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Re: Boss wants me to program

 
 
Adriaan Renting
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      06-29-2005
The question was about someone with limited programming experience
building simple easy to use programs on Windows. This is the niche where
VB and Delphi realy shine. Python with TkInter is kind of o.k., I realy
like Python+PyQt+Eric3+QtDesigner, but currently that only works with a
commercial licence of Qt on Windows, that's why, on Windows, I'd
recommend VB (maybe Delphi) for small projects.
This doesn't mean I would recommend VB for everything. For large
projects C++ or java can both be far superior, depending on needs and
available tools and libraries. I realy like Python for small projects on
Linux. Both VB and Python are easier to learn as the more powerful
languages, the price is that they lack features that make it easier to
manage large and complex projects.

If there is one thing I want to advise, is to get some education, at
least buy a few good books, but only 20+ years of experience can
sometimes substitute for a few good programming classes. If they teach
how to write maintainable code, software design, efficient sorting
algorithms, user interface design, security, etc. then you're on to
something. Courses focussing on a single language often don't teach you
these general programming proinciples.

I think it's important to know how stuff works behind the scenes to some
extent. But I realy like to use all the hard work other people have done
for me.
I prefer QPrinter.print(MyEditor.lines())
to having to push the bits out the LPT myself.

I prefer TMessageBox->Question("Do you realy want to quit")
to having to MOV the bits to my video memory myself.

I realy prefer a WYSIWYG UI design tool
to having to code BUTTON(120, 123, 123, 335, -1, NULL, doButton, "Push",
"push this button")

Why?
Because people already figured out a way to do that, saving me time, so
I can finish my project on schedule or spend my time on something else.

P.S. I share your worries about the dwindling number of people that
actually have the technical know-how to run our increasingly complex
society. I think it has to do with our society mainly rewarding
charismatic people, and a lack of organisation among the more technical
professions. We should have a bar exam for all programmers!
About teaching in the exact sciences: I think we need a more hands-on
applied approach, to some extent this holds for the entire school
system. I'll stop here, or this will become a long OT rant.

Adriaan Renting | Email: http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
ASTRON | Phone: +31 521 595 217
P.O. Box 2 | GSM: +31 6 24 25 17 28
NL-7990 AA Dwingeloo | FAX: +31 521 597 332
The Netherlands | Web: http://www.astron.nl/~renting/
>>> phil <(E-Mail Removed)> 06/28/05 8:04 PM >>>

>
> You are quite correct to point out how much better it is to know what

is
> going on behind the scenes. But heck, once you know how to extract

square
> roots - you need to let the computer do it!
>
> GUI interfaces should be the same deal!
> Thomas Bartkus
>

I think I pretty much agree. I essentially code my own gui builder

but in text files.

I just think it is really important to emphasise the operative
"but once you know how" in your comments.

Then some would counter with "oh, so we should code everthing
in assembler?" Ouch. No, I will admit there is judgement
required. Everything should be done the easiest way, with the
qualification that you need to understand how using someone
else's shortcut leaves you vulnerable.

This guy is trying to get started and looking for our advice and
I saw most of the advice leaning towrd VB (aarrgh!) and I thought
I should give him other food for thought.

I'm going to take this opportunity for a short rant.
<rant>
I believe our society ( I'm an old fart) is drifting toward
a VERY small percentage of people knowing, caring or even
being curious about "how stuff works". I teach high school
geometry and am APPALLED at the apathy. I am concerned about
the future of this nation, economically, but spirtually as well.
So, this influences my advice. Know how your stuff works if
it is reasonable.
Tom Wolfe talked in a book about two kinds of kids.
Those that play video games and those that make video games,
and the numbers of the latter is shrinking.
</rant>





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Harry George
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      06-29-2005
"Adriaan Renting" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
[snip]
> This doesn't mean I would recommend VB for everything. For large
> projects C++ or java can both be far superior, depending on needs and
> available tools and libraries. I realy like Python for small projects on
> Linux. Both VB and Python are easier to learn as the more powerful
> languages, the price is that they lack features that make it easier to
> manage large and complex projects.
>

[snip]

What is a large project, and what is Python missing that C++ and Java
have for such tasks?

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Phone: (425) 294-4718
 
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Peter Hansen
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      06-29-2005
Harry George wrote:
> "Adriaan Renting" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>>Both VB and Python are easier to learn as the more powerful
>>languages, the price is that they lack features that make it easier to
>>manage large and complex projects.

>
> What is a large project, and what is Python missing that C++ and Java
> have for such tasks?


But C++ and Java have features that *management* likes, thus making it
"easier to manage large projects". (That says nothing about whether or
not it makes it easier to produce quality code, successful projects,
happy customers, large profits, or any such silly things... just that
it's "easier to manage".

Less facetiously: I have managed a large Python project or three, and
several large C++ projects (and, thankfully, no large Java projects) and
found Python quite up to the task. In fact, if anything the C++
projects ended up more in danger of succumbing to the sheer weight of
the code than did the Python projects. But I attribute this more to the
fact that we had evolved to using agile approaches with the Python
projects than to any of those special features either present or lacking
in C++.

Ultimately, manageability of a project is far and away more about the
people involved and the techniques used than it is about any single
technology involved.

-Peter
 
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Mike Meyer
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      06-30-2005
"Adriaan Renting" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> I realy prefer a WYSIWYG UI design tool
> to having to code BUTTON(120, 123, 123, 335, -1, NULL, doButton, "Push",
> "push this button")


With a modern GUI library, it's more like:

buttonBox.addWidget(Button("&New", my, "new"))

and your button is added to the buttonbox. Anything that requires you
to specify the location exactly (whether in a WYSISOWYG GUI tool or
code) is fundamentally broken.

<mike
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Mike Meyer <(E-Mail Removed)> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
 
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Harry George
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      06-30-2005
Peter Hansen <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> Harry George wrote:
> > "Adriaan Renting" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> >>Both VB and Python are easier to learn as the more powerful
> >>languages, the price is that they lack features that make it easier to
> >>manage large and complex projects.

> > What is a large project, and what is Python missing that C++ and Java
> > have for such tasks?

>
> But C++ and Java have features that *management* likes, thus making it
> "easier to manage large projects". (That says nothing about whether
> or not it makes it easier to produce quality code, successful
> projects, happy customers, large profits, or any such silly
> things... just that it's "easier to manage".
>
> Less facetiously: I have managed a large Python project or three, and
> several large C++ projects (and, thankfully, no large Java projects)
> and found Python quite up to the task. In fact, if anything the C++
> projects ended up more in danger of succumbing to the sheer weight of
> the code than did the Python projects. But I attribute this more to
> the fact that we had evolved to using agile approaches with the Python
> projects than to any of those special features either present or
> lacking in C++.
>
> Ultimately, manageability of a project is far and away more about the
> people involved and the techniques used than it is about any single
> technology involved.
>
> -Peter


That's our experience too (and the reason I asked). I wonder if the
OP will respond.


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Phone: (425) 294-4718
 
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