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(IT World)   The coder running for Congress recommends JavaScript as a first programming language, loses crucial Python vote   (itworld.com) divider line 103
    More: Interesting, Reddit AMA, congresses, python, programming languages, open-sources, software engineers, Jekyll  
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1292 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Mar 2014 at 1:45 PM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



103 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-26 12:33:23 PM
Q: "Mac or PC?" Aries8288

A: "Mac"


This guy is going to suck as a politician.

The PC answer is "why not both?"
 
2014-03-26 01:49:04 PM

impaler: Q: "Mac or PC?" Aries8288

A: "Mac"

This guy is going to suck as a politician.

The PC answer is "why not both?"


PC and Mac.  PC just means "Personal Computer", which a Mac is...
It's like saying "drugs and alcohol".  Alcohol is a drug too, but nobody really takes it seriously.
 
2014-03-26 01:50:03 PM
I suggest QBasic or Pascal

/old
 
2014-03-26 02:04:21 PM

Perlin Noise: I suggest QBasic or Pascal

/old


I suggest microcode.
 
2014-03-26 02:04:34 PM

Perlin Noise: I suggest QBasic or Pascal

/old


Assembly.

/oldish
//first language was 68000 assembly on a Mac
 
2014-03-26 02:06:52 PM
There are so many bad habits to be picked up by learning Javascript first. It has the benefit of being easy to get started with since every mainstream OS has a basic text editor and a browser but other than that, it's a bad place to start unless you never want to do more than create mashups of other people's creations.
 
2014-03-26 02:13:12 PM

impaler: Q: "Mac or PC?" Aries8288

A: "Mac"

This guy is going to suck as a politician.

The PC answer is "why not both?"


Eh, I'd prefer him to say "Well, I'd suggest a customized Gentoo build, because that will not only give you the smallest footprint, but also teach you how your system functions."

But I can see the value in suggesting Apple. They're an American company.
 
2014-03-26 02:17:09 PM

EngineerAU: There are so many bad habits to be picked up by learning Javascript first. It has the benefit of being easy to get started with since every mainstream OS has a basic text editor and a browser but other than that, it's a bad place to start unless you never want to do more than create mashups of other people's creations.


A great way to lose friends is to put "var that = this;" at the start of every new C# method, just to see who's paying attention.

Another is to run for office.
 
2014-03-26 02:20:11 PM

redElfShotTheFood: A great way to lose friends is to put "var that = this;" at the start of every new C# method, just to see who's paying attention.


www.aaanything.net
 
2014-03-26 02:20:25 PM

Perlin Noise: I suggest QBasic or Pascal

/old


Pascal was a great teaching language that has a lot to be said for it above and beyond today's programming languages. Highly structured, followed a set format (variable declaration, order of functions) and was moderately clear in the terminology and symbol use. I found it much easier to tutor people in Pascal than C/C++, Java, VB, etc. I'd hate to try to teach someone python right out of the gate without any prior knowledge and honestly cringe at anything Java related (script/grails/ruby). There's something to be said for having a programming language that is built to teach, that you then graduate into languages that are actually industry practical.
 
2014-03-26 02:21:11 PM

EngineerAU: There are so many bad habits to be picked up by learning Javascript first. It has the benefit of being easy to get started with since every mainstream OS has a basic text editor and a browser but other than that, it's a bad place to start unless you never want to do more than create mashups of other people's creations.


This.  Plus, there are many aspects of javascript that are very hard to master.  A much better choice is something like Python, if you ask me.

Actually, what we need is a language written specifically for learning, rather than being used in practice, so that it reinforces principled programming.  But I can already hear the arguments beginning on what those principles should be.

Fark it.  Javascript it is.
 
2014-03-26 02:25:16 PM
Kibbler: Plus, there are many aspects of javascript that are very hard to master.  A much better choice is something like Python, if you ask me.

Perl. Throw 'em down early and let 'em know TIMTOWTDI.
 
2014-03-26 02:26:28 PM
A better choice is a non-interpreted language and one that isn't owned and controlled by a company. Gawd, programmers have gone to shiat in the last 15 years.
 
2014-03-26 02:35:55 PM
Are you going to vote for him?

Yes or No?

Binary
 
2014-03-26 02:36:18 PM
The python vote is iffy anyway, since they won't vote unless the candidates' names are indented just right on the ballot.
 
2014-03-26 02:38:38 PM

stonicus: PC and Mac.  PC just means "Personal Computer", which a Mac is...
It's like saying "drugs and alcohol".  Alcohol is a drug too, but nobody really takes it serious


I just realized I used PC for both "personal computer" and "politically correct" in my post.
 
2014-03-26 02:42:14 PM

Kibbler: Actually, what we need is a language written specifically for learning,


Pascal?
 
2014-03-26 02:54:13 PM
Whatever happened to starting out learning C?
 
2014-03-26 02:55:56 PM
When Internet Explorer 8 finally dies out, HTML5 web apps are going to become a huge thing, so JavaScript will likely be one of the most important programming languages in the next 5 years or so.

But there is a heck of a lot of DOM stuff to wrap your head around when you first start out. You can skip a lot of that complication by just using JQuery but then you don't really learn it right.
 
2014-03-26 02:59:06 PM

Robo Beat: Whatever happened to starting out learning C?


This.
 
2014-03-26 03:07:10 PM
If he was pro-business, he would have answered COBOL.
 
2014-03-26 03:08:06 PM
How about IBM 360 assembler.

I suffered through a semester of that in college, so everybody else should suffer too.
 
2014-03-26 03:08:30 PM
Why start kids on procedural languages?  Go with something like Lisp or Erlang.  Hell, go with F# if you want.  Kids are way smarter than we stupid rigid-brain adults give them credit for.  Getting them away from "do this, then that, then another thing, ..." types of programming and getting them to think about how data flows in their work- that will be way more useful to them in the future.  They can pick up procedural languages later on, when they need to slum it with their stupid older colleagues (like me).
 
2014-03-26 03:31:47 PM

tillerman35: Why start kids on procedural languages?  Go with something like Lisp or Erlang.  Hell, go with F# if you want.  Kids are way smarter than we stupid rigid-brain adults give them credit for.  Getting them away from "do this, then that, then another thing, ..." types of programming and getting them to think about how data flows in their work- that will be way more useful to them in the future.  They can pick up procedural languages later on, when they need to slum it with their stupid older colleagues (like me).


The reason for "do this, then that, then another thing" is to train people on the hows and whys of what they're doing. There has been an increase in grab-bag mentality insofar as programming goes - people using functions/instantiating objects without any concern over how it affects the overall system with a "don't know, don't want to know" attitude. We haven't been doing enough of that, which is why we have so much shiatware out there. Without thinking too hard, there are plenty of examples of egregious waste just by looking at my taskmgr:

iTunes - 260MB (not being used - just open)
Internet Explorer (fark page) - 639MB
Google Talk - 20MB (no windows open)
Origin - 116MB (tray icon only)
Steam - 37MB (tray icon only)

Consuming over a gigabyte of memory doing NOTHING (not to mention the periodic CPU blips from each app) is reprehensible. And the Mac is no better. We're graduating more and more people who know less and less about even the most basic computer science fundamentals. I guess in a way it's job security for the likes of me, who spend 99% of my time in low level/embedded stuff, but it's still sad.
 
2014-03-26 03:35:05 PM

Kibbler: EngineerAU: There are so many bad habits to be picked up by learning Javascript first. It has the benefit of being easy to get started with since every mainstream OS has a basic text editor and a browser but other than that, it's a bad place to start unless you never want to do more than create mashups of other people's creations.

This.  Plus, there are many aspects of javascript that are very hard to master.  A much better choice is something like Python, if you ask me.

Actually, what we need is a language written specifically for learning, rather than being used in practice, so that it reinforces principled programming.  But I can already hear the arguments beginning on what those principles should be.

Fark it.  Javascript it is.


I actually picked up the basics with LUA and then got into slightly more advanced programming with Java. Java is where I learned how different data structures work (linked lists, stacks, queues, BSTs, etc.). My favorite language is by far C++, but I've been utilizing Python more, and I'm trying to get started with C#.

Java is a pretty good language to learn to program on, imo.
 
2014-03-26 03:35:16 PM

neilbradley: A better choice is a non-interpreted language and one that isn't owned and controlled by a company. Gawd, programmers have gone to shiat in the last 15 years.


On the other hand...

Atwood's Law: any application that  can be written in JavaScript,  will eventually be written in JavaScript.
 
2014-03-26 03:37:11 PM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-03-26 03:39:57 PM

neilbradley: tillerman35: Why start kids on procedural languages?  Go with something like Lisp or Erlang.  Hell, go with F# if you want.  Kids are way smarter than we stupid rigid-brain adults give them credit for.  Getting them away from "do this, then that, then another thing, ..." types of programming and getting them to think about how data flows in their work- that will be way more useful to them in the future.  They can pick up procedural languages later on, when they need to slum it with their stupid older colleagues (like me).

The reason for "do this, then that, then another thing" is to train people on the hows and whys of what they're doing. There has been an increase in grab-bag mentality insofar as programming goes - people using functions/instantiating objects without any concern over how it affects the overall system with a "don't know, don't want to know" attitude. We haven't been doing enough of that, which is why we have so much shiatware out there. Without thinking too hard, there are plenty of examples of egregious waste just by looking at my taskmgr:

iTunes - 260MB (not being used - just open)
Internet Explorer (fark page) - 639MB
Google Talk - 20MB (no windows open)
Origin - 116MB (tray icon only)
Steam - 37MB (tray icon only)

Consuming over a gigabyte of memory doing NOTHING (not to mention the periodic CPU blips from each app) is reprehensible. And the Mac is no better. We're graduating more and more people who know less and less about even the most basic computer science fundamentals. I guess in a way it's job security for the likes of me, who spend 99% of my time in low level/embedded stuff, but it's still sad.


Just because those aren't doing something interactive/visible doesn't mean they are doing nothing.

Programmers these days don't pay much attention to resource consumption because we
A) Don't need to
B) Are more focused on functionality/features
C) The deadline is always tomorrow

You work in a world where resources are extremely limited, so you need to think about it. That doesn't make you better, it just means you have different constraints and goals.
 
2014-03-26 03:51:52 PM

tillerman35: Why start kids on procedural languages?  Go with something like Lisp or Erlang.


Cool fact:  Logo is a Lisp derivative.
 
2014-03-26 04:04:03 PM
He actually didn't lose me until he said, "Mac".

Seriously, I am going to trust someone who uses Apple products to make good financial decisions for my country?  Not likely.
 
2014-03-26 04:05:36 PM
I started off in EE, so with digital, and analog circuits and devices, and eventually on to microcontrollers and PIDs, followed by PLCs, so a lot of my early stuff was at the low level, with hexidecimal coding, circuit analysis and design, vhdl and on to ladder logic. I was always disappointed by ladder logic and had finished that course four weeks into the semester and you get a good understanding of the way to perform the basic commands, building stuff like fuzzy logic controllers, and PID controllers. Always had problems though with reaction speeds and the limitations, so my instructor encouraged me to learn c and assembly which I happily did.

I eventually had to take a higher language course and started with C++ since it was the one available. I tended to do fairly well with this, since I had just learned c on my own, and had such a grounding in the field, that no programming course ever was a problem again. Soon after that I got a job as a developer in business applications so went with computer science as it was more useful. Had to go on to take Java and then Python was the last thing I learned at which point it was more of a bother.

Probably because I was in the profession and had to learn 4-5 languages for that and it gets to the stage that syntax is not a problem if you have a solid foundation and a willingness to experiment.

I however, still think that many people first learning to program, miss out by going straight to higher languages. Of course if everyone had to start with low level languages, I think it would quickly kill the sizes of classes and the introduction to programming students suffered from not having the understanding of why you would do something one way instead of another, what is the most logical and efficient way to perform a task and so on, and were too concerned with syntax. If you don't have that solid foundation first, you get many confused looks.
 
2014-03-26 04:06:21 PM

RedZoneTuba: The python vote is iffy anyway, since they won't vote unless the candidates' names are indented just right on the ballot.



>>> from __future__ import braces
SyntaxError: not a chance
 
2014-03-26 04:08:34 PM

tillerman35: Why start kids on procedural languages?


Did you just call JS a procedural language?

Personally, I would have rather he said NodeJS, but at that point we're just talking semantics. Which it seems this thread is all about.
 
2014-03-26 04:09:06 PM

Telos: neilbradley: tillerman35: Why start kids on procedural languages?  Go with something like Lisp or Erlang.  Hell, go with F# if you want.  Kids are way smarter than we stupid rigid-brain adults give them credit for.  Getting them away from "do this, then that, then another thing, ..." types of programming and getting them to think about how data flows in their work- that will be way more useful to them in the future.  They can pick up procedural languages later on, when they need to slum it with their stupid older colleagues (like me).

The reason for "do this, then that, then another thing" is to train people on the hows and whys of what they're doing. There has been an increase in grab-bag mentality insofar as programming goes - people using functions/instantiating objects without any concern over how it affects the overall system with a "don't know, don't want to know" attitude. We haven't been doing enough of that, which is why we have so much shiatware out there. Without thinking too hard, there are plenty of examples of egregious waste just by looking at my taskmgr:

iTunes - 260MB (not being used - just open)
Internet Explorer (fark page) - 639MB
Google Talk - 20MB (no windows open)
Origin - 116MB (tray icon only)
Steam - 37MB (tray icon only)

Consuming over a gigabyte of memory doing NOTHING (not to mention the periodic CPU blips from each app) is reprehensible. And the Mac is no better. We're graduating more and more people who know less and less about even the most basic computer science fundamentals. I guess in a way it's job security for the likes of me, who spend 99% of my time in low level/embedded stuff, but it's still sad.

Just because those aren't doing something interactive/visible doesn't mean they are doing nothing.

Programmers these days don't pay much attention to resource consumption because we
A) Don't need to
B) Are more focused on functionality/features
C) The deadline is always tomorrow

You work in a world where resources are extremely limited, so you need to think about it. That doesn't make you better, it just means you have different constraints and goals.


Thank you for proving my point.

"Need" is a relative word. In a lot of cases it's as simple as making a choice - For example, using CreateFile() (native part of win32) or COpenFile using MFC? They both do the same thing. The former is free, the latter sucks in 10MB+ of MFC DLLs. It's a simple example, but the point remains and applies to a lot of other functionality. Ignorance of the environment is NOTHING to be proud of.

"Are more focused on functionality/features"? Give me a break.  We are all focused on functionality/features. That's the point of products. The deadline is always tomorrow and has been on all projects I've worked on in the last 25 years.

I can do your job and my job. You can't do mine. I'd say that does make me better than you. And thank you for very eloquently underscoring the "don't know, don't want to know, proud of being ignorant" attitude that's pervasive in software "engineers" these days. More job security for me!
 
2014-03-26 04:14:44 PM
neilbradley:

Christ you're stupid.
 
2014-03-26 04:17:58 PM

Perlin Noise: I suggest QBasic or Pascal

/old


No Fortran??
 
2014-03-26 04:18:15 PM

rogue49: Are you going to vote for him?

Yes  1 or No 0?

Binary

 
2014-03-26 04:19:06 PM

Unoriginal_Username: rogue49: Are you going to vote for him?

Yes  1 or No 0?

Binary


to make if official...

/need to be able to edit stuff..:/
 
2014-03-26 04:27:08 PM

neilbradley: A better choice is a non-interpreted language and one that isn't owned and controlled by a company. Gawd, programmers have gone to shiat in the last 15 years.


Shut up Grandpa! And get back in the framework.
 
2014-03-26 04:27:56 PM

bikerbob59: Perlin Noise: I suggest QBasic or Pascal

/old

No Fortran??


Yes, but only Fortran 77 none of that new Visual Object Oriented Fortran.
 
2014-03-26 04:29:09 PM
<script language="Javascript">
for(var x=0;x<40000;x++)
{
  alert("I thought this was clever in the 90s.  What's wrong with me?");
}
</script>

//outdated script tags.
 
2014-03-26 04:31:51 PM

Slaves2Darkness: neilbradley: A better choice is a non-interpreted language and one that isn't owned and controlled by a company. Gawd, programmers have gone to shiat in the last 15 years.

Shut up Grandpa! And get back in the framework.


No time for that now. I've got to finish up this server-side COM object that forks off .net code that's wrapped in Java, and launched by a Python script to show a message box!
 
2014-03-26 04:37:41 PM

neilbradley: tillerman35: Why start kids on procedural languages?  Go with something like Lisp or Erlang.  Hell, go with F# if you want.  Kids are way smarter than we stupid rigid-brain adults give them credit for.  Getting them away from "do this, then that, then another thing, ..." types of programming and getting them to think about how data flows in their work- that will be way more useful to them in the future.  They can pick up procedural languages later on, when they need to slum it with their stupid older colleagues (like me).

The reason for "do this, then that, then another thing" is to train people on the hows and whys of what they're doing. There has been an increase in grab-bag mentality insofar as programming goes - people using functions/instantiating objects without any concern over how it affects the overall system with a "don't know, don't want to know" attitude. We haven't been doing enough of that, which is why we have so much shiatware out there. Without thinking too hard, there are plenty of examples of egregious waste just by looking at my taskmgr:

iTunes - 260MB (not being used - just open)
Internet Explorer (fark page) - 639MB
Google Talk - 20MB (no windows open)
Origin - 116MB (tray icon only)
Steam - 37MB (tray icon only)

Consuming over a gigabyte of memory doing NOTHING (not to mention the periodic CPU blips from each app) is reprehensible. And the Mac is no better. We're graduating more and more people who know less and less about even the most basic computer science fundamentals. I guess in a way it's job security for the likes of me, who spend 99% of my time in low level/embedded stuff, but it's still sad.


Your IE sucks up 5x more RAM than mine does...maybe check that out.
 
2014-03-26 04:44:08 PM

Ambitwistor: neilbradley:

Christ you're stupid.


You'll never win a debate that way. It usually helps to be well informed on both sides of the argument. Learn Assembly.
 
2014-03-26 05:00:05 PM

stonicus: impaler: Q: "Mac or PC?" Aries8288

A: "Mac"

This guy is going to suck as a politician.

The PC answer is "why not both?"

PC and Mac.  PC just means "Personal Computer", which a Mac is...
It's like saying "drugs and alcohol".  Alcohol is a drug too, but nobody really takes it seriously.


I work in IT. Please die, you're not funny or clever.
 
2014-03-26 05:01:52 PM

neilbradley: tillerman35: Why start kids on procedural languages?  Go with something like Lisp or Erlang.  Hell, go with F# if you want.  Kids are way smarter than we stupid rigid-brain adults give them credit for.  Getting them away from "do this, then that, then another thing, ..." types of programming and getting them to think about how data flows in their work- that will be way more useful to them in the future.  They can pick up procedural languages later on, when they need to slum it with their stupid older colleagues (like me).

The reason for "do this, then that, then another thing" is to train people on the hows and whys of what they're doing. There has been an increase in grab-bag mentality insofar as programming goes - people using functions/instantiating objects without any concern over how it affects the overall system with a "don't know, don't want to know" attitude. We haven't been doing enough of that, which is why we have so much shiatware out there. Without thinking too hard, there are plenty of examples of egregious waste just by looking at my taskmgr:

iTunes - 260MB (not being used - just open)
Internet Explorer (fark page) - 639MB
Google Talk - 20MB (no windows open)
Origin - 116MB (tray icon only)
Steam - 37MB (tray icon only)

Consuming over a gigabyte of memory doing NOTHING (not to mention the periodic CPU blips from each app) is reprehensible. And the Mac is no better. We're graduating more and more people who know less and less about even the most basic computer science fundamentals. I guess in a way it's job security for the likes of me, who spend 99% of my time in low level/embedded stuff, but it's still sad.


But there isn't any point in conserving RAM.  Unused RAM is *wasted* RAM.  If you open up a browser, odds are you want to do *something*.  Even if you haven't done anything yet, we suspect you will.  So if we can save a bit of lag when you start using it by having memory allocated and unused, or by preloading stuff you *might* use, it's better than doing nothing.
 
2014-03-26 05:04:07 PM
Programmers/coders are the bottom of the barrel. I'm pretty sure all of the intelligent ones died off in the early 2000s.
 
2014-03-26 05:10:12 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: neilbradley: tillerman35: Why start kids on procedural languages?  Go with something like Lisp or Erlang.  Hell, go with F# if you want.  Kids are way smarter than we stupid rigid-brain adults give them credit for.  Getting them away from "do this, then that, then another thing, ..." types of programming and getting them to think about how data flows in their work- that will be way more useful to them in the future.  They can pick up procedural languages later on, when they need to slum it with their stupid older colleagues (like me).

The reason for "do this, then that, then another thing" is to train people on the hows and whys of what they're doing. There has been an increase in grab-bag mentality insofar as programming goes - people using functions/instantiating objects without any concern over how it affects the overall system with a "don't know, don't want to know" attitude. We haven't been doing enough of that, which is why we have so much shiatware out there. Without thinking too hard, there are plenty of examples of egregious waste just by looking at my taskmgr:

iTunes - 260MB (not being used - just open)
Internet Explorer (fark page) - 639MB
Google Talk - 20MB (no windows open)
Origin - 116MB (tray icon only)
Steam - 37MB (tray icon only)

Consuming over a gigabyte of memory doing NOTHING (not to mention the periodic CPU blips from each app) is reprehensible. And the Mac is no better. We're graduating more and more people who know less and less about even the most basic computer science fundamentals. I guess in a way it's job security for the likes of me, who spend 99% of my time in low level/embedded stuff, but it's still sad.

But there isn't any point in conserving RAM.  Unused RAM is *wasted* RAM.  If you open up a browser, odds are you want to do *something*.  Even if you haven't done anything yet, we suspect you will.  So if we can save a bit of lag when you start using it by having memory allocated and unused, or by preloading stuff you *might* use ...


We're not saying that preloading is terrible and shouldn't happen. We're saying that the things you bother to preload are absolute memory hogs. The more loaded, the more traffic running across the bus.
 
Bf+
2014-03-26 05:18:09 PM
Congress?
I'd think MUMPS would be most fitting.
 
Bf+
2014-03-26 05:21:24 PM

Ambitwistor: neilbradley:

Christ you're stupid.


static.gamespot.com
 
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