what is easier to learn first?...

Grant Edwards nobody at nowhere.nohow
Wed Mar 22 05:12:04 CET 2000


On Tue, 21 Mar 2000 22:31:59 GMT, William Tanksley <wtanksle at dolphin.openprojects.net> wrote:

>Scheme and Python, by all means; but replace Smalltalk with ML and
>Modula-3 with Java.  If you can, replace Scheme with Lisp, on the
>principle that Lisp is much more likely to be useful on the job.

Java is probably more likely to be useful than M3, but I still
like M3 (probably because I was exposed to Modula on a PDP-11
20 years ago).

>If you want a broad base of knowledge, try this:
>
> - Python (learn this first)
> - Haskell/ML
> - Prolog/Mercury

I forgot Prolog -- it should definitely be on the list.

> - Forth/Joy

There still seems to be a small but loyal community of embedded
systems people using Forth.

> - APL/J/K

It's been a log time since I've heard much about APL.  I found
it unpleasant, but perhaps my APL experience was tainted by the
fact that I had to use it on dumb terminals attached to a
heavily overloaded VAX running VMS, and all of the documentation
and chalkboard examples used the APL character set.  It also
would have helped it I actually had a need or desire to
manipulate arrays of numbers.  It always helps when learning a
language if you can use it to do something _you_ consider useful.

I don't know how many painfully boring hours I spent many years
ago in a numerical analysis class learning ways of finding
Eigen values and Eigen vectors.  Something I never had to do
before or since.  I can only presume that somebody who does
something besides real-time embedded systems design finds that
sort of thing useful.

-- 
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  And furthermore,
                                  at               my bowling average is
                               visi.com            unimpeachable!!!



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