HELP! Must choose language!

Travis Beaty t_beaty at mchsi.com
Wed Jan 8 04:47:39 CET 2003


I just eyeballed the Eiffel web site.  Eiffel Studio is only $8000.  I 
was sort of interested, until I happened to come across the price, at 
which point my mouse started to tingle.

I suppose the free version would be okay, but are GPL'ed apps considered 
"non-commercial"?  If not, there would be no sense in my delving 
seriously into their free version if I can't release anything, and even 
when I do get to that point, it would take just long enough to save up 
$8000 that by the time I sent off the money order, the price would be 
$16,000.  LOL

That having been said, Eiffel would still be worth your looking into, 
perhaps, because chances are that, if you used your Eiffel training, it 
would be in a corporate setting where they've paid the licensing fee, 
not you.  I don't want to discourage your looking into Eiffel, I just 
found the sticker shock to be quite dazzling.  That's all I'll say about 
the Eiffel thing, because this is, after all, a Python group.  <snicker>

And yes, folks, I'm not a professional programmer, I'm a forklift driver 
that is trying to learn to *be* a professional programmer.

One thing I would say is that you do have it quite a bit easier, 
stepping in at this point without any experience.  Just like you, I got 
interested in programming in high school (the mid 1980s), before OOP was 
the "big thing."  In fact, my first language was TRS-DOS BASIC, but the 
one I really took to at the time was USCD Pascal on an apple IIc.

After high school, my life took a different route and I ran off and 
joined the circus.  Uh ... I mean, the Army.  At any rate, I strayed 
away from programming until 1997.  My biggest struggle in learning the 
new languages has been the fact that I have such trouble grasping the 
concept of OOP.  This is one of the reasons why Python has an appeal -- 
with Java, I'm forced to "OOP or nothing," and I flop horribly at it. 
With Python, I've found a sort of happy medium, where I've been slowing 
easing myself into the "modern paradigm" of objects.

Since you will be starting out with objects, classes, inheritance, 
polymorphine ... uh ... polymorphism, etc., you will have a lot easier 
time because you will not have to unlearn the procedural way of looking 
at a problem.

I've studied C++, and while I am not in complete agreement that it is 
completely unlearnable within a month or two, the language is like 
scrubbing your kitchen floor with a toothbrush ... yeah, it gets the 
floor clean, but damn it's a lot of work.  Just for my own uses, anyway, 
Python is superb, quite easy to pick up, and I've found that the kitchen 
floor comes just as clean if I use a mop.

Okay, I'll shut up now.  Thanks for putting up with me.

Have a wonderful day!

Travis Beaty
Mason City, Iowa.



Hrvoje Nezic wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> I have a very long experience in programming in different
> languages. For long time I programmed in C.
> Then I become familiar with object oriented programming
> through Smalltalk. When  C++ compilers appeared I
> started to program in C++ and I do it now, not
> because this is my decision, but because my company
> forces me to do so. If I could choose by myself, I
> would never, never choose C++ (after having long experience
> in using it). I am also familiar with Java and C#.

<snip>

> I would suggest you to try both. You can download
> ISE Eiffel at www.eiffel.com . A free version is about
> 50 Mb. I am not sure for Mac, but Visual Eiffel has
> a version for Mac. Eiffel environments give you certain
> important features that cannot be easily found elsewhere.
> Also, compared with Python, the free ISE Eiffel compiler
> comes with a full featured, professional debugger, and this
> is something I miss in Python.
> 
> Eiffel has very clean and understandable syntax, and this
> is why it is used on many universities in introductory
> programming courses.
> 
> Regards,
> Hrvoje Nezic
> 





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