[nSLUG] Re: C++ beginner references

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Sat Oct 18 13:13:24 ADT 2003

Vikram quoth:

> I want to learn some programming and would like to start with C++. 
> [snip]
> P.S. I dont have any programing experience whatsoever.

Hi, Vikram.

Personally, I would suggest that, as a novice, you start with C, not
C++.  Depending on your learning style, you can read Kernighan &
Ritchie in a few days or even (say, up to Ch. 6) straight through in a
sitting.  C is simpler and less fraught with ambiguities and gotchas
than C++.  What you learn from K&R will mostly be portable to C++
if/when you go on to that later.  The man pages for all the basic C
functions will be available on your Linux box.

In addition, I have the following undefended prejudices:

    Object oriented programming is great -- some problems seem just to
    solve themselves in the OO context that are confusing without it
    -- but C++ isn't the easiest venue in which to learn about it,
    especially if you don't understand the concepts of C structs and
    functions first.

    C++ was developed chiefly for the benefit of biz, not hacking.
    The notion was that you could lock up your proprietary code in
    "objects" that would be available for use -- i.e. marketable --
    with a well defined programming interface without revealing your
    valuable source code.  At the expense of lots of somewhat hairy
    overhead for the hackers. [1]

    The C++ syntax for dealing with objects is counter-intuitive.

- Mike

[1] Yeah, yeah, I know: This sentence no verb. :-)

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^


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