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What is the best robust programming language.  500 pt.

Posted on 2005-05-11
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I know this question may get some controversy, but here's what I'm looking for.

I have about one year worth of experience in programming C++ using Codewarrior compiler.
For my new job as network admin, I am being asked to do a lot of changes in delphi.  So far,
I don't particularily like delphi, especially since it isn't supported as well as other programming
languages, (Barnes and Noble sells 22 titles and stocks 0, vs. C++ and java, where there is
almost too many selcetions.) and if I was to leave this company, they may have the same issue
with their next admin not being knowledgable in delphi.  I've heard great things about Visual
Studio.net and Visual Basic, but honestly don't understand the differences (pros and cons).

I am looking for one language and program that I can use to create new applications,
including web applications, that is pretty popular in the programming world, and isn't the most
difficult to learn.  I would like to be able to learn to program in this language pretty well in
six months.



Thanks for the advice,

Steve
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Question by:c230kochi
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by:Julian Hansen
ID: 13979317
Visual Studio .Net includes C++, C#, VB .Net etc. Visual Basic is just Visual Basic

Which to use? It all depends on the type of programming you are going to be doing. Getting into .Net is a good idea and you can get into it from various different places - C#, VB.Net, ASP.Net etc

I personally like C++ but there is a lot to be said for the C# and VB.Net environments in terms of being able to do things quickly and easily.

In the end the language is not really the most important thing but the environment the application will run in. So from this perspective either C# or VB .Net are a good way to go.

There is a lot of sample source out there for VB.Net, ASP.Net and VBScript but this can be easily adapted to C#. Given your C++ background you may find C# to be quite an easy change.

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by:c230kochi
ID: 13979391
All applications will run in a Windows environment.  I would definitely like a visual program, what are the key differences between C# and VB .Net?
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by:Julian Hansen
ID: 13979517
C# is based on C and VB on VB

The .Net part means the application runs in the managed .Net environment. This needs to be installed on any machine running a .Net application.
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by:c230kochi
ID: 13979570
I understand the roots of the languages, I guess my question is, which do you think is more difficult to learn,
and which do you think offers the most potential advantages, (new versions, stability of language, costs, etc).


thx!!
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Assisted Solution

by:Julian Hansen
Julian Hansen earned 1000 total points
ID: 13979726
They are much of a muchness. If you have a C++ background you shouldn't have too much trouble with either of the languages.

Where you will need to do some PT is in how to use the new environment and where everything is. However, this is common to both languages so once you get on top of it you won't have to do it again for the other language. What am I talking about ...?

A practical example.

To be able to add functionality to your app you first need to add the correct .Net references - similar to the import statement in Java and the using namespace statement in C++. For instance at the top of your app you might have the following

using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Collections;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Data;

This just means that you can use the functionality in these libraries without having to dereference them. So you can say

   MessageBox.Show ( "Hullo World" ) ;

Instead of
    System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show ( "Hullo World" ) ;

Now, with the exception of the ';' both of these statements are valid in both VB.Net and C#. The differences come with the actual language constructs so that in C# you would write

   if ( expression == true )
   {
          for ( i = 0 ; i < 10 ; i ++ ) DoSomeThingUseful ( ) ;
   }

Whereas in VB you would do

   if expression = true then
      for i = 0 to 9
         DoSomethingUseful
      next i
   end if

The point is that the language parts are easy - where to find functions and methods that have the functionality you want and how to use them, etc that is altogether different. But as I said it is common to both environments so you only have to learn it once.

As far as which one to go for - doesn't matter. Once you are proficient in one switching to the other is easy - especially with a C++ background.

At the same time don't neglect your C++ skills - Visual Studio includes the Visual C++ compiler and environment - you may find in some situations you need to mix your development platforms to optomise a solution.
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Expert Comment

by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 13980346
Personally I don't suggest you to use Managed C++, I think is a C++ language deformation. If you have C++ background, C# could be suitable for you, C# code looks cleaner than Managed C++ (.net).
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Jaime Olivares earned 1000 total points
ID: 13980374
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Expert Comment

by:Julian Hansen
ID: 13981298
Just to clarify it is possible to code in straight C++ (without using managed extentions) with the Visual Studio .Net suite.
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by:c230kochi
ID: 13981391
Well, from what I can see, C++ is the way to go followed by C# in a close second.  As for the environment, would you recommend
Visual Studio for C++ and C# or is there something better?


thx
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Expert Comment

by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 13981602
Just to clarify me too, I don't mention non-managed C++ because although is my prefered language, it doesn't satisfy the ROBUST feature, that managed and specially .Net do.
Pure C++ is high performance better than robuts.
C#.Net provides an acceptable performance with robustness and clean code.
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by:Julian Hansen
ID: 13981709
To follow on from jaime's comment (which I agree with) - C++ (my preferred language too) is good for certain things - you should not think of it as a solution for everything. There are many applications that are better suited to C# or VB .Net. That is why in an earlier post I said your choice of tool depends on what you are doing. Developers today need to be multi-lingual - one development tool very rarely cuts it. My point was if you go the .Net route with Visual Studio you still have the option of using C++ when you want to. The nice thing about the VS environment (above version 6) is that it is very nicely integrated - you have a common interface for all development and you can have a workspace with multiple mixed projects. if you want to develop in .Net, C# etc then Visual Studio is the way to go.
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by:c230kochi
ID: 13981727
Been doing some reading.  What is Visual Studio Express Edition, just a water-down version of
Visual Studio?  How is this different from Visual Studio and Visual Studio.Net?


thx
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by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 13981782
express edition doesn't have GUI libraries like MFC and ATL, but you can run almost everything including .net framework in text mode. Also you can integrate it with 3rd party GUIs like wxWorks or QT, but notice it is intended just for evaluation and educational purposes.
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by:c230kochi
ID: 13981852
Alright, I'm a network engineering student, so maybe I can use it for those CIS classes I don't have :)

I would like to be able to start building apps in the next 6 months, and I figure that I don't really have enough
knowleged in C++ to do that.  I'm young, and careers choices are still open to me, and I would like to dabble
in programming a bit and see if I like it more than networking (I HATE routers, they never want to route for
me!!!!).  Anyway, I've been playing with Delphi to make the appropriate program modifications and updates
as needed, and have found that I kinda like it, but I don't think delphi is the best program to write in (it just
seems like everything is more difficult than it needs to be in delphi). So.....

One last thing, is Visual Studio and Visual Studio.Net the same thing?
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by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 13981896
> is Visual Studio and Visual Studio.Net the same thing?
Currently yes, just can vary in year 2003 or 2005
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by:Julian Hansen
ID: 13981914
Sort of, and no not really.

Visual Studio was the name of the development suite version 6.

Visual Studio .Net 2003 is the development environment that came after this and includes the support for .Net and the integrated environment.

Visual Studio is also used as a generic term when referring to the Microsoft development suite although it does become necessary to qualify it with a version when discussing features and capabilities.

Sort of like Word XP and Word 2003 - same product different versions.

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by:c230kochi
ID: 13981955
Word XP and Word 2003, now you're talking my language ,:D

So, I should get myself a copy of Visual Studio.Net 2003 or Beta 2005 and see how that does me.

Cool cool, thanks for the help, you both are awesome!!
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by:c230kochi
ID: 13981982
Wow, $718.00, so why aren't my shares in CDW going up??
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Expert Comment

by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 13982049
you don't need all visual studio, every MS-Visual-Language costs about $110
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by:c230kochi
ID: 13982527
So I can purchase each language by itself?
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by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 13982621
also, if you are a US student you can get entire Visual Studio for $99
Look at:
http://www.microsoft.com/Education/USAcademicPricing.aspx
But you will need to match strict requirements.
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by:Julian Hansen
ID: 13983969
you are most welcome
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