Programming languages

I would like to be able to write script files but I'm not sure which is the best language to use. Also, what is the general programming language currently used? Any books /tutorials anyone can recommend would be appreciated.

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MogalManicConnect With a Mentor Commented:
There is no such thing as the BEST programming language.  Each language will have its critics and worshipers.  I guess I will start by listing scripting languages and MY opinion about them:
  DOS Batch - Simple scripting; mainly usefull for moving/managing files
  WinBatch - Commercial batch style scripting language
  AWK - Unix (available for Windows) text processing language.  Great for processing patterns in files.
  PERL - Unix (available for Windows) script languages.  Many people say is a replacement for AWK.  Is more powerfull, also more complex.
  JavaScript - Scripting language used in HTML pages.  Not Java, but good languages for simple tasks
  VBScript - Scrripting language used in HTML pages.  Subset of Visual Basic language
  CScript - AKA "Windows Scripting Host (WSH)", AKA Visual Basic Scripting(VBS). Command line version of VBScript/JavaScript.  Great for linking two Windows programs and/or accessing Windows OS.
  Unix Shell scripting - Scripting used in Unix/Linix.  More powerfull than DOS batch, but only works on Unix machines.  Can be used with many Unix command line utilities (AWK, Grep, PERL...)

The difference between a scripting language and a "REAL" programming language is also a matter of opinion.  It is MOSTLY a factor of the complexity of the language and whether variables are declared or not.  Here is my list of populare programming languages:

   C/C++ - Powerfull programming language compiler, but suffers from identity crisis (Is it object oriented or not?).  Difficult to learn for newbees.
   Java - Most popular object oriented language.  Available on most platforms.  Only a little less difficult to learn than C++.
   Visual Basic(VB) - Programming language for creating Windows applications (Does NOT run on any non-windows machines).  Applications are basically event driven forms.  This is probably the quickest learning curve (you could probably be creating your first application on the first day)

Let us know what kind of programming/scripting you want to do and I'm sure someone will have an opionion on what is BEST!  

Do you want to create simple Windows applications?  I would recommend VB
Do you want to create WEB applications?  I would recommend Java
Do you want to create Games or Graphics applications?  I would recommend C/C++  or VB if they are simple
Do you want to start learning Object Oriented Programming?  I would recommend Java
Do you want to create FAST compact programs?  I would recommend C/C++
...and so on...
mugman21Connect With a Mentor Commented:

Regarding scripting languages, that depends on what your trying to do. If your script files will only be used on a windows based operating system I would recomment Visual Basic Scripting because it is easier to learn than java script. Also, if you know VBS the jump to Visual Basic for Applications is a little one.

Regarding general programming languages currently in use, there are several. C++ is the defacto standard for building commercial applications. On windows based computers, VC++ (Visual C++) is used. However, C++ can be a little difficult to learn without any prior programming experiance, therfore most people start programming with a high-level language such as Visual Basic. So, it is my opinion that if your looking for a good scripting language, learn VBS.

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