On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 11:01:53AM -0500, John Almberg wrote:
> 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.

Yummy, it's a long time since I've used Smalltalk. It's still fun
today, even though more from an academic point of view than real life
programming. It certainly was different, compared to Common Lisp I've
heavily used to hack in back then, and I kind of regret that both
Smalltalk and Lisp have fallen out of favor nowadays for real projects.

> 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.

Personally, I do prefer Python and I write hybrid Python/C and
Python/C++ projects for a living (using SWIG and to a lesser extent
Boost.Python or its frontends). For web development, which I can't
avoid entirely, though I'd wish I could, I'm using Django, or some
other custom mix of Python building blocks. In some rare cases,
it has to be Zope-based, but this I do really positively hate! ;)

Ruby and Rails are also good places to start and excellent object
oriented languages. Whether you go the Python or Ruby route is really
a matter of taste: both routes do have interesting things to show and
are definitely worth a try (or two).

> Just my two cents.
> Brgds: John


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