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