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    Second programming language


    I've been working on C++ for the past few months, and I'd like to get a start on another language when I have some downtime. What would be a good second language to follow/complement C++?
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  3. Sarcky
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    Depends on what you want to do. Java or C# for desktop programming, PHP, Python, or Ruby for web.
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    I like assembly, and if you like messing about with logic gates you should give it a try.

    Here is a MIPs processor simulator - the MIPs processor was used in the Sony PSP and is quite a nice processor as it's kind of like a cross-bred 68000 and 6502 chip.

    Java is fine too, but try them all. The more you try, the better :-)

    Regards,

    Shaun.

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    • Winters agrees : Assembly? That's just perverse.
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    Sql

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    Originally Posted by E-Oreo
    Sql
    From what I understand, Sql isn't a programming language, it is a query language, like HTML is a mark-up language.

    Sql is also quite difficult especially at the theoretical stage as you may learn relational algebra, whereas C derived languages are much easier at this level.

    Regards,

    Shaun.
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    I've actually played around with assembly in an introductory Computer Science course. We used the Pep/8 simulator. Once I got the hang of it, it was a strange sort of fun. I might check that out. Thanks.
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    Originally Posted by Shaun_B
    From what I understand, Sql isn't a programming language, it is a query language, like HTML is a mark-up language.

    Sql is also quite difficult especially at the theoretical stage as you may learn relational algebra, whereas C derived languages are much easier at this level.

    Regards,

    Shaun.
    I would say that a database language would go hand-in-hand with a programming language as a basis for a new developer.
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    Originally Posted by Winters
    I would say that a database language would go hand-in-hand with a programming language as a basis for a new developer.
    That's correct, so I'd suggest learning PHP as you'll learn SQL as well... however, SQL by itself isn't programming, it's relational algebra in computer form.

    Regards,

    Shaun.
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    You don't have to learn PL/SQL (the programming language) but SQL is still a language and still something you need to know. While it's not technically a "programming language" on the big imaginary venn diagram, it's a great suggestion, and complex enough that you can't just assume you'll be able to figure it out.
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    SQL isn't easy, but it is useful. Also it isn't really that much more difficult than assembly, it's just a step in the opposite direction.

    Most database-specific implementations of SQL are turing complete, which is usually the most basic requirement for something to be considered a full programming language. Not that you would want to use it for most algorithms though.

    However, a vast majority of non-trivial programs need to use a database of some type, and SQL databases are extremely popular, not only for web applications, but also for desktop and embedded applications. I can't imagine anything that would complement a normal programming language better even if you don't consider SQL to be a full language itself (it's certainly not a normal language).

    PHP has strong roots in C though, so you would probably find yourself right at home with it. However, you would not normally find yourself building a PHP+C application, while you could easily find yourself building a C+SQLite application or a PHP+MySQL application.

    If your goal is web development, then look at PHP or another scripting language first; they tend to have easier to use SQL adapters than C.
    Last edited by E-Oreo; October 28th, 2012 at 07:04 PM.
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    Originally Posted by E-Oreo
    SQL isn't easy, but it is useful. Also it isn't really that much more difficult than assembly, it's just a step in the opposite direction.
    I'd say SQL is, at least at first, extremely difficult. As a programmer, I couldn't get my head around normalisation - if I had a problem with repeating data, I'd want to compress that data. Normalisation didn't 'click' with me until I wrote a 2D space-shooter type game, how would I allow certain ships to be at the same X/Y location and determine the type of ship and the order in which it's drawn etc...? Then all of a sudden, 3rd form normalisation magically made sense.

    Most database-specific implementations of SQL are turing complete, which is usually the most basic requirement for something to be considered a full programming language. Not that you would want to use it for most algorithms though.
    I seem to remember something which says that if a computer can play you at chess, it passes the Turing test. So, the MOS KIM-1 (1976) and Sinclair ZX81 (1981) pass this test because a simple Chess program was implemented on both in just 1K of RAM.

    Regards,

    Shaun.
    Last edited by Shaun_B; October 29th, 2012 at 07:52 AM.
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    Playing chess as passing the Turing Test? That doesn't sound right. The whole point of the Turing Test is that the AI's statements and responses are indistinguishable from a human might reasonably make. Chess is far too focused and limited a venue for that.

    However, it is somewhat irrelevant, as 'Turing-complete' does not refer to the Turing Test, which is a hypothetical means for determining whether an artificial intelligence program is in fact sentient. 'Turing-complete' refers to the ability to compute the same range of computations as a Universal Turing Machine, a simple (and decidedly non-sentient) abstract machine capable of performing any computable result. 'Turing-complete' is usually considered the minimal requirement for a practical programming language, as it shows that it is capable of performing any computable result. A lot of things are Turing-complete - including Game of Life, Minecraft, the programming languages BrainF**k and Unlambda, and even the card game Magic: The Gathering are capable of simulating a UTM, but would not be considered very expressive as far as programming goes.

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