kill yourself when you fail to create Quake 5 . I suggest Visual Basic (X or .NET) as a beginner''s language because it is very similar to how you would "say" the algorithm. Once your quite confident with VB, jump to C++ and made text adventures/RPGs.



- Rob Loach
Current Project: Go Through Object-Oriented Programming in C++ by Robert Lafore

"Do or do not. There is no try."
- Yoda

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miserable, anyone with an opinion has a bias, really... you took me a little literally. by logicless bias i just meant like some one saying "choose A, not that i know anything about B, just choose A cause i did".

Is Python good for beginners because it has limited functionality and a comparatively smaller scope than C++?

Rob...I understand what you mean about aiming low, but i feel that V.B may be an unnecessary step.

i'll post my most complex lingo work to date, so that there's an idea of what level i'm at.
http://plang.lawngnome.org/blip/

it's a side-view 2d game, has a rudimentary physics system, collision detection, very basic a.i...etc.
i NEVER use library behaviors any of that kinda crap, it's all written from the ground up.

is there a definite NO for java? that would be one of the languages i'd consider most if micro$oft wasn't trying to screw it over.

is C++ the be all and end all?


[edited by - onfu on May 4, 2003 12:54:43 PM]

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quote:
Original post by onfu
miserable, anyone with an opinion has a bias, really... you took me a little literally. by logicless bias i just meant like some one saying "choose A, not that i know anything about B, just choose A cause i did".

Is Python good for beginners because it has limited functionality and a comparatively smaller scope than C++?

Rob...I understand what you mean about aiming low, but i feel that V.B may be an unnecessary step.

i''ll post my most complex lingo work to date, so that there''s an idea of what level i''m at.
http://plang.lawngnome.org/blip/

it''s a side-view 2d game, has a rudimentary physics system, collision detection, very basic a.i...etc.
i NEVER use library behaviors any of that kinda crap, it''s all written from the ground up.

is there a definite NO for java? that would be one of the languages i''d consider most if micro$oft wasn''t trying to screw it over.

is C++ the be all and end all?


[edited by - onfu on May 4, 2003 12:54:43 PM]
Python is really cool, but it''s a bit slow. It could become superior to C++, though. I started with C++ when I was very young (still am) and found it to be very enjoyable. It seems very straight foreward.



-~-The Cow of Darkness-~-

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quote:
Original post by onfu
Is Python good for beginners because it has limited functionality and a comparatively smaller scope than C++?


No, it''s good because it''s a higher-level language and probably has simpler syntax. It is sometimes said that C++ is designed to be an OO language in the same way that you might construct an octopus by sticking some extra legs on a dog. With the C legacy and its own advanced features, C++ syntax may look clean to programmers who are used to it, it is not exactly newbie-friendly.

I won''t say too much about Python because, while it''s a language I''d like to know, I''ve only skimmed its surface. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can tell you about its pros and cons. (One of its known disadvantages is that, being interpreted, Python is a very slow language. However, for critical sections of code, it can interface fairly easily with other languages, such as C or C++.)

quote:

is there a definite NO for java? that would be one of the languages i''d consider most if micro$oft wasn''t trying to screw it over.


No, there is no definite ''no'' for Java. It''s a good language in its own right. People tend to express concerns about speed issues for high-end games in Java; with the current game API''s, I don''t know how well-founded these are. It is true that Java code will probably be a bit slower than, say, C++; however, I don''t know either how much or whether the difference will be significant.

quote:

is C++ the be all and end all?


There is no such thing. It would appear, however, that C++ is currently the most popular language for game development. It supports OOP, it supports generics and various other useful features, and yet it remains as potentially low level as C; combined with the fact that it''s a compiled language with mostly static typing, it has the potential to be very, very fast.

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