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Thread: What is that all about learning a programming language?

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    Marios's Mustache Wax Reputation: 10

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    Default What is that all about learning a programming language?

    Can a course of learning a computer programming Language be divided into stages? and if yes...What are they "in general ", irrespective of the language we choose? Plz give a road map of it!

  2. #2
    Retired Staff Reputation: 75
    Eriond's Avatar
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    Yup, it can. I'll give you a brief overview of what they are. Feel free to ask questions

    A programming language is basically a language that your computer understands. With the right type of language, you can write just about any program imaginable. You can even make your own operating system (like Windows, Mac OS, Linux), if you had enough time.

    There are several large divisions that separate what people call programming languages from one another; I'll list a few here:

    Compiled Langauges
    Generally, these languages faster, and more flexible than scripting languages, but generally have more issues relating to a particular computer's hardware, and usually take many more human-hours to write the program, when compared to a scripting language. Examples of these types of languages are: C, C++, Java, Objective-C and many, many, many more. Games and operating systems and other speed-critical stuff is usually written using compiled languages.

    Scripting/Interpreted Languages
    Some languages fall under the category of bring scripted. This means that programs are basically just text-files that are interpreted by another program; your computer can't just 'run' these, they have to run another program, which then does what the text-file says. They're generally much slower in computing terms, but much faster to write in human terms. Examples are: Python, Perl, Ruby, etc... Stuff that's not so speed-critical, like websites, tools, and non-speedy programs are writen in these.

    This is a simplified description. Some languages have elements of both, and stuff can be used to 'compile' interpreted languages, and essentially make them compiled languages, but the process is usually not perfect, and generally has tradeoffs. In large software projects, usually a whole mish-mash of languages are used to write the final product, though only stuff written in one or two languages might end up being delivered to a cust****.

    There are other distinctions, between languages, like their typing (dynamic (slower, but easier) vs. static (faster but harder)) and like the style in which their code is structured and executal: Logical Languages (Prolog), Functional (LISP), Imperative (C), but the vast majority of languages that people are imperative, so you don't really need to concern yourself with this, unless you plan to go, really, far indepth into computer science.

    Basically a programming language is just a way to lay out a set of instructions your computer can understand.

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