which progrraming language to learn first

ZIYAD A. M. AL-BATLY zamb at saudi.net.sa
Fri Jul 15 19:09:04 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-07-15 at 22:33 +0500, Mustafa Abbasi wrote:
> i have recently started using linux and since its my summer vacations
> i wantedto learn a language.
> i'll be honest part of this is so that i have  a certificate to show
> when i apply to colleges but mostly its cuz i 
> wanna learn.
> so what language should i start with.
> i was thinking C or visual basic but i am not sure if visual basic can
> be used in linux ( can it???)
> are these easy to learn, if only at the begginer level.
> is there some place that would offer me a certificate for completing
> this thing.
> i live in pakistan so an online coarse that offer a certificate would
> be incredible.
> thanks.
VisualBasic is easy and lit you create cute/small applications fast.
However, it's not that much powerful¹ and it's not easily supported
under Linux (there's a project that aims to do that, but I couldn't
remember it's name).  Personally, I advice you *STRONGLY* to avoid

My advice and bit would be Python².  Python is a very well documented
language and have a lot of free and great tutorials in the net.  A lot
of good books have been written about it for all kind of classes ranging
from beginners to very advanced users.  It's very easy and intuitive and
have all the necessary tools/libs included in the main distribution (and
much much more to add-ons).  It's very strong language that's used by
very serious clients:  Google (for internal usages), Yahoo! (auctions,
and probably others), and BitTorrent/BitTornado just to name a few.  It
has a lot of bindings with other useful tools like Tk, GTK+, Qt, GNOME,
KDE, dbus, SDL, OpenGL, various Database engines, GStreamer, Win32 (only
under Windows of course), and LDAP just to name a *few*.  Python is
installed by default on almost all Linux and *BSD distributions out
there.  It's Open Source (and I think it confirm to the Free Software
standards), and it's license poses very little restrictions on the

Personally, I *love* three languages that I wouldn't trade any of them
for anything else (in order of learning): C, Perl, and Python.
(Avoid learning Perl as your first language as it will most likely will
damage your brain.  Make it your third or fourth one to learn unless
your work need to deal with a lot of text files/reports.)


     1. Using the right libraries you could do anything any other
        language could do, but that means you got out of the VisualBasic
     2. http://python.org

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