Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Apr 2007 16:35 UTC, submitted by ShlomiFish
General Development "What makes programming languages are suitable or unsuitable as introductory languages? Which languages are better learnt first and at which order? And why what the masses think is the most suitable introductory programming language is not in fact that. This paper examines several approaches to which programming language is the best, and afterwards gives several useful relations for which languages should come first. Finally it gives a final verdict, defends it and then gives some other good food for thought."
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by DoctorPepper on Wed 11th Apr 2007 17:24 UTC
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Perl??? I don't mean to rag on Perl, or to start a flame war, but do you really want people to learn how to program using Perl? I've been programming for 25 years now, and have been using Perl for almost 10 years, and I really like it. I can do lots of things, very fast. The problem is, Perl doesn't lend itself well to readability and/or maintainability.

Last year I introduced a young friend (we met through Amateur Radio) to programming using Python. I gave him a CD with the ActiveState Python 2.4 release for Windows and some tutorials on Python, in PDF format. Yes, I had to answer a few questions from him, and to gently point him the right direction from time to time, but he learned Python AND programming, in a very short amount of time.

I have no experience with Ruby, so I'm not going to talk about it either way, but I think Python is a much better choice to teach programming to "newbies" then Perl. Leave Perl for when you've been programming for a while, and already have a couple of other languages under your belt. Teaching new people to program using Perl is no better than teaching them to program using the old BASIC from the 1980's.

Edited 2007-04-11 17:38

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