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Author Topic: computer languages  (Read 2944 times)
Zarnium
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computer languages
« on: September 09, 2006, 03:32:03 pm »

Anyone know a place where you can dowload visual basic? preferably free but if there is a really good one that isn't let me know too. I have been using chipmunk basic, which is simialr to the really old basic, but I wanted to see how good visual basic was and see if it was better.

And I do know that "visual" refers to the fact that you dont use place numbers.
Also I have a mac, so it would have to be macintosh compatible.
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0xDEC0DE
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2006, 04:18:06 pm »

Visual Basic® is a Microsoft product, and only runs under MS Windows.   So it's not going to do you a lot of good on a Mac.

If you're using MacOS X, you've already got Perl available; it's a lot like BASIC in the sense that you can crank out the most nonsensical, unstructured crap, and after jamming it through the interpreter, it will still run/work (even if it is "by accident")  But unlike BASIC, Perl can actually be useful, and has some useful tech in its core feature set (regular expressions, hashes)  that make it worth having on your toolbelt if you use computers in any professional capacity.

A better idea is to grab a copy of Xcode (available for free download through the Apple Developer Connection, see http://www.apple.com) which will allow you to use more...capable programming languages like C, Objective-C, C++, Python, and Java.
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Zarnium
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2006, 04:48:38 pm »

ok, thanks, i really had no idea it was a windows only product  Tongue I just figured I should learn a more simple language before attempting java. I really want more of a learning tool then anything else.
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meep-eep
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2006, 07:12:30 pm »

Java is a much better starting language anyhow. It really isn't all the complicated either (though the the library of standard classes is huge).
I advise you to steer clear of Perl even more than Visual Basic. With VB, you're only harming yourself. With Perl, you're harming everyone who will ever have anything to do with your code.
As for the other languages 0xDEC0DE mentioned:
C and C++ are very powerful languages, giving you a lot of rope to hang yourself with. It's better to start out with Java, which at least to some degree forces some good programming practices on you.
Objective C is pretty much only used for Mac software.
Python, like Perl, is a scripting language. If you need one, a very good reason to learn Python is that it is not Perl.
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2006, 08:04:18 pm »

yeah... unless by some bizzarre twist of fate i become a proffessional game maker, java is as complicated as im gonna get  Tongue.
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2006, 02:29:14 pm »

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With VB, you're only harming yourself.

Care to elaborate on that comment? In the 90's C++ / Assembler was king for any serious programming, but with faster and faster clock speeds, VB is becoming a contender. Old BASIC such as GW Basic and Quick Basic were interpreter based. VB and the newer VB.NET are object oriented just like C++ and compile to fast executable code for Windows OS. Another plus is that with Visual Studio you can integrate objects from C++ compiled code into your VB project. VB today is not you grandfather's Basic..

Here's a nice source for free VB code:

http://www.vbcode.com/default.htm
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2006, 03:20:35 pm »

Visual Basic has its uses. In particular, it makes a great UI prototyping tool; drawing a dialogue box and sticking just enough code to make your point under it is a piece of cake in VB.

However, in my experience (which dates back to VB 5 and may not reflect the current state of VB), VB suffers from having a confusing and mostly unusable attempt at object orientation bolted onto a language that was never meant to support it. The "compiled" code was roughly two orders of magnitude slower than equivalent C code and required a huge DLL that was essentially a glorified interpreter. VB.NET apparently mitigates this somewhat. However, UI builders for Java and C++ (e.g. Eclipse or JBuilder) have come a long way since then, too.
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2006, 03:44:39 pm »

VB.Net is the most recent version of VB and it is just as fast as any of the .net languages (which is pretty darn fast, because it is compiled to machine code) and it is no longer restricted to the Microsoft platform. Mono which is an implementation of .net for linux/mac operating systems is quite advance and has a compiler for VB.net. You can download VB.Net express (a very nice IDE) for free from the Microsoft site.  The main reason I don’t like VB is that it’s syntax is extremely ugly in my opinion. Personally I would recommend C# since it’s the flagship language for .NET. The thing is that visual basic is not really a “simple language” because it has nearly as many features as any other language.
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2006, 05:33:44 pm »

Quote
With VB, you're only harming yourself.
Quote
Care to elaborate on that comment?

Especially as a beginner, you need a language that enforces good programming. VB doesn't do that. It doesn't even require you to declare your variables. Add to that that most of the users are beginners, so being exposed to other people's code won't teach you much of what is good code either.

If you're already an experienced programmer, learning VB wins you nothing.


And to Novus: C++ is as much an OO hack bolted on a language that was never meant to support it as VB.

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Re: computer languages
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2006, 06:01:50 pm »

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And to Novus: C++ is as much an OO hack bolted on a language that was never meant to support it as VB.

So then which language do you think is "top dog" in the object oriented category?
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2006, 06:41:41 pm »

And to Novus: C++ is as much an OO hack bolted on a language that was never meant to support it as VB.
No arguments from me on that point. The fact that it's almost impossible to find a standards-compliant C++ compiler is just a symptom of the whole mess.

In my experience, the best way to use C++ is to treat it as C or Java and ignore the rest of the language.

Java has a specification you can actually read and understand, most of the features you need built in and widespread support. I like it, and it seems to be OK for beginners, too.
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2006, 07:50:32 pm »

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And to Novus: C++ is as much an OO hack bolted on a language that was never meant to support it as VB.

So then which language do you think is "top dog" in the object oriented category?

The perfect language has yet to be made. It also depends on what you're using it for. C++ will still be the best choice for many applications, unfortunately.
Of the OO languages I have personal experience with, I'd award Java the "top dog" label, although from what I've seen of C#, that language may actually be significantly better.
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2006, 08:23:56 pm »

C++ is sort of the English of programming languages; it's full of inconsistencies and needless complications, but has assimilated almost every useful feature from every other language known to man, allowing it to be widely used. Like English, there are lots of people who use C++ without grasping more than the basics of the language.
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Re: computer languages
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2006, 10:07:33 pm »

although from what I've seen of C#, that language may actually be significantly better.
You've got that right!  Wink
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