[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: SEUL: Programming language

Thomas Molesworth wrote:

> > I am very concerned about programming under Linux at the beginner level.
> > Let me put it directly: Basic is not a good language to start (hope
> > this doesn't offend anybody). There are other languages, and
> > they have good implementations on Linux. What Linux lacks is a
> > standard, strightforward programming environment in which the beginner
> > can simply start doing simple examples. They must also have
> > _simple_graphics_.
> OK - C is the universal language, so we can make a Linux/C tutorial as well
> which takes the user through the basic steps in writing a C program which
> has graphics + whatever else. It could be HTML-based, running in Netscape or
> Mnemonic, with an xterm open for the user to edit the program; automatic
> compilation+execution on save+exit, and a list of pointers to show the user
> what s/he's done wrong when it doesn't work. Yet another major project, but
> it could be integrated in SEUL when finished :-)
> I'm planning to write a LaTeX/HTML manual for Linux C programming (with a
> game/demo slant, including SVGALIB, GGI, X11 etc) at some point, but I have
> yet to start it.

I'm all for this sort of idea, and it looks like there's enough
enthusiasm behind it that we can't really worry whether there's manpower
available for it.

You're right in saying that Linux lacks a start-to-finish environment
for getting started in development. I think the major weakness of books
like "Programming for Linux" is that they waste too much time trying to
address too many issues. I think the best policy is to adopt a toolkit,
adopt a language, and choose to focus a tutorial or book on *that*
particular environment. My vote, for instance, would be teaching
programming in C++ using Qt. Give them an application framework
codebase, show them how it works, teach them to make their own widgets,
provide some background on Make and gcc for practical purposes, and then
get them going on making use of DrawingArea widgets and the like to get
graphics going.

The key here would be to provide another layer, a simple Qt graphics
toolkit that lets new programmers experiment without having to worry
about the lower layers of the thing. When I started with THINK C 4.0 for
the Macintosh, Symantec had provided a full class library, very simple,
that let me begin drawing straight to the screen without changing a
single line of the underlying code. The new programmer needs something
like this.

Another good project would be a Qt interface builder. But I know
everyone's all worried about Qt and its lack of GPL support. Oh, well.

Michael J. Peck
Hewlett-Packard, Convex Division
Opinions expressed above are not necessarily those of my employer.
Simple End User Linux Mailing list
To be removed from this mailing list send a message to majordomo@txcc.net
with the line
unsubscribe seul-project
in the body of the letter.