From: Ben Cottrell on
Mike Barnard wrote:

>>Finally, I am curious as to why the poster is learning C if he wants to
>>use Objective C. Furthermore, why is he planning to learn Objective C
>>which is a language that is very little used outside the Apple Mac world?
> I wish to start with C because C is the language that Objective C and
> C++ are built on.

I think Francis' point is that learning a particular programming
language with the intention of using it as a stepping stone to another
language is somewhat unnecessary, and maybe a little counter productive
because all languages are very different once you step beyond the
absolute basics - even those like C and C++ which would apparently seem
to be very similar are fundamentally light years apart once you scratch
the surface.

To coin a (flaky) analogy - the relationship between C and C++ is
somewhat similar to the relationship between Latin and Italian. That's
to say, as a native English speaker who might wish to learn Italian, you
might decide that in order to gain a fuller understanding of Italian
that it would benefit you greatly to learn Latin first - being that
Italian is clearly derived from Latin, but anybody fluent in Italian
will tell you that its perfectly possible, and somewhat easier, if you
just take a course in Italian to start with. However, I still really
dislike analogies (As i'm sure you'll have guessed, Mike, from your
years reading my ramblings on H-L newsgroups), so do take that
comparison with a big pinch of salt :-)

Of course, the big difference is that noone uses Latin any more whereas
C is very much alive, but there might be a grain of truth that learning
Latin will give you a little more deep insight of the origins of Italian
- learning C may give you a little more insight about how C++ works, but
until you reach a particular level of competence in being able to
adjust your mindset to solving programming problems, knowing the
underlying details of the language might not help you a great deal.

With that in mind, I've never used Objective C (I am not personally much
of an enthusiast for apple products), so I have no idea what the
learning material for Objective C is like, but it seems to me that the
number of excellent beginner level books available for C++ vs the number
of similarly easy-reading books for C makes C++ far more beginner
friendly. Still, don't let that completely put you off learning C.
"most" of what you'll learn will be relevent to Objective C and to C++,
but when you take that next step you will undoubtedly have some slightly
painful un-learning and re-learning of habits to do.
From: Jaded Hobo on
Paul Bibbings wrote:
> Mike Barnard <m.barnard.trousers(a)> writes:
>> I don't like the underscores purely because of the two handed key
>> input. Lazy? Me?
> It certainly seems like an oddly randam rejection of a common
> convention; unless, of course, you have a keyboard that otherwise
> permits `one-handed' input of !, ", %, ^, &, *, (, ), +, {, }, :,
> ~, <, > and ?. Or will you not be using these either? ;-)

That was why the Commodore CBM3000 series was so brilliant! They had all
the numbers in a separate numeric block and all special characters
available on the top row above the alpha characters without shift.

When I was able to buy my first own computer, a C128, the first thing I
did was to reprogram the keyboard table to get the same effect.


> Regards
> Paul Bibbings
From: BobJ on

"Mike Barnard" <m.barnard.trousers(a)> wrote in message
> On Sun, 09 May 2010 13:30:50 +0100, Paul Bibbings
> <paul.bibbings(a)> wrote:
>>> I think I might find out how to make the underscore replace another
>>> key. Which one is the dirtyest, the least touched!
>>From what we've gathered already, I would say that that would be the
>>SHIFT key! :-)
> Heh, maybe. But actually, there is a key I never touch. To the left of
> the digit 1...
> `
> �
> Who EVER uses these characters? (Googles for keyboard mapping...)
> Goes to play for a while.

They are very useful as delimeters.