(E-Mail Removed) (English Teacher) writes:

>What would be the most useful language to learn among:

>Java, C, C#, C++, VB, VB.NET, DELPHI?
One that incorporates as much of an algebraic theory of control flow

structures within by embedding the greatest degree of equivalences

between them. This is especially important for the deployment of

practical algebraic tools and methods for mathematical verification,

transformation and optimization.

Both C and C++ have the required degree of fluidity in their control

flow structures. In contrast, things tends to be frozen in place in

Java and BASIC dialects, thus increasingly requiring algebraic steps in

control flow structure manipulations and computations to go outside the

language during intermediate steps.

Also important is to minimize the degree of built-in'edness, which

really straightjackets everything at the outset. This is directly tied

to the issue of fluidity: more built-in'edness tends to be symptomatic

of lesser fluidity.

This, too, favors a C/C++ approach, with suitable libraries (if need

be) to handle the native features that might be incorporated in the

other languages. C++ has the best advantage in terms of its ability

(when used right) for nearly seamless extension by quasi-native add-ons.

Ironically, strictures placed on some of the control flow structures --

which greatly impedes the enterprise of algebraic mathematical

verification, transformation and optimization, are often placed in the

name of "reliability" (particularly, that put on the "for" loop in

some of these languages, Pascal was the worst).

If the BASIC dialects were to incorporate more of the C-like syntax, they'd

have the advantage over C. C++, however, would probably still have the

advantage over both, since you can bring in the features native to BASIC

via appropriate class definitions.

The main disadvantage of C++ is its overly-bureaucratic design. It's

almost as if the language was conceived by a committee of suit-wearing

company men at some large corporation or something, heavily imbued

in the "latest-buzz" and "everything is a programme" mindset of companyese.