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Recommend a Programming Language

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Master of Nuhn, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Master of Nuhn

    Master of Nuhn Wear it like a crown Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Haha! I thought you were being funny by mentioning some total unrelated job. Like "I studied metaphysics! I'm a nurse now." But I looked up COBOL and you actually made sense. :)
    I doubt I pick it up, though. But it's good food for thought.
     
  2. SlickRCBD Gems: 25/31
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    I still suggest going with BASIC for starting out. BASIC is an acronym for "Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code".

    I do NOT recommend COBOL. The whole way of handling Input and Output is weird, and it is NOT designed for interactive programs, but more for batch programs. I also took ONE class of COBOL when I had my ill-fated attempt to goto NIU. I wound up breaking my wrist and being forced to drop out because the school wouldn't give me any accommodations for having my writing hand in a cast while I could NOT write legibly with my left hand. (My handwriting is bad enough with my right hand, to the point where my English 102 teacher, upon turning in the first in-class writing, asked if my major was pre-med).


    As for programming helping you with understanding games, it probably won't help much with playing them, but it can help immensely with modding them. Also with "hacking" save game files for cheating. It can also help you understand scripting things like in the Neverwinter Nights Toolset.
    I'm not just talking about coding per sae, but being able to make mods by altering game data files.

    Some important concepts to pick up relating to the above are how computers store memory in "reverse order", understanding IF-THEN-ELSE structures, the concepts of variables and the different types, of which the archetypes being floating point, integer, arrays and strings (which is often a subtype of array), loops, flags, special characters and codes like EOF and newlines, and what structured programming is.
    Also, learn to use different number bases, specifically binary, hexadecimal, and ocatal (the latter is important for Linux and C, but usually unimportant for many other languages.). Every programmer needs to be able to work with binary and hexadecimal. An understanding of binary is important for working with flags.


    That is, if you are learning to be able to better understand and mod games. There are a lot more general concepts that any good into-level tutorial should teach, but I'm pointing out things that are related to modding.
     
  3. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    Haha, Cobol is one of the languages that could make you a millionaire. Large government agencies have systems running on Cobol, but most of the developers retired so there is no one to maintain those systems.

    @SlickRCBD
    I only work for small startups, so I have yet to see an HR drone :D
     
  4. SlickRCBD Gems: 25/31
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    I just found it ridiculous that it took 3-4 pages of code to write a "Hello World" in COBOL.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 4 minutes and 58 seconds later... ----------

    For comparison, in BASIC, which includes Integer BASIC (Apple II), AppleSoft BASIC (everything after the original Apple II) or GW-BASIC (aka BASICA, included with all versions of MS-DOS), and compatible with QBASIC (included in MS-DOS 5.0 and later, along with Windows 95 and 98), the entire program code would be:
    Code:
    10 PRINT "HELLO WORLD!"
    20 END
    
    I believe that in all of those dialects, you could drop the second line.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds later... ----------

    In ANCI C it would be
    Code:
    #include <stdio.h>
    
    int main()
    {
    printf("Hello World!");
    return 0;
    }
    
    Although every compiler I know of would let you use "void main()" and drop the "return 0".
    In C++ it's
    Code:
    #include <iostream.h>
    
    int main()
    {
    cout << "Hello World!";
    return 0;
    }
    
    again, it could be written as
    Code:
    #include <iostream.h>
    
    void main()
    cout << "Hello World!";
    
    by most compilers, but it doesn't conform to strict ANSI standards (main is supposed to return an integer error code to the OS, with 0 for "no error, everything exited normally").
     
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