On Wed, May 25, 2005 at 01:27:06PM +0100, Timothy Murphy wrote:
> It's crazy to learn any language if you want to use another one.
> It's like saying, "I'm going to Italy, so I'll learn German".
if you know at some point in your life you are going to want to learn
french, spanish, italian or porteguese, it doesn't hurt to learn latin.
python is a language that follows a dominant strain of languages -
procedural object oriented languages. the skills you learn in python
can be easily applied to c, c++, java, perl, pascal, ruby, fortran,
cobol, etc. yes, each has its lovely little quirks, but algorithm design
in python is quite similar to algorithm design in those other languages.
now if you go off and learn prolog, that's only applicable to a small
number of languages. likewise learning forth or postscript will have
limited transference to most languages. learning lisp, clos, scheme or
any varient of ml gives you a base in functional (possibly oo) languages
which are probably second to procedural languages. and it's not a bad
idea to learn one so that you can look at things a different way.
human languages are really a bad example. even though french and
spanish are both romance languages, it's probably pretty hard to move
from one to the other. subtle differences in grammar and huge
differences in pronounciation and even vocabulary make it hard. most
computer languages have a small vocabulary and simple syntax (with perl
being a possible exception here).
btw, several people keep mentioning pascal. i suspect none of us was
unlucky enough to code in the original pascal. borland's turbo pascal
was pascal with a nice environment to develop in. and i think it made a
great teaching language.
kevin lyda ~ dems for torture: salazar(co/10) landrieu(la/08) pryor(ar/08)
kevin at ie.suberic.net ~ nelson(fl/06) nelson(ne/06) lieberman(ct/06) 2/2/04
Those who refuse to raise their voices against something as clearly evil
as torture are enablers, if not collaborators. --Bob Herbert, 2/11/04
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