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RE: Learning more/Linux programming books

>> How does Python rate as a beginners language?

>From the little I've looked at it, I'd say it's a good starting place. 
The syntax is clean, the organization logical, and the new learner can 
begin using OOP in his or her programming career. 

One could argue that *any* programming language could serve as a 
beginner's language. We all learn very complicated natural languages as 
children. Then, when we are older, we say, "such and so other language is 
*so* difficult." And speakers of that language say the same thing about 
*our* language. I think the same applies. Each programming language has 
its own syntax and way of thinking. If you learn that syntax and 
thought-pattern from the beginning, it will be natural to you. 

I have been learning C from a book written for non-programmers -- it 
teaches both C and programming (Problem Solving and Program Design in C, 
by Jeri Hanly and Elliot Koffman -- I recommend it highly). This book 
does a fine job of teaching programming methods and C syntax, and the 
beginning programmer learns "close to the machine," which has its own 
advantages (Python and Tcl, on the other hand, are purposely "far from 
the machine," high-level languages). There are many such books for C, and 
I've seen them for C++ as well. It's no different than taking first-year 
biology, chemistry, physics, or calculus. If a person wants to learn 
programming, he or she can do it with just about any language (even 
assembler, I would argue). The difference will be in what the beginning 
programmer can *do* -- which varies dramatically among languages. So the 
question is, What language do you *want* to learn, based on what you want 
to *do*? 


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