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blondie :) 02-11-2010 06:00 PM

What programming language to learn?
 
Hello, I was wondering what programming language to learn to program on a mac. I'm using the Eclipse IDE (I've used xcode, and found it too bulky with all the tools in it, I only needed the IDE). I just plan to develop simple command line programs for now (I'm only in the beginner/mild experience range). I know a bit of C and C++, but should I learn something different?

Thanks,

Mitch Guzman

Babkockdood 02-11-2010 06:29 PM

I program in AppleScript. It's pretty easy to learn and you can do a lot with it.

mbohn 02-11-2010 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blondie :) (Post 998690)
Hello, I was wondering what programming language to learn to program on a mac. I'm using the Eclipse IDE (I've used xcode, and found it too bulky with all the tools in it, I only needed the IDE). I just plan to develop simple command line programs for now (I'm only in the beginner/mild experience range). I know a bit of C and C++, but should I learn something different?

Thanks,

Mitch Guzman

If you like Pascal and would like an open-source, multi-platform IDE for GUI and console apps, have a look at Lazarus:

Lazarus - Index

vansmith 02-11-2010 06:54 PM

I would suggest taking a look at some Python, Perl and Ruby tutorials to see what suits you best. Each of them comes with your Mac and can be a nice intro to programming.

DaFlake 02-11-2010 08:13 PM

Wow, lots of advice what to learn but not one has asked what the OP plans or wants to do with what he learns...

There are a slew of languages out there but if you eventually want to program for the Mac, Objective C is the way to go (especially since you have some C background already). If you think that is too difficult then you could start with Java (a real OOP language).

Now, if you are doing WEB development then there are a whole different set of languages to choose from. However, you will find that they come easier once you get a solid background in one or two languages.

vansmith 02-11-2010 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaFlake (Post 998778)
There are a slew of languages out there but if you eventually want to program for the Mac, Objective C is the way to go (especially since you have some C background already).

You don't need to know ObjC to program for the Mac. There are other fine languages and libraries that work well in OS X. I use Python and wxPython and they work like a charm. The idea that Mac programming absolutely has to be done in ObjC is ridiculous especially for beginners. I am by no means an expert programmer (and have no problems with saying that) but working with scripting languages is a great way to start.

blondie :) 02-12-2010 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vansmith (Post 998800)
You don't need to know ObjC to program for the Mac. There are other fine languages and libraries that work well in OS X. I use Python and wxPython and they work like a charm. The idea that Mac programming absolutely has to be done in ObjC is ridiculous especially for beginners. I am by no means an expert programmer (and have no problems with saying that) but working with scripting languages is a great way to start.

so you recommend I start with a scripting language such as python or ruby? I've looked at both of em and they both seem pretty sound.

P.S. Thanks for all the input :)

DaFlake 02-12-2010 08:35 AM

As I said, it depends on what the OP wants to actually do in programming. Scripting languages are great but I wouldn't start there to be honest. It will be harder to grasp the OOP concepts and will feel more restrictive over all later down the line. Having done this for a living I think that it would be best to go with a good OOP and then add scripting to your arsenal later down the line. I can't tell you the number of folks that I met that can script like crazy but struggle with the more complex languages, get frustrated and then drop it.

blondie :) 02-12-2010 11:34 AM

All I want to do is be able to write simple GUI applications (calculators, etc). Just really simple stuff, I don't need to get too advanced just yet. So...the question still stands...scripting (python) or not (objective-c)?

DaFlake 02-12-2010 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blondie :) (Post 999183)
All I want to do is be able to write simple GUI applications (calculators, etc). Just really simple stuff, I don't need to get too advanced just yet. So...the question still stands...scripting (python) or not (objective-c)?

Still depends on what your overall goals are. For instance, I can easily do calcs with VB (sorry, I am not a big mac programmer) or I can do it with JAVA. VB is easier overall but JAVA is a true OOP language. I learned JAVA first and it gave me a solid foundation that make it easier to understand how other languages work. That being said, if you are just messing around then script away...

Just pick one and dig in.

vansmith 02-12-2010 05:05 PM

Java's not a bad language to start with and is fairly approachable. There are a lot of good development environments as well which helps when your writing code.

blondie :) 02-12-2010 06:40 PM

I think I'll just start with java then :) and I'll be using eclipse IDE. Thanks for all of your input guys I really appreciate it :)

SpinningCompass 02-12-2010 09:11 PM

I'm late to the party, of course, but Blondie, I urge you to consider learning Python and then PyQt, both under Eclipse (thanks to PyDev).

Once you get used to PyQt as a graphical toolkit, you'll find it remarkably easy to write GUI-based apps in Python. Qt has some excellent documentation, as does Python.

YMMV but I found Java to be mind-numbingly tedious to learn, even with the help of NetBeans and its GUI designer, Matisse. Python was much easier, faster, and portable, especially when databases are involved.

Do you plan on writing apps for PDAs, or just for regular PCs?

blondie :) 02-13-2010 01:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpinningCompass (Post 999463)
I'm late to the party, of course, but Blondie, I urge you to consider learning Python and then PyQt, both under Eclipse (thanks to PyDev).

Once you get used to PyQt as a graphical toolkit, you'll find it remarkably easy to write GUI-based apps in Python. Qt has some excellent documentation, as does Python.

YMMV but I found Java to be mind-numbingly tedious to learn, even with the help of NetBeans and its GUI designer, Matisse. Python was much easier, faster, and portable, especially when databases are involved.

Do you plan on writing apps for PDAs, or just for regular PCs?

Just pc's for now, but possibly PDAs later, depending on how interested I am in the language after I start learning it for a bit. If Python is easy to learn and will give me what I need, I think I'll start using that then (just because I love eclipse :) )


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