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View Full Version : The languages...



Potemkin
12-21-2004, 03:09 PM
I have just discovered the world of programming not too long ago and I am in search of a site that will give a nice description of the avaible programming languages out there.

For the past couple of days i have been doing some research and am alittle over whelmed about all this new stuff, theres soo much!! I am thinking if i had a list of the languages and what they do i could narrow it down into what i would enjoy the most and what area or areas i should look into.

I am not sure what area of programming i would want to focus on so a general overview would be great!

Thanks for your time.

Best Regards, John

Spookster
12-21-2004, 03:37 PM
Here is a great site for learning about the various different languages

http://www.engin.umd.umich.edu/CIS/course.des/cis400/index.html

Horus Kol
12-21-2004, 03:40 PM
there are far too many to list properly, but here's a rundown of the most common:

html - scripting language for web-pages... comes in a number of flavours, but the two main standards are HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.1


javascript - client side script which is used for neat effects - mainly only really works in IE, but can work in other browsers.


java, ASP, PHP, Perl, Python - server side scripts which are used for background handling of information from databases for presentation on websites (note, java is not javascript - common mistake).


Away from the web, we have:

C++, Fortran, Basic, ADA, Pascal, Modula-2 These are compiled languages (except for Basic which is interpreted). A compiled language is written and then converted into 1s and 0s as a .exe file.
They all have pretty much the same function, but some a more optimised to certain functionality.
Almost all Windows programming is C++ or Visual Basic, and sometimes Pascal.
Most graphics libraries are written in C++, as are most games.

There are other, more specialist languages, which are optimised for maths modelling and other functions.


Finally, for the real nitty-gritty - there is assembler. Assembler is about as close to computer language (1s and 0s) as you can get - you are using the instructions as they are stored in the CPU. Because of this, it makes for very lean code, and was mostly used for high-speed processing (such as graphics) but with computers getting faster (and especially with seperate graphics cards and better C++ libraries from card manufacturers), assembler is dying off.


If you want to get into windows programming choose either Visual Basic or C++ - if you want to programme applications and/or games for other operating systems stick to C++. There are plenty of books on these which can take you through from beginner to expert - I got the Jamsa's C/C++ bible when I was a student, and it is an excellent book.


I'm not sure what you want to know exactly, and there is a lot out there - so ask if I haven't quite hit on what you want.

allida77
12-21-2004, 03:51 PM
I would not consider html to be a programming language.

ronaldb66
12-21-2004, 03:53 PM
Drat... my post got lost in transmission...

Anyway: try the Wikipedia: Programming language (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programming_language).

Horus Kol
12-21-2004, 05:11 PM
I would not consider html to be a programming language.
Fair enough - most people do, but I singled it out as a scripting language.

In fact, PHP and ASP are not programming languages - they are scripting languages - but again, most people do regard them as such.


basically, if it gets a computer to do stuff, then it can be a programming language.

liorean
12-21-2004, 06:13 PM
Well, that's always a question of semantics. In it's strictest sense, a program is a machine code file that contains instructions for the computer to do something. In that sense, Java, C# and a whole bunch of other languages are not programming languages, because they don't compile into machine code.

In the more commonly used sense, a programming language is a language which is either compiled to machine code that is then run by the computer, that is compiled to bytecode that is then on the fly converted to machine code that is run by the computer, or that is uncompiled but converted on the fly to machine code by an interpreter.

In the broadest sense, a programming language is a set of instructions for a computer to act upon that has the capability of repetition/recursion, conditionals, and basic math. (Basic math does not mean it must have numbers and algorithmics - you can represent numbers and mathematical operators using other constructs)


All scripting languages are by default programming languages in the second and third sense.


There are also some quite special cases here. PostScript and PDF, for instance, are document formats. However, they represent the document as a series of commands that are then executed, so they can be seen as programming languages. Another special case is XSLT. It's a programming language made for a very specific task, and it lacks some of the more common control structures of other languages. These kinds of languages are known as domain specific languages. They are programming languages, though.




PHP, VBScript (ASP is not a programming language, it's a framework), JavaScript are all scripting languages and thus programming languages.

HTML, CSS, RTF, Word documents and a number of similar languages are not programming languages, nor are they scripting languages. They don't contain instructions for the computer to execute, they only contain descriptive information for the content of the document, or for external documents. They don't have the control constructs, the repetition capability or conditionals required to qualify even the broadest sense of programming language.



If you want to read more on this, <http://www.cs.tut.fi/%7Ejkorpela/prog.html> might be a good place to go.

chilipie
12-21-2004, 06:40 PM
*awestruck gaze at liorean*

You know damn well everything :D .

cfc
12-21-2004, 08:31 PM
java, ASP, PHP, Perl, Python - server side scripts which are used for background handling of information from databases for presentation on websites (note, java is not javascript - common mistake).


Away from the web, we have:

C++, Fortran, Basic, ADA, Pascal, Modula-2 These are compiled ;anguages (except for Basic which is interpreted). A compiled language is written and then converted into 1s and 0s as a .exe file.
They all have pretty much the same function, but some a more optimised to certain functionality.
Almost all Windows programming is C++ or Visual Basic, and sometimes Pascal.
Most graphics libraries are written in C++, as are most games.


Java's uses go far beyond server-side programming or applets, though they are probably the most common applications of java technology. Two examples of applications coded in java are the LimeWire P2P client and the Azureus BitTorrent client. Java can be an excellent language to learn OOP and programming concepts in general, as it simplifies the whole coding experience when compared to C++. It isn't quite as efficient as C++ because the garbage collection and JRE in general create overhead that might diminish performance of resource-intensive applications such as games. I'm using a faster computer than I used to have, so I can't determine how much of a speed increase there is between java 1.4 and java 5 (1.5). As a java developer, there is no memory management involved and you never have to re-write code for different platforms, meaning that cross-platform compatibility is entirely dependent on how well the JREs are written for different programs (Python is the same way, though it does not need to be compiled). I believe some universities and colleges teach java as a first language in coding courses. If you want to start with a more complicated, lower-level, and fully featured language and learn the fundamentals of programming, start with C++ (or just C if you want to avoid the whole OOP thing).

If you want to learn java (1.4), you can download Thinking in Java (http://www.mindview.net/Books/TIJ/) from mindview.net, which is an excellent resource for getting into java programming. Also available from Bruce Eckel are Thinking in C++ Vol. 1 & 2 (http://mindview.net/Books/TICPP/ThinkingInCPP2e.html#DownloadingTheBook), though I have not read much of thinking in C++. There is also a Thinking in Python book available from the same author, but it is not meant to be introductory and basic python is pretty easy to learn.

Of course, if you're beginning coding in general, take it easy and start with HTML and CSS

equimere
12-21-2004, 10:25 PM
I am in search of a site that will give a nice description of the avaible programming languages out there.
Welcome to the Dictionary of Programming Languages, a compendium of computer coding methods assembled to provide information and aid your appreciation for computer science history. (http://users.erols.com/ziring/dopl.html)

Horus Kol
12-22-2004, 09:26 AM
good points Liorean...



HTML, CSS, RTF, Word documents and a number of similar languages are not programming languages, nor are they scripting languages. They don't contain instructions for the computer to execute, they only contain descriptive information for the content of the document, or for external documents. They don't have the control constructs, the repetition capability or conditionals required to qualify even the broadest sense of programming language.

Sorry - yeah, HTML is a Markup Language... d'oh!




Java's uses go far beyond server-side programming or applets, though they are probably the most common applications of java technology.

Yes, I guess so - Python is the same... anyone play Eve? That is based on Python :)



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