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Old 2019-11-04, 22:00   #4
Dylan14's Avatar
Mar 2017

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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
The reasons you have given so far for using python apply to most interpreted languages.
It would be more interesting if you contrast python with other popular languages too.

Good point Nick. I'll need to add a new post in this preliminary section to compare Python to, say, C, C++, Fortran, Java, Pari/GP (I think those are the main languages nowadays?)
Now question: how do I insert a post between posts that have already been posted, if it is possible?

Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
Indeed. There are many excellent languages out there, and it is good to know many.

Indeed. I mentioned this in point 4 in post 2 in the guide.

Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
The truth, though, is for most people being introduced to computer programming for the first time, Python isn't the worst choice. Lots of support out there, and as Colab and Kaggle demonstrate, easily available "in the cloud".

Just to share, I know a certain university near me that is still teaching their undergraduates C as their introductory language.

Now, I love C, and serious programmers should be comfortable with it. But, as the saying goes, C has "all the power, and all the safety features, of a chainsaw"...

Even the most basic string-filtering with sorting exercise quickly gets into pointers, which then leads to the "human" dealing with memory and garbage collection, etc.

Python is not a bad choice. I like it because it's "logical" to me. Take that as you will.
And I don't deny that C is important as well. But, it can be a true pain sometimes. Especially when you have to deal with classes...
On your comment on a local university teaching C as the first language: interesting. Now at the university that I go to (University at Buffalo) for the longest time the introductory computer science course used Java as the language of choice. I can't really comment much on that since I never took that course (although I have seen a lot of students working on that). Not sure what they use now. In my education I took a course in the math department (MTH 337) with Python, and then one in computational physics (PHY 505) which used C and python.

Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
And, if I may please lastly say, I really do encourage people to at least be also familar with Perl. It really is the "Internet's Duct-tape", used to glue software components together.

Not that difficult to read, and it does strings in its sleep.

Sounds like that would be another good guide...
But I don't think I would be the right choice to write that.
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