Bon dia, Rui (my wife is Brazillian)

   That is t he case of economics. In the logic of freesoftware I want
make programs to fill that vacuum. Well, some of it. What I want to
   do are economic model ba sed simulators. I could do it in a
spreadsheet, but I would rather make a n ice application and make it available for everyone. For that, both competen cies in the economics
   and computing areas are necessary.

I'd suggest looking into a real object oriented language, rather than a systems programming language like C, or a glue language like Perl. I personally think Smalltalk is a great language for beginners, particularly the Squeak version, which is available for free for most platforms.

Several reasons:
 - you will learn good habits
 - you will, by necessity, learn and object oriented approach
 - Squeak is a great learning tool, with excellent debugging tools
 - there are some great tutorials and tutorial-like Squeak books
- there are dozens of general Smalltalk books available used on Amazon, for a few bucks each. And the people who write Smalltalk books tend to be very smart guys, who will put your feet on the right path. Some are a bit dated and are too oriented towards Smalltalk platforms that no longer exist, but many of the later ones are fine for learning the concepts... I have a whole shelf of Smalltalk books that I bought for a few bucks each. - they have a very helpful mailing list for beginners - [EMAIL PROTECTED] It's a small list, very intimate, few posers, mainly people who genuinely want to help.

I'd give myself a good 6 months to a year to learn the basics... you can't rush the first step.

Once you get the basic idea behind objects, you might want to branch out into Ruby, another great object oriented language. All the concept you learned from Smalltalk will carry right over, and since many Ruby folk are coming from the procedural world (and really don't get objects), you will have a leg up on them.

And Ruby will set you up for using Rails, which is an ideal platform for deploying web applications, which will allow you to make your economic simulations available to anyone on the net.

Just my two cents.

Brgds: John

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