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A little Guidance is Appreciated...


786soul
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Alright so I was talking to someone at my University, topic came up about programming languages that are worth learning. I've already started learning C++ and am familiar with java HOWEVER what purpose do these languages have for me?

The question arose of application languages and scripting languages. What's the difference? There was mention of Perl and Python with scripting languages and c++ in application languages. I only have a vague idea of the difference, but what really is the difference? I'd really like to dedicate my time and learn something worthwhile and feel controlling the computer through programming is a better start than going into applications first.

What would one suggest? I don't neccessarily want a 'beginner' language as I've done some programming before. What opinions do you have? I hear python, perl, and c++ a lot but really, what should I spend my time trying to learn? Thanks a bunch!

-soul

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Hi,

It all depends on your needs and goals. A programming language you learn out of interests or need (job, project, school,...)

You are talking about perl, python, those are commonly seen as scripting languages cause they let you automate some stuff you otherwise have to do manually. Eg a system engineer would use a lot perl, python, bash, ... to automate log rotation, log parsing, archiving etc etc and those scripts aren't usually that long or complex.

C++, VB, Java on the other hand isn't a programming language you'll use to write something quick and dirty. You'll use those languages to create programs and those are usually more complex and complicated.

As I said, depending on your needs and goals you'll have to chose what is possible for you. Do you want to go low or high level? Want to get something done quick and dirty or rather have a complete program ?

Good luck :)

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As I said, depending on your needs and goals you'll have to chose what is possible for you. Do you want to go low or high level? Want to get something done quick and dirty or rather have a complete program ?

To be completely honest, I want to try automating the control of a computer first. Automatically changing settings, small pranks that can be loaded on startup etc etc for some fun to start out. The main thing that caught my eye in the switchblade (usb hack) was making that U3 partition different by scripting it to DO something automatically. ThAts the kind of thing that interested me and I don't want to just leech the code and use it and thats it. I want to be able to write my own and customize it to what I like.

If I were to want to do something like that (in this case lets say write my own code for the U3 partition to automate when plugged in) what language should I consider learning? I think that's where I'd find my interest lies at the moment. After which I can go into some application coding which I've already done with java and a tiny bit of c++.

Thanks!

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To be completely honest, I want to try automating the control of a computer first. Automatically changing settings, small pranks that can be loaded on startup etc etc for some fun to start out. The main thing that caught my eye in the switchblade (usb hack) was making that U3 partition different by scripting it to DO something automatically. ThAts the kind of thing that interested me and I don't want to just leech the code and use it and thats it. I want to be able to write my own and customize it to what I like.

If I were to want to do something like that (in this case lets say write my own code for the U3 partition to automate when plugged in) what language should I consider learning? I think that's where I'd find my interest lies at the moment. After which I can go into some application coding which I've already done with java and a tiny bit of c++.

Thanks!

Look around on the net, you've to python, perl, bash, ... whatever language makes you feel at home. I'm a perl fan, it's easy to use / learn and you've got a ton of extra libs / functions to make life easier. But that's my own personal taste. Start with a project and see what language is easiest for you to learn and to understand. The only way to know for sure, is playing with it and coding the stuff. For perl, python, bash ... are more then enough tuts on the net to follow. Hell even with php you can write some scripts without running a webserver, just from the command line.

Good luck!

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If you are stuck on ideas for first projects, look at screen scraping a site. For example, if you want to be able to quickly grab your bank balance from the command line, you can create a screen scraping to log you into the stie then parse through the html to find the html node that contains your bank balance.

http://www.perl.com/pub/a/2003/01/22/mechanize.html

Just for note though, there are definitely security concerns with this type of script, so be aware of what you would be getting into making a script that logs you into a banking website.

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