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[wlug] Programming Courses ?

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Michael Cree cree@p...
Wed Apr 28 17:22:40 NZST 2004

On 28/04/2004, at 3:24 PM, Orion Edwards wrote:

>> 1. Is C still a viable language to learn to write programs for PC/MAC
>> Ideally in Win MacOSX (cocoa looks nice) and Linux or should I be
>> looking at C# / Mono / QT / ??
> There's 2 programming languages you need to learn. C++ (Treating C as 
> a subset
> of C++ here), and everything else.


> No, do not just learn C, as a lot of 'next gen' languages are Object 
> Oriented.
> If you only learn C, you won't learn about that, and be in for some 
> strife if
> you do try and learn C#/Java/etc. Find a good C++ course, and get 
> stuck into
> it.

I happen to disagree with that, for two reasons:

1) Object oriented programming is hugely overrated.
2) What C++/Java/C# etc compilers are there for microcontrollers?

Having said that, I have to admit C is not a good teaching language as 
it allows the programmer to program very badly.  Other languages impose 
constraints which force good programming practices, and for learning to 
program, they are to be preferred.

But, as you say, you aim is to program microcontrollers effectively and 
efficiently.  There is only one language (other than various assembly 
languages) you need to learn, and that is C.  So ignore the computer 
scientists, who do not know what they are talking about - they have 
never programmed microcontrollers - and learn C.

I think the best book is Kernighan and Ritchie.  They wrote C and in 
their book they explain the justifications for why C is the way it is.  
Furthermore they write good C.  The main problem is, the book is too 
expensive and I understand that they are not updating it for C99 (mind 
you, the second criticism may not be an issue for microcontroller 
compilers, since due to low sales, are not going to be in a hurry to 
update their compilers to the new standard).

Having written the above I now see that your history was writing for 
microcontrollers and now you want to program PCs.   Doh.   Can't be 
stuffed rewriting this now....


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