Re: How bad it is to learn Perl?by hossman (Prior)
|on Jul 20, 2002 at 07:32 UTC||Need Help??|
It's important to allways remember that there is a
distinction between learning about a concept, and learning
about a language. This is something a lot of people don't
pick up on when studying Computer Science /
Computer Programming / Software Engineering.(*)
When you sit in a class, that just so happens to be using C/C++ for all of the examples/assignments, learning about Sorting Algorithms -- don't focus on the syntax of the C++ code, or how many lines it is, or how many lines it could be in Perl -- focus on the concept and the general algorithm. because that's what's important.
In order to understand any concept a person is trying to teach you, it's allways neccessary to understand the langauge the person is speaking in -- so that's where it becomes important to learn about a language. You don't have to like every language you learn about -- but you should try to understand their syntax, grammer, strengths, weaknesses, and conventions. That way, you can understand concepts explained to you using those languages. (And probably more important: the more languages you understand the easier it is to understand new languages in the future).
Typically, I find that whenever people with a lot of experience using High Level langauges take classes that teach low level concepts using C, they look at problems like "write a method that converts an int foo into a char that displays that int as a string." and say "this is stupid! I could do this in one line of java: String.valueOf(foo)" thereby missing the whole point of the assignment: how do you think java does it? (it's kind of like complaining about having to learn how to do long division, because you can do it really easily with a calculator.)
(*) This is why i really like text books that invent their own psuedo-code langauge (with a very limited library of functions) in the first chapter, and then use it for every algorithm/example/problem -- it keeps people from thinking of the class as a "C class" or a "java class" when they should really be thinking of it as a "functional programming" or an "algorithms class"