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Getting Started in Programming & Scripting

 
 
Jussi Jumppanen
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      09-12-2005
> I wish it were that simple. A great deal of bad C has been
> written by those who learnt Pascal as their first language.


IMHO all that proves is that if you can write bad Pascal then
you can also write bad C.

Jussi Jumppanen
Author of: Zeus for Windows, Win32 (Brief, WordStar, Emacs) Text Editor
"The C/C++, Java, Pacal, Cobol, Fortran programmers text editor"
Home Page: http://www.zeusedit.com
 
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Jussi Jumppanen
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      09-12-2005
Malcolm wrote:

> Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
> only if the beginner has the right mindset.


Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?

Like it or CPU's works with memory which means working with
pointers, any when things go wrong it will usually means a
pointer has gone astray.

So like it or not I think a basic understanding of pointers
is essential when it comes to programming.

Jussi Jumppanen
Author of: Zeus for Windows, Win32 (Brief, WordStar, Emacs) Text Editor
"The C/C++, Java, Pacal, Cobol, Fortran programmers text editor"
Home Page: http://www.zeusedit.com
 
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Victor Bazarov
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      09-12-2005
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
> Malcolm wrote:
>
>> Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
>> only if the beginner has the right mindset.

>
> Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.

V


 
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Richard Heathfield
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      09-12-2005
Victor Bazarov said:

> Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
>>
>> Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?

>
> Most certainly, in some languages.


VS/BASIC certainly had no pointer concept. Some BASICs do, and others don't.

> IIRC, Java has no pointers.


Imagine a blanket laid loosely on a quiverful of arrows. Look ma, no
pointers - but sit down *very* carefully...

--
Richard Heathfield
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29/7/2005
http://www.cpax.org.uk
email: rjh at above domain
 
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Bill Godfrey
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      09-12-2005
"Victor Bazarov" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.


Hiding pointers can have its own problems.

(Discussing C# code with a programmer unfamilar with C#.)

MyClass x = myCollection.findAnObject("foo");
x.bar = "blip";

"Don't you have to put x back into the collection after you modify it?"
"No, x is a reference. Its pointing to the same object inside the
collection."

Bill, not the actual Bill, just a reference. He's over there.

--
http://billpg.me.uk/ usenet(at)billpg(dot)me(dot)uk
 
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Francis Glassborow
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      09-12-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Jussi Jumppanen
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>Malcolm wrote:
>
>> Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
>> only if the beginner has the right mindset.

>
>Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


To the best of my knowledge Cobol has no pointers and Cobol programmers
have no need of the concept (indeed many of them find the idea of a
pointer quite bizarre)


--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
 
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Francis Glassborow
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      09-12-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Victor Bazarov
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
>> Malcolm wrote:
>>
>>> Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
>>> only if the beginner has the right mindset.

>>
>> Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?

>
>Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.


Well actually it does (it just calls them references)


--
Francis Glassborow ACCU
Author of 'You Can Do It!' see http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit
For project ideas and contributions: http://www.spellen.org/youcandoit/projects
 
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Rob Thorpe
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      09-12-2005
Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
> Malcolm wrote:
>
> > Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
> > only if the beginner has the right mindset.

>
> Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?


Yes. Several programming languages have no concept of pointer that's
visible to the programmer. For example Lisp, Java and Perl have no
pointers. Perl has references which refer, somehow, to another perl
object - effectively equivalent to a pointer.

Lisp's don't have pointers per se. Each name in a lisp program and
almost everything else is "bound" to a piece of data of some type, and
can be freely rebound. Some of these data types can store sequences of
values. So, altogether there is no need for visible pointers.

(There are naturally tons of pointers in actual implementation, but
they're invisible to the programmer).

> Like it or CPU's works with memory which means working with
> pointers, any when things go wrong it will usually means a
> pointer has gone astray.


Often yes, but not always, and not in languages where they can't go
astray. There remain plenty of things to go wrong without them though.

> So like it or not I think a basic understanding of pointers
> is essential when it comes to programming.


Yes, because it's how real machines work.

 
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Victor Bazarov
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      09-13-2005
Francis Glassborow wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Victor Bazarov
> <(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>> Jussi Jumppanen wrote:
>>> Malcolm wrote:
>>>
>>>> Pointers, on the other hand, can be grasped in a few days, but
>>>> only if the beginner has the right mindset.
>>>
>>> Is it possible to code anything without the concept of pointers?

>>
>> Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.

>
> Well actually it does (it just calls them references)


I didn't know it called them anything other than "objects"...


 
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Richard Tobin
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      09-13-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Francis Glassborow <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>>Most certainly, in some languages. IIRC, Java has no pointers.


>Well actually it does (it just calls them references)


It doesn't *just* call them references. It strongly restricts what
you can do with them. C pointers have an important feature that makes
them very different from the references that Java and most other
languages have: they let the programmer perform address-like
arithmetic on them. You can't use a Java reference to step through an
array, or take the difference between two references.

(Not to mention the unportable but almost universal ability to
convert them to and from integers.)

-- Richard
 
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