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Old 24 January 2012, 23:24   #60
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Location: Scunthorpe/United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by fishyfish View Post
I have to disagree with most of this. You dont need to learn to use workbench or a cli to use AMOS or Blitz for starts. Insert disc, turn on computer and youre ready to go.
Fair enough - that was not my experience, as I never used an Amiga without a HDD where things needed to be installed

As for C/C++, sure the initial learning curve can be steep, but its not so dificult once you get your head around it, and the benefits are huge. How many device drivers are written in Java, or html? How many OSes are written in pascal? What happens when you want to port your game from an XBox360 to ps3 when youve coded in a specific version of BASIC, and so on and so forth. There's many reasons C/C++ has for the most part become the defacto standard for commerical development. It's hardly a recent trend either unless you consider 30+ years recent.
Speaking as someone who has been coding in z80/x86 asm for the last 30 years, with BASIC as the main route into that, I'd say that C and C++, when compared to languages just as capable (Pascal, say, ignoring things like Java and HTML) are incredibly hard to learn. They defy most logic as far as I can tell, they split code across unnecessary files - such as the division between .h and .c files for the same code - and have a syntax that is largely gibberish. Obviously, my experiences with coding didn't include C until just recently, so if I had maybe looked at it when I was younger, I might not struggle with it so much! Now, however, I feel dirty and at-sea when confronted with a project that has to be coded in C++...

The problem being that when I was younger, I'd have had no chance learning C without first learning BASIC (and assembly helped in understanding what I was asking the compiler to do). The environment was incredibly hard to set up - I spent a month trying to get the compiler to actually build something, and had to learn about makefiles and library locations and all that unnecessary guff - it would have been easier to just give up and go back to my comfort zone! I didn't, I persevered, and I still don't think it was worth the effort. I don't think there are many 7 year-olds that could possibly learn C++, yet that was the age I was at when I started in BASIC and a year later z80 assembler.

But anyway, that's my experience - others may be better at this sort of thing than I am and just jump in for the first time and understand it without needing so much extra info to get started.

The only thing I agree with is that it was nice when you could flick the switch and be ready to go, but this requires a standard set of hardware, or at very least a common set of portable apis, which in itself would require a larger immediately accesible storage device. It would also require these dependencies to be portable. The only place where a parallel to the 8bit days is feasible these days is a console or other device where the hardware is set in stone. I doubt they'll do it, but something like this Pi could potentially be such a platform.
That would be the perfect platform for me - something that I can code on from switch-on, without having to load a language (from usb/disk or from HDD) first.

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