[ubuntu-us-mn] How do I create programs for Ubuntu?

Max Shinn max at bernsteinforpresident.com
Tue Sep 8 21:50:26 BST 2009

Hey Matthew!

Please don't let anyone tell you that you're too young to start programming 
because YOU'RE NOT!  I started when I was 12.  (I'm 16 now.)

You shouldn't make the mistake I made, though.  Don't start on C++, or any 
compiled language for that matter.  I started by learning C++, and didn't 
really make it as far as I would have liked.

I taught a 4th grader some basic concepts of programming using a program 
called Scratch a few years ago.  (http://scratch.mit.edu/)  This is probably 
the first thing you would want to do.  Make some cool stuff on here.  It 
makes it really easy to write programs that do a lot for someone who has 
never done any programming before.  The only problem with it is that it the 
only version that runs natively on GNU/Linux is a beta, and I think you have 
to dig a little to find it.  (It isn't right on their download page.)

After that, you should start to learn a programming language.  I am a PHP guy, 
but since you want to develop games, you should probably learn Python.  
Python allows you to use PyGame, which is a powerful, flexible, portable way 
to develop games.  You can create apps that will run a variety of platforms, 
from Windows/Mac/GNU-Linux computers to cell phones!

Another thing to keep in mind: there is more to software than what most people 
would lead you to believe.  Ubuntu, and every application that comes 
installed with it, were developed by volunteers or companies who wanted to 
give the user more freedom.  That is partially why it is free of cost, too.  
These developers allow anyone to redistribute and make changes to their 
applications.  I dearly hope that you give back anything you do to the 

Assuming that you do, I have a great program for you!  This summer, I interned 
at the Free Software Foundation.  They are an organization dedicated to 
keeping software free as in freedom.  The majority of my time was spent on 
GNU Generation, a program to get younger people involved in this type of 
software.  (http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/gnugeneration)  I am still 
managing this program, so you would probably have an added "edge", being from 
MN.  (Yes, it says 13-18, but you can never really be too young for this 

I encourage you to check out some of this stuff, and let me know if you have 
any questions.  Good luck!

On Tuesday 08 September 2009 3:23:45 pm Matthew Young wrote:
> I am just wondering what I need to create software for Ubuntu. I plan to
> have a game out for my brothers to play by 2010 or 2011. I hope it isn't
> too hard to make programs for Ubuntu because I really want to be able to
> start on them before I am a teenager. Right now, I am testing Karmic so I
> will need to find a program that is Karmic compatible.

Leonard Bernstein for President Web Development:
My Software Freedom Blog:

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