[H-GEN] New programming languages to learn

Jason Henry Parker jasonp at uq.net.au
Wed May 15 07:47:36 EDT 2002

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David Jericho <david.jericho at bytecomm.com.au> writes:

> I normally teach myself programming languages for the sake of
> learning, and am busy prodding around inside C++ at the moment.
> For something different, I'm looking for a higher level language, for
> Unix, that allows me to do a great range of tasks quickly, and not be
> broken simply because I forgot to bounds check an input.
> String parsing is a must. I HATE standard C string parsing.

Well, of course Perl fits that bill and you probably don't know it as
well as you think you do---there's lots of room for learning in
there.  (Go and look at anything Damian Conway writes (the man is
implementing Perl 6 in Perl 5 for god's sake!) and tell me you know

> The purpose of this post isn't to start a flame war, but instead to
> find out what other languages people are using out there, other than
> the mainstream Perl/Python/PHP/C/Java clones.

However since you knock Perl out of contention---and honestly I do
understand that---why not have a look at Lisp?  Well, probably not
Lisp, since people tend to program in Scheme these days.  There are a
few decent Free implementations, including Guile (from the GNU
project) and MZScheme (from someone else).

Scheme can do system-level stuff, and there's always GNU Robots!  Also
learning a functional language will do you good.  It's a whole new
ball-game, and does in fact teach very useful ways of thinking about
computers and algorithms which are applicable in other contexts.

> Anyone doing anything interesting that they'd care to share?

I'm not *doing* much with Lisp or Scheme right now but I was having
great fun playing with GNU Robots some months back---did I post to the
HUMBUG lists about it?

| `This is the operative statement.                                     |
|  The others are inoperative.'                        jasonp at uq.net.au |

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