Subject: Re: C programing
To: Richard Rauch <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 01/29/2001 17:22:36
[ On Sunday, January 28, 2001 at 17:46:38 ( -0600), Richard Rauch wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: C programing
> I guess that I may be guilty in part of extrapolating from when and how I
> learned C.  Without ANSI type-checking and without memory-protection, a
> subtle error can have disasterous consequences.  But I still think that
> the other languages should be better/easier for first languages.

It's easy for a C program to crash itself with or without type checking,
but at least with a proper OS and proper memory protection you get a
nice core dump that's usually suitable for analysis and bug tracking!  :-)

Languages like lisp, scheme, ruby, python, smalltalk, etc., and even
awk, perl, etc., are easier if the goal of the learner is to get
something practical done.  They'll see results immediately.

However to really learn how to program at a deeper level you need to
know something about what's happening down in the CPU, and C is really
good for this -- it's low-level enough without being too cryptic or
non-portable, and of course it has all the normal ALGOL-ish control
structures for procedural programming so learning it provides a good
basis in at least that branch of the discipline.

(Of course in a decent C programming environment you can start doing
practical things pretty quickly too!) 

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
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