[aprssig] Programming Language Advice

Jeff N0JUH jefflists08 at corrt.com
Sun Jan 18 19:15:41 EST 2009

Bill Vodall WA7NWP wrote:
> I really hope folks here aren't encouraging anybody new to scripting
> to start with PERL.  That's a really bad idea.
> PERL is an incredible language and I use it every day.  It is somewhat
> cross platform and that's good, but the excitement in the programming
> world these days is Python and others.   

I'll second this.  If you are going to learn a new programming language,
want to do quick'n'dirty scripts, but also want to develop some serious 
applications someday, python is the way to go.  I've been using it for 
over ten years: everything from shell script replacements to terrain 
modeling (with graphics) to large web-based inventory systems.  It's 
easy to learn, has a huge set of libraries, makes for fast development, 
scales very well and is very sound from a computer science POV.

Why do the big software companies use C and C++?  For optimum 
performance, mostly.  But a number of them do their *prototypes* in 
python first.  Most of Google's search engine product was originally 
developed in python.  Most ham software would work just fine at python 
speeds - you can still do critical modules in C/C++ and link to them 
from python.

Is python the best for embedded systems or other small-footprint 
applications?  Not really.  C and C++ rule there.  Though programmers 
who prefer a higher-level / fast prototyping approach should check out 
lua (www.lua.org)

my two cents...

   -- Jeff n0juh

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