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Programming; where to start.

Where do I start? I am interested in learning about programming. I have been told perl, python, and other languages are the "best" places to start. I wonder if learning basics of applescript wouldn't be better. Honestly I don't know if that's the same thing. I just curious to see what someone with little time to devote towards this itch should do. Any suggestions?

mwr's picture

Not Perl

Probably an inflammatory way to lead off, but though one can write good Perl, it's very easy to write line noise that you won't be able to comprehend in a few days/weeks/months.

Of the usual introductory languages, I write Python the most. Quite possibly the lightest language on excess punctuation, and the simplest "Hello, world" programs.

Since I'm liable to exceed the number of links in a reply unless our host has tweaked the spam filter settings, I'll instead point you to google up any of the following:

  • cp4e -- a Python initiative from a few years ago to promote "computer programming for everybody"

  • scratch at mit -- graphical programming environment geared toward kids who wanted to make animations and similar interactive things. No Python tie-in that I'm aware of, but sounded like a good idea.

  • "how to think like a computer scientist" -- there's a Python version of this free e-book, and there appear to be other versions for Java, C++, Ruby, and who knows what else.




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