which progrraming language to learn first

Stephen R Laniel steve at laniels.org
Fri Jul 15 18:47:23 UTC 2005

On Fri, Jul 15, 2005 at 11:10:24PM +0500, Mustafa Abbasi wrote:
> essnetially i was looking into shell scripting and found it interesting so i
> thought i'd
> like a crack at that.

Perl is essentially a replacement for shell scripts, and it
gets rid of a lot of the ridiculous hoops you have to go
through in, say, bash. In bash, to add two numbers and
assign them to the variable x, you have to do

x = (( 1 + 2 ))

which is pretty silly. You should just be able to do

x = 1 + 2;

which is what Perl lets you do. Only in Perl, you'd need to

$x = 1 + 2;

because x is a 'scalar' variable. In Perl, nearly everything
is a scalar, a list, or a hash ... which I won't get into
right now. :-)

> also i am going to apply to US colleges this year and i've heard (from
> siblings) that stuff like this really helps.(is this true??)

Depends on what you're doing at these colleges. As a
class-of-2000 graduate of a mathematical statistics program,
I can attest that some programming would have helped. It
wouldn't help so much if you were going to major in
literature. :-)

Stephen R. Laniel
steve at laniels.org
+(617) 308-5571
PGP key: http://laniels.org/slaniel.key
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