Best Programming Language

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Boris the Old
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Re: Best Programming Language

Postby Boris the Old » May 14, 2017 19:17

Z4usV wrote:Edsger Dijkstra (1930-2002)

However I have to agree with Dijkstra turning someone who began with any dialect of BASIC turning to a great developer in any other computer language will be a "helluva" job.


Back around 1972, during my IBM days, I heard him speak at the University of Toronto - "Synchronizing Primitives" as I recall. It was interesting, but not earth shattering, since we were already using the techniques at the IBM lab.

He obviously had a big influence on computational theory, but accusing software developers of being brain dead if they learned their trade on COBOL or BASIC, was elitist, to say the least. It's like saying that someone who first learns to ride a bicycle will never make a good Formula One driver.

Using formal methods to prove the validity of a program, and even create the code, is an objective that is doomed to failure. It's impossible to know all the variables that can influence a system or the behaviours to be performed in response to these unknown inputs. I've often wondered if Dijkstra actually wrote any real-world programs -- he might have had a different view of the world if he'd written a few BASIC programs.

Rod
sean_vn
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Joined: Aug 06, 2012 8:26

Re: Best Programming Language

Postby sean_vn » May 14, 2017 23:15

It's been shown that if you don't have goto then many complex continue,break style instructions are necessary. I don't know how Dijkstra's personal opinion became law. I think Trump's opinion on the matter would be equally as good.
Boris the Old
Posts: 139
Joined: Feb 04, 2011 20:34
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Best Programming Language

Postby Boris the Old » May 15, 2017 1:03

Us hotshot ASM programmers at IBM had our own name for Dijkstra's concepts -- Structured Spaghetti code. Lots of global variables to track program status while we backed out of nested procedure calls.

It's no wonder that modern software is still as complex and buggy as it ever was. It's certainly no easier to maintain.

Rod
Boromir
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Re: Best Programming Language

Postby Boromir » May 15, 2017 20:33

Z4usV wrote:If it has to be easy FreeBASIC is not a bad option at all for a beginner. However I have to agree with Dijkstra turning someone who began with any dialect of BASIC turning to a great developer in any other computer language will be a "helluva" job.

No offense, but that just isn't true.
Just because someone starts in Qbasic of FreeBasic does not mean they will have a hard time moving on to something else.
A programmer, no matter what language he uses, will learn to think logically. Programming languages are just a different methods of expressing this inner thought.
If you condemn FreeBasic then C would go down with it because they can almost translate to each other directly. The inner thought that someone uses between these languages is the same. Just a different vocabulary.
A "C" programmer won't have an advantage over a "FreeBasic" programmer just because of the way his language expresses things.

I'm not saying FreeBasic is the best option. There are many valid reasons not to pick freebasic but that is not one.
Available Libraries, Community Size, Support, Speed and Features are valid reasons that you can use to decide which language to use depending on ones needs. I like FreeBasic because it has a very clean and logical structure that can be read much like psuedo code.
marcov
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Re: Best Programming Language

Postby marcov » May 15, 2017 20:44

Boris the Old wrote:Using formal methods to prove the validity of a program, and even create the code, is an objective that is doomed to failure. It's impossible to know all the variables that can influence a system or the behaviours to be performed in response to these unknown inputs. I've often wondered if Dijkstra actually wrote any real-world programs -- he might have had a different view of the world if he'd written a few BASIC programs.


Edsger Dijkstra was a leading Algol developer, mostly on Burroughs. Afaik both involved in programming in it, as the development of the related compilers

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