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Thread: Language to learn?

  1. #1
    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    Language to learn?

    Sorry if this has been covered before... or if it's in the wrong place, or whatever...

    I'm an electrical engineering student, but I constantly find myself wishing I could do more with computer programming to support my electronics projects (interface software, etc)... I have a decent amount of programming experience, and I find programming relatively easy to learn...

    but I'm just wondering what language would I benefit most from learning? For starters, I would mainly want to be able to do some real basic GUI stuff (simple windows, buttons, text boxes, and maybe some serial communication) for my existing projects, but I would also like to pick a language that would be quite useful once I get more experienced with it, especially for things like making plugins/etc for the various frontends out there.

    I know VB is an easy way to get the simple boxes/buttons/serial stuff that I want right away, but I don't feel like it would be very useful down the road... I am leaning toward VC++, but I'm also looking at VC# and some others... (I do have C++ and VB experience, among other languages, so i'm not just starting from scratch, nor am I a complete moron when it comes to programming)

    so... any input? I'd just like to put effort into learning a language that at least gives me the opportunity of contributing to the carputer software scene when I get the hang of using it...
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  2. #2
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    Java or .NET 2.0 (C#, VB, VC++)

    http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/default.aspx

  3. #3
    FLAC J187's Avatar
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    Java
    Its not the cards you're dealt, its how you play the hand!

    Quote Originally Posted by ryuandwings View Post
    Where can I get a roll of tin foil?
    I been looking for that all over the net, but I can't find it.
    Please help.

  4. #4
    Banned RPM_VR4's Avatar
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    If you want the easiest and quickest platform (that is just as powerful as anything else), then I recommend starting in Delphi 7.0. It is much easier to use then VB (IMHO). It is not super popular, but there is still tons of freeware components and you can use ActivX controls in it as well. If your looking for what most people are using today, I guess it's Java, C++, and .NET stuff.

    The things is though, once you know one you can basically learn any other syntax just by looking at some example code.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator xBrady's Avatar
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    C++ if you want to do lots of interfacing with your electronics stuff.
    If you go with a .NET make sure you get a .NET 2.0 book since 2.0 will soon be out.
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  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate shizzle's Avatar
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    I am by no means a programmer but I am passing on the advice given to me by friends/colleagues: C++
    That is what was recommended to me, and I have a book and have read the intro and first chapter and it is pretty straightforward.
    BTW the book I have is the Dietel & Deitel (i think) textbook. I am supposed to be getting another book from a friend soon that is supposed to be better, I will let you know if it is.
    Carputer status: [-*---------]
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  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate Jeep's Avatar
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    C# or VB.NET, no go for C#

    Test drive VisualStudio 2005 for free: http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/

  8. #8
    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    thanks for the opinions guys. I was just looking at the free versions of visual studio 2k5, looks pretty good. I will look into delphi a little, but it seems like C++ is probably my best choice, which is OK because I already have a good amount of experience with it...

    I guess next I have to figure out what this .NET thing is all about if someone could give me a quick rundown, that'd be nice, I googled it the other day but didn't find much info on what advantages/opportunities it provided in terms of the kind of stuff I'd be doing (electronics interfacing, and later on, more carputer-type software)

    and what's so good about C# as compared to C++? (again, in terms of the kind of stuff I'd be using it for)
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  9. #9
    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    well as I said, I already know a decent amount of C++, so it would be a matter of shifting from C++ to C#, not the other way around...

    and as far as the basic stamp goes... well I have been using PIC microcontrollers for years (the BASIC stamp is nothing but a PIC on a little board with some extra circuitry) and I already have a couple C compilers for them so no problems there. In my projects, I have little trouble getting the microcontroller/real world electronics side working, it's just the PC interface software side that cripples me. It's sad, when I do serial interfacing and stuff I have to change my microcontroller code to adapt to work with the crappy PC software I come up with, when it should be the other way around.

    but what are the advantages of C# with this kind of stuff? is it better for GUI/windows API stuff than C++? (windows, buttons, text boxes, sliders, etc... all the crap that's drag and drop in VB, and pages of code in C++)
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  10. #10
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    As a professional programmer, I suggest going for C++. And the book shizzle recommened (Dietel & Deitel) is a good book and thats what we here on base (Air Force Base) use.

    (Jokingly) Or if your really adventurous, go with ASM. LOL!!!
    Just because I haven't posted alot doesn't mean I haven't searched and know what I am talking about!

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