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 Post subject: brand spankin new to programming
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:55 pm 
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All righty, i have a program called visual basic 6. I dont know anything about programming but it seems kind of interesting and i would love to give it a whirl. What advice can you give me regarding how to begin programming? Is there a guide out there or a tutorial perhaps that is worth looking at? A good book? Do i need to take a course? Any knowledgeable internet sites?

As for my intentions, i do not need to write any program for a specific purpose but i just want to try something new that seems like a lot of fun.

Thank you for you help and suggestions...it is much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 7:07 pm 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:41 pm 
SON OF A GUN
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VB is a decent programming language to start off in. I would go to a book store (or order from half.com) a book on VB programming. I dont know of any books that are outstanding, but Avoid any books by Micheal Main or Walter Savitch. The C++ book we had to use for my class last semester at college was aweful. It is a decent reference, but horrid to learn from.

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 Post subject: Re: brand spankin new to programming
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:59 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
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Socrates wrote:
All righty, i have a program called visual basic 6. I dont know anything about programming but it seems kind of interesting and i would love to give it a whirl. What advice can you give me regarding how to begin programming? Is there a guide out there or a tutorial perhaps that is worth looking at? A good book? Do i need to take a course? Any knowledgeable internet sites?

As for my intentions, i do not need to write any program for a specific purpose but i just want to try something new that seems like a lot of fun.

Thank you for you help and suggestions...it is much appreciated.

Very few people around here like VB. I would firmly recommend starting off with C++, Java or Python instead. You can find some good links here. If you choose either C++ or Java, you can try some TopCoder problems for practice which is a great way to build up your chops. Have fun.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:29 pm 
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Why do u not like vb 6?

how much would it cost to buy the other programs like c++ or java? or are there free trials or something?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:34 pm 
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1.) VB6 is Microsoft-specific, and it is really outdated.

2.) C++ and Java aren't programs, they're languages. You can find many free compilers for both.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:36 pm 
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Socrates wrote:
Why do u not like vb 6?

Because it doesn't enforce proper coding habits.

If you're really interested in learning to code, I concur with Gadget - learn a 3rd gen language like C/C++ or Java. It's easier to learn proper then work in crud like VB than to pickup bad habits by starting in VB. Also, VB is being phased out for C# anyway. I'm not as big of a supporter of people learning on scripting languages - but definitely NOT perl.

Quote:
how much would it cost to buy the other programs like c++ or java? or are there free trials or something?


There's numerous free C/C++ compilers available - gcc, djgpp, etc. Google...

Java you can get for free - java.sun.com
You want the SDK, not the JRE which is just the runtimes - the SDK (Software Development Kit) has javac which is the java compiler.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 6:14 am 
I'd rather be modding!
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Socrates wrote:
Why do u not like vb 6?

how much would it cost to buy the other programs like c++ or java? or are there free trials or something?


Python is free, small, and cross platform (Mac, PC, Linux, Unix). It also has a strong support community and is easy to learn.

If you really want to do VB though, you might wanna get VB.NET - and thats pricey.

It depends on why you want to learn programming. What do you need it for? Work? Fun? Personal advancement?

If you are just going to make small apps for fun or minor profit, then Python or Java. If you you want to get a job one day - C++ or Java (and then python later).

VB had become a language used mainly by bussiness folks making tiny apps.

Just my opinion though.

Oh yeah - while agree with what is said above, If its a "just for fun" thing, VB6 is ok. But I think Python would be better.

Manta


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 4:26 am 
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Well Socrates, I don't know your experience level, but you might want to consider learning HTML, as a beginning point, if you don't know it already. You can google a lot of free tutorials, and you don't need any special software. :D (wonders if Socrates is a budding hacker?) :roll: :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 10:08 am 
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Socrates;

You might want to start by getting Visual Studio.net. Some people have problems with Microsoft, and we coders tend to be bias towards the languages we know, but my recommendation is to get an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows you to try more than one language (VB.NET, ASP.NET, C++, C#.NET and J#.NET, for example.)Visual Studio gives you access to all these languages, by the way.

Also, if you are a student or are considering taking a class, you probably qualify for Microsoft's Academic version of the IDE. This version is the same as Microsoft's Professional version, but has added student tools and a restriction on using the software in a commercial capacity. (That means that with the Academic version you can’t legally write a program and sell it.) Since you are just starting out, this shouldn’t be a problem. I was coding for more than a year before I sold my first program, for example. The cost of the academic version is low, and you should be able to find it for less than $150. I have seen it online for as low as $90.00.
Visual Basic.net is an object oriented language, so I don’t think C++ is better than Visual Basic.net, in that respect. Visual Basic.net is a good beginner language. and if you get VB.NET down, coding ASP.net is a breeze (two for one there.)

Note that if you want to write game code, you would want to learn C++ also, but the point here is that if you get the right IDE, you can play around with different languages and see what YOU like the best. It really depends on your learning style and what you want to do with the code. (Create web applications, write game code, make system utilities, etc.) The academic version also comes with a ton of sample code, which is good if you like to learn by example.

A few last points:
Don’t get discouraged when you are first starting out. Give yourself at least a month of not really understanding anything—that seems to be the danger time when people quit. Make it through that first month, and things will start clicking, and you’ll be hooked.

If you don't think you want to spend a year or more getting comfortable with writing code and would rather just jump ahead a dabble in doing fun things with your computer, you might want to look into the game mod community. There is a cool group of people who use game editors like Hammer to create maps and levels for games like Half-Life. In fact, Half-life 2's SDK is coming out fairly soon. Whatever you decide, I am sure you'll be made to feel welcome in either camp.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:38 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
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Regarding the last two posts:

a) HTML is NOT a programming language. However, I do agree that it wouldn't hurt to spend a little time learning HTML.

b) Suggesting that someone without any programming experience should use, much less purchase, VS.NET is just silly IMO. He/she doesn't even know if they will like programming and you're suggesting that they should consider dropping $150?! And for what reason(s)? Are they going to need package management, a profiler, debugger or something else that .NET includes? I'm not slamming VS either. It is just not an inappropriate tool for someone starting out. Hell, probably more than half of the experienced people here wouldn't benefit from it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:49 pm 
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David Smiles wrote:
Socrates;

You might want to start by getting Visual Studio.net. Some people have problems with Microsoft, and we coders tend to be bias towards the languages we know, but my recommendation is to get an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows you to try more than one language (VB.NET, ASP.NET, C++, C#.NET and J#.NET, for example.)Visual Studio gives you access to all these languages, by the way.


Bad, bad advice. You sound more like a MS sales man than giving advice. VS.NET, as nice as it is, is not worth spending money over if you're learning to program.

[quote = "David Smiles"]
Also, if you are a student or are considering taking a class, you probably qualify for Microsoft's Academic version of the IDE. This version is the same as Microsoft's Professional version, but has added student tools and a restriction on using the software in a commercial capacity. (That means that with the Academic version you can’t legally write a program and sell it.) Since you are just starting out, this shouldn’t be a problem. I was coding for more than a year before I sold my first program, for example. The cost of the academic version is low, and you should be able to find it for less than $150. I have seen it online for as low as $90.00.
[/quote]

Still, $90.00 is $90.00 suppose that this person suddenly becomes disinterested in programming then s/he just wasted $90.00 on VS.NET. For me, $90.00 is beer money or my weeks worth of food.

David Smiles wrote:
Visual Basic.net is an object oriented language, so I don’t think C++ is better than Visual Basic.net, in that respect. Visual Basic.net is a good beginner language. and if you get VB.NET down, coding ASP.net is a breeze (two for one there.)


Sure, VB.NET is a good language if you want to learn horrible coding practices and techniques. Not to mention the fact that C++ is popular and almost everyone can teach you C++. Just because VB.NET is Object Oriented does not mean that it's comparable, or better than C++. C++ has its merits, mainly because one can first learn structured programming then diving into OOP. C++ also allows you to meddle with low-level stuff, since it is a super-set of C. As a beginning programmer, they don't need to learn GUI and if they do, there are thousands of free implementation out there that does not require one to pay $90.00 or more for a GUI builder.

David Smiles wrote:
Note that if you want to write game code, you would want to learn C++ also, but the point here is that if you get the right IDE, you can play around with different languages and see what YOU like the best. It really depends on your learning style and what you want to do with the code. (Create web applications, write game code, make system utilities, etc.) The academic version also comes with a ton of sample code, which is good if you like to learn by example.


Yes, all for Microsoft. If I want to write my own games, I'd do it in OpenGL. It's free, easy to learn, and the API is intuitive. DirectX is a nightmare to learn, MFC and COM makes game programming a PITA.

David Smiles wrote:
A few last points:
Don’t get discouraged when you are first starting out. Give yourself at least a month of not really understanding anything—that seems to be the danger time when people quit. Make it through that first month, and things will start clicking, and you’ll be hooked.

If you don't think you want to spend a year or more getting comfortable with writing code and would rather just jump ahead a dabble in doing fun things with your computer, you might want to look into the game mod community. There is a cool group of people who use game editors like Hammer to create maps and levels for games like Half-Life. In fact, Half-life 2's SDK is coming out fairly soon. Whatever you decide, I am sure you'll be made to feel welcome in either camp.


I don't like this advice. Programming isn't hard, but it takes a lot of time and dedication. I admit, that even in my first year or two, I wasn't the sharp programmer as I was. I used my C++ reference book so much the binding is practically destroyed and the book will open a full 180* without the book closing in on you.

I always encourage people to do programming competitions - be able to think problems through clearly before they do anything with regards to SDK's and whatnow.

To be honest, your post disappoints me because it's laden with bad advice and it sounds like a sales pitch for Microsoft.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:52 pm 
SON OF A GUN
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check out www.sourceforge.net

they have lots of programming tools there. I prefer to use Dev C++. We were given a copy of VS 6.0 to use to do our labs in, then a buddy converted me, and I will never go back. It is so customizeable and is VERY powerful. (MS lets you get away with a LOT of sloppy stuff that the gcc compiler won't).

It has been a long time since I programmed in VB (it was probably still in ver 4 or 5 at that time back when I was in high school). I didnt learn poor programming, practices from it, becuase the proff I had for it was pretty specific about how you did things.

C++ is not hard to learn, and is much more poweful than VB.

Maybe he should learn some assembly to get a feel for how spoiled he (we) are. (Our final lab for my assembly class is to turn the keyboard into a piano).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:10 pm 
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Hey, I can do that lab in just a few minutes with C++ and the Windows API function Beep() (on *nix, too).

Must be a PITA to write in assembly, though.
I love C++ 8)


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