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    Need an advice on choosing a language


    Hi everyone,

    I would really appreciate an advice from you guys.
    I don't have much experience in programming, only web stuff such as html, php, and coldfusion.

    Although I'm not planning to program for a living, I'd like to learn a language that could be easy to learn, easy to use but powerful enough for doing complex things if needed.
    Lately, I've been playing with Python and I love it, but unfortunately there's no easy way to build a GUI with it and there's no way to create executable stand alone programs.

    As far as I know, the c languages (c, c++, c#) are the way to go for "serious" programmers, but I wonder if it's worth the effort to master them. I've read several times that they are not easy to learn and that it takes time to create even the simpliest application with them. Is that true?

    How about the so called "RAD" solutions?
    Is Delphi easier to learn and use than, say, visual C#?
    For someone willing to learn from zero, what's the better choice? Delphi, VB, c#...?

    I'd like to know your opinions...
    Thanks in advance...

    LUIS
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    my personal oppinion: if you call coldfusion and html "programming languages", you should go for Visual Basic. (they are no "real" programming languages just as "VB" is not...). :rolleyes:

    If you want to do serious programming, but go the easy way, learn Delphi - nearly as powerful as C, but as easy as Basic. Available on Windows and Linux, free "personal" version for beginners downloadable on www.borland.com

    If you want to do it the hard way, but have the goal to become a "real pro", learn C first, then C++. After you managed this, any other programming language will only be a matter of days to learn...

    Anyway, imho you should read a little about OOP theory, it makes learning and reading other languages much easier. OOP is a great concept of "organizing your (and othersī) code".

    as said, my personal oppinion, others here probably will disagree.
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    Thanks M. Hirsch


    Thank you for your reply.
    I agree with your opinion and I know the importance of object oriented programming.
    As I said above, I've been playing with Python and I see what it means. I also know a little bit of php and its OO capabilities.

    My only concern about the Object Pascal language of Delphi is wether it is a good language to learn from zero right now.
    I read somewhere that it is from the "age of dinosaurs" (this is what other people say, not what I think cause I don't know it).

    Since I'm willing to learn from the ground up a new programing language/environment, do you think it's wise to start with an old language such as O.Pascal/Delphi instead of following the trends with .Net, C# and/or the other .net languages?

    I know that Delphi 7 is compatible with .Net but is this compatibility reliable?
    And finaly, can I trust in Borland's future support for Delphi?
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    for trusting borlandīs future and reliability: definitively yes. i would even say: "borlandīs future is more secured than microsoftīs or .netīs".

    object pascal is not a dinosaur language. C / C++ are much older - pascal was invented much later ;)
    from what i know about the history:
    C was developed for programming unix. This was about 30 (maybe 40?) years ago.
    pascal was originally developed as a "learning language" being easier to understand than C, but has evolved since then to be nearly equal to C (and sometimes just as confusing... :rolleyes: )
    You should not make your choice depend on the age of the language, but its power and ease of learning...

    pascal and C are not that different. if you are good at one, itīll take you only some days to convert to the other.

    Also i can supply you with dozens of good delphi and C resources, but youīll probably find 1000 more on google...

    imho knowledge of the libraries makes a big part of being a good programmer. but they are exactly the same on C compared to Delphi...
    Last edited by M.Hirsch; February 13th, 2003 at 06:24 PM.
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    One more question...


    Thanks again M. Hirsch for your detailed replies.
    There's only one doubt remaining...

    Many people, like you, consider Delphi an easier tool than C (or C++, C#).
    Is it easier because of its language (O. Pascal), or because of its graphical IDE?
    I'm asking this because as you said above "pascal and C are not that different. if you are good at one, itīll take you only some days to convert to the other."

    Then, again, if C and Pascal are similar, and since C# can be used with Visual Studio, is there really an advantage in choosing Delphi for a beginner?

    How much easier is Delphi compared to Visual C#?
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    Itīs not the IDE. Delphi, Visual Studio, BC++ and most other compilers come with a very similar IDE.

    I personally consider pascal easier to learn for beginners. It is not as cryptic as C and in the beginning, you donīt have to care about pointers. Delphi will do that for you. (in more advanced programming you will have to too, but then you are on the level where you just as well could use C...)
    C code is case sensitive, pascal is not. Also in pascal you have less brackets which makes it imho easier to read for beginners . an example, the both programs do exactly the same task (and you should see why it is so easy to convert between them):
    Code:
    // C code
    int i;
    int main() {
       for (i=0;i<100;i++) {
          printf("Line number: %d\n", i);
       }
       return 0;
    }
    // Pascal code
    
    function main: Integer;
    var i:Integer;
    begin
      for i:=0 to 99 do begin
        WriteLn("Line number: ",i);
      end;
      Result:=0;
    end;
    Now decide yourself which one you like better...

    Delphi and C++ Builder abstact the WinAPI using Borlandīs class library ("VCL"), in Visual Studio C++ you would use "Microsoft Foundation Classes" (MFC). In C# itīs the .NET class library.

    But C# is a little bit of another story: If you know C#, you can use the same classes in all .NET languages, so changing to J#, ASP.NET, Delphi.Net, ... should be easy then (never tried any of these).
    Last edited by M.Hirsch; February 16th, 2003 at 04:13 AM.
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    Everything clear now


    So I guess it all comes down to personal preferences regarding the sintax of each language.
    Although I see Delphi's Pascal is easier to write and read, C is more similar to PHP.

    Well, since a hate curly brackets, I'll give Delphi a try...
    Meanwhile, I'll also try peek some other .NET languages to see if there's something better for me there.

    Thanks again for your enlightening explanations!
    So long,
    LUIS
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    so so true


    Originally posted by M.Hirsch

    If you want to do it the hard way, but have the goal to become a "real pro", learn C first, then C++. After you managed this, any other programming language will only be a matter of days to learn...
    so so true!

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