Can anyone recomend a good intoduction to C...

Laura Creighton lac at cd.chalmers.se
Tue Mar 6 19:11:22 CET 2001


Hello Werner

you write:

>I further think it is easier to move 'back' from C++ to C, when the need
>arises, than vice versa. This is simply because you are forced to use a
>different technique if the one you are used to does not work on that
>platform.
>Personally I started with procedural programming and moved to the object
>oriented technique afterwards. This is why I think it is hard to get used to
>objects when you are used to malloc, free, memcpy and friends.
>
>Did I miss an important point?

2 points.  First of all, while you may be correct that your first exposure
to procedural programming has made it hard for you to get used to
object oriented programming, it is also possible that your problem was that
C++ is a widely-avialable-but-not-particularily-good programming language. 
People whose first OO programming language is Smalltalk have, in my experience
a far easier time learning OO programming.  I do not know anybody whose 
first OO language was Eiffel, but I suspect they have an easier time as well. 
I think that the Smalltalk courses which I took at university, which
were optional, and I only took because I *like* learning languages ended
up being the most valuable courses I ever took.

So the question becomes, why is it that the original poster decided to
learn C or C++?  If he has an application which he thinks is suited to
one or the other, more power to him, though it is hard to make such
decisions until you have more experience with a host of computer languages.
Maybe he just has a compiler and wants to play with it.  Maybe he
has a linux or unix system and wants to find out exactly what it is
that his system is doing.  But finally, it may be that it is more
experience with computer languages in general which is what he wants,
in which case I would say, yes, by all means learn C.  Then go out and 
learn Smalltalk, or Lisp or Haskell.  And make sure you learn an  assembler 
as well on the way, because that too will make your brain go off and work 
in amazing new directions.   This is a keen source of personal pleasure.
They say that you cannot feel new neural connections being made in your 
brain, but I am not so sure about that.

Laura Creighton




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