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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Pascal
by j_kenpo on Wed 11th Apr 2007 17:49 UTC
j_kenpo
Member since:
2006-01-23

I still kind of hold on to the old school academia practice that Pascal is a good language to teach programming, logic, and design. Its type enforced, its heavily structured, and it uses more English words and silly symbols so it tends to be a tad bit easier to think things through logically at a beginners level. Structure is something I see a lot of modern programming lack. Java/C++, declaring variables all over the place leads to unreadable code. Scripting languages such as Perl, PHP, and other scalar based languages make it too easy to make simple mistakes due to the lack of type enforcement. Trying to grasp programming concepts is difficult enough without having to equate things like || = OR, && = and, == equality checking, = assignment, which always tend to lead beginner programmers to simple logic errors such as "if (a = 5)" instead of "if (a == 5)". Once basic concepts such as logic, design, algorithms, and data structures have been digested, anything else is just syntax. The only exception is with OOP, but I consider that a topic beyond the beginner level anyhow.

I don't have any experience with Python, so I can't comment. But I do hear good things about it.

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