How Do I Learn About [n]?

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How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Hammer » Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:57 am UTC

We seem to get a number of questions from people wanting to know where to start with a particular language. I've pulled out some of the existing threads where books and resources have been suggested. I'll try to keep this post updated as new ones appear. If I missed any, let me know!If you find good new resources, add them into the appropriate thread.

C++
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=13677

Assembler
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6685

Java Books
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=9016

HTML and CSS
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5087

C/C++, LISP, Java
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3020

Perl
http://www.perl.org/books/library.html

Scheme - see below

Haskell - see below

C for Microchips - see below

Computer Science
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=15802

PHP and Javascript
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16685

Programming Books
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16150

Python
Official Python Tutorial
http://hetland.org/writing/instant-python.html
http://thinkingplanet.net/~cfuller/links/sources.psp
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby necroforest » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:49 pm UTC

ONE PART CLASS, ONE PART WHISKEY, TWO PARTS GUN! SERVE NEAT!
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Rev4n » Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:53 am UTC

This is the book from which I just learned about Scheme. It's fairly well-written, and even better--it's free online:

http://www.scheme.com/tspl3/
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Jessica » Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:54 am UTC

no perl?
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Hammer » Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:57 am UTC

Gharbad wrote:no perl?

Do you know of some good Perl learning resources?
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby OfficiallyHaphazard » Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:09 am UTC

here are a number of good titles with full text avaliable on-line

http://www.perl.org/books/library.html

I *think* I went to this site when trying to teach myself some basics.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Cass » Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:36 am UTC

What about C for the purposes of micro controllers? slightly more specific microchip's 18f family.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Jessica » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:08 pm UTC

OfficiallyHaphazard wrote:here are a number of good titles with full text avaliable on-line

http://www.perl.org/books/library.html

I *think* I went to this site when trying to teach myself some basics.


Cool, thanks.
I've been looking to learn perl for a while now.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby thoughtfully » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:53 am UTC

Cass wrote:What about C for the purposes of micro controllers? slightly more specific microchip's 18f family.


I work with these chips as well. There are probably four or five popular C compilers, each is a little different. Not only that, but it's probably a little specialized for here, and usually there are specific fora for each elsewhere. I can provide details via PM.

Rev4n wrote:This is the book from which I just learned about Scheme. It's fairly well-written, and even better--it's free online:

http://www.scheme.com/tspl3/


If you are interested in more theoretical, compsci oriented scheme content, the standard text Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs is also available online.

Now, we need some Python links! I have made a page of links for my own reference, which includes many links to introductory, tutorial, and reference sites. If I promise to leave that page up forever, will it be sufficiently authoritative? Futhermore, I'll keep it updated as stuff disappears/moves around.
Last edited by thoughtfully on Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:18 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Hammer » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:56 am UTC

thoughtfully wrote:
Cass wrote:What about C for the purposes of micro controllers? slightly more specific microchip's 18f family.


I work with these chips as well. There are probably four or five popular C compilers, each is a little different. Not only that, but it's probably a little specialized for here, and usually there are specific fora for each elsewhere. I can provide details via PM.

If you know of learning resources for this, feel free to share them where everyone can make use of them, if they wish.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby thoughtfully » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:58 am UTC

Hammer wrote:If you know of learning resources for this, feel free to share them where everyone can make use of them, if they wish.


Right, you asked for it. I did warn you!

No free compilers, at least no good ones that support a range of chips, and aren't limited demo versions. There is a GNU toolchain for the Atmel microcontrollers, you might want to consider those. The Evil Mad Scientist has a lot of posts in his blog about them.

This is a list of free (as in speech) PIC software. There is a forth compiler for the 18 series! A lot of the stuff here is unmaintained, of beta/alpha quality, or only supports a few (or one!) chip. Worth checking out, at least. Example: that forth compiler is the neatest looking thing, but its web page characterizes it as "pre-pre-alpha", and it hasn't been updated since 2005.

This is a list of the main compilers, followed by a link to their user fora.

CCS is the one I know. It used to be very buggy, and only recently started supporting modern C concepts, but seems to have all that fixed. It makes a lot of the low-level chip support easy, moreso than the others. Inexpensive (relative to the rest), and there's a version for linux.
http://www.ccsinfo.com/content.php?page=compilers
http://www.ccsinfo.com/forum/

Linux and OS/X versions available.
http://www.htsoft.com/products/compilers/
http://www.htsoft.com/forum

This one has always seemed the most polished/professional, but probably isn't useful unless you are a polished professional!
http://www.iar.com/p972/p972_eng.php
Couldn't find a specific forum.

This is the compiler from Microchip. I have heard that it can be occasionally quirky as well.
Butt-ugly URL. A pox on Microchip and their slow application server with opaque URLs!
No obvious fora here, either.

I might have lied about no good free compilers. Last time I went poking around, these guys didn't seem to be "for real", but they seem to have made some progress.
http://www.sourceboost.com/
http://forum.sourceboost.com/

I just came across a new one I hadn't encountered before. From the website, it appears fairly complete. The price compares to CCS, as well.
http://www.mikroe.com/en/compilers/mikroc/pic/
http://www.mikroe.com/forum/

I stumbled across this and this while hunting down the compilers. They looks like good places to start, although the first is specific to CCS.

There is also a BASIC compiler, but I don't know much about it.
http://www.picbasic.org/

For assembler, the main thing is to study the chip's datasheet and get used to the architecture. You need to know this stuff, much moreso than you would with a C compiler on a desktop. I haven't actually dove into actual assembly programming (yet), although back in my DOS days, I kept my mind from rotting by playing around in assembler. The site that keeps coming up over and over for good PIC assembler info is here. There is some CCS code also.

Oh, and if you work with a serial/usb/ethernet port (any means of communicating from desktop to PIC), one thing you will probably want to do is start using a bootloader. This bootloader uses the serial port USART, but the principle applies to any communications channel.

As always, google is your friend. There are tons of PIC sites out there. For extra kicks, search the noozgroups too, if you have trouble finding a web site that addresses your problem.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Mr. Altaco » Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:44 am UTC

Last edited by Mr. Altaco on Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:50 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby castelle » Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:56 pm UTC

For intro to programming in general, MIT's open courseware (ocw.mit.edu) has all the content of its courses online and available to the public. Specifically, 6.001 under Electrical Engineering & Computer Science has tutorial-style Scheme projects/lecture notes/etc, and 1.00 under Civil & Environmental Engineering has the same for an intro-level Java course. It's a good site to poke around for theoretical CS stuff as well.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby b.i.o » Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:57 pm UTC

Anyone know any good Swing tutorials for Java?
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby castelle » Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:29 pm UTC

It's not a tutorial but if you want to auto-generate GUI layout code, NetBeans is a godsend. You visually design your GUI and it auto-generates the codes for it, and then you write the listeners and such yourself (or actually I believe you can do it in NetBeans as well, but I've always been integrating with extensive projects in Eclipse/emacs/etc - I think doing it in NetBeans is best for projects where the GUI is the most complicated part). If you want to do it by hand (it'll be a pain), the Sun tutorial for how to use the various layout managers is here. (GroupLayout is the most flexible ==> coolest).
For listeners/event handlers, this page seems to give a good intro, and it links to the Sun event handling tutorial if you want a walk-through or example project.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby b.i.o » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:47 pm UTC

Alright, thanks.

I really would like to learn how to do it by hand even if it is easier to autogenerate it, I'll check out the Sun tutorials.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby b.i.o » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:55 am UTC

For anyone else who might need it, here is by far the best Swing tutorial I could find. It's the only one I found that actually explains what you're doing each step of the way rather than just telling you to write it.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby schmiggen » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:05 am UTC

Python:
A decent intro. to Python for people who have experience programming in general. (It's been translated into several other languages; the links are on that site)

This is the official Python tutorial.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Cosmologicon » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:47 pm UTC

I'd like a good online reference for MySQL. The official reference manual is pretty good as far as information goes, but it's impossible to search and it's poorly hyperlinked, so I can never find what I want.

Everything else online seems to be tutorials, and I don't need to be told what a table is and organize some person's CD collection.

(This post can be deleted if someone posts a good one.)
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby thoughtfully » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:07 pm UTC

Cosmologicon wrote:I'd like a good online reference for MySQL. The official reference manual is pretty good as far as information goes, but it's impossible to search and it's poorly hyperlinked, so I can never find what I want.

Everything else online seems to be tutorials, and I don't need to be told what a table is and organize some person's CD collection.

(This post can be deleted if someone posts a good one.)

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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:23 am UTC

Silver2Falcon wrote:Anyone know any good Swing tutorials for Java?

Swing is pretty hard to master. My suggestion is to take the ghetto solution. Find any book with a Java GUI tutorial. Then learn to read other people's code. Then view the source for SwingSet, and read the documentation. Then get NetBeans and build your J<whatever> onscreen, then import it to <favorite other IDE>. Disadvantage: time consuming. Advantage: learn WAY more in the process.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby blob » Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:28 pm UTC

For a comp sci oriented introduction to Python there's also
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Azquelt » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:01 am UTC

For Perl, if you can find any of the O'Reily books on Perl, they're well worth a read (and happily, my employer for next year has just given me a bunch)
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby pieaholicx » Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:10 pm UTC

Not sure if this was mentioned anywhere else, but for a good intro to Java, and a decent intro to OOP I'd suggest Don't Fear the Oop! (or A java tutorial that shows you why Coding Java (or any other object-oriented programming) is just like writing a trashy Western novel. [or How to understand Java by looking at pretty colors.])
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby enk » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:46 pm UTC

pieaholicx wrote:Not sure if this was mentioned anywhere else, but for a good intro to Java, and a decent intro to OOP I'd suggest Don't Fear the Oop! (or A java tutorial that shows you why Coding Java (or any other object-oriented programming) is just like writing a trashy Western novel. [or How to understand Java by looking at pretty colors.])


Thanks, I didn't know I needed that until you posted it :)
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby ash.gti » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:48 am UTC

Since no one has said anything about ruby... as scary as it sounds, i found http://poignantguide.net/ruby/ to be a great resource for learning ruby. Its... a different kind of learning guide thats for sure.

But, once you have ruby installed the rdoc built into it has detailed information about all the classes and functions.

Also, just use 'ri' in your console to know more about something. Like:

Code: Select all
ri Time.now


-------------------------------------------------------------- Time::now
     Time.new -> time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Synonym for +Time.new+. Returns a +Time+ object initialized tot he
     current system time.

     Returns a +Time+ object initialized to the current system time.
     *Note:* The object created will be created using the resolution
     available on your system clock, and so may include fractional
     seconds.

        a = Time.new      #=> Wed Apr 09 08:56:03 CDT 2003
        b = Time.new      #=> Wed Apr 09 08:56:03 CDT 2003
        a == b            #=> false
        "%.6f" % a.to_f   #=> "1049896563.230740"
        "%.6f" % b.to_f   #=> "1049896563.231466"

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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Magilla » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:33 am UTC

I'm looking for a decent resource for PyQt - specifically one that deals with multi-monitor handling. Anyone know a good place to start?
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby bug » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:42 pm UTC

Ruby is getting some big attention lately:
Homepage: http://ruby-lang.org
Demo: http://tryruby.hobix.com
Tutorial: http://poignantguide.net
Docs: http://ruby-doc.org

although personally, I'm more interested in Io and its potential.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby chustar » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:40 am UTC

That poignant guide to ruby is pretty interesting. I actually started reading it even though i don't really plan to learn ruby. Does anyone know if there's a similar guide for python?
EDIT: Or C++?
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby ash.gti » Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:28 pm UTC

Anyone know a good guide to learning Vim?

Other than going through vimtutor, which I have been, just wondering if there are things it doesn't cover.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby enk » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:28 pm UTC

ash.gti wrote:Anyone know a good guide to learning Vim?

Other than going through vimtutor, which I have been, just wondering if there are things it doesn't cover.


I've found the included user manual to be very good.

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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby poohat » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:41 am UTC

I think How To Design Programs is the best book for learning Scheme/Lisp. Actually I think its the best book for learning computer programming full stop. The entire text is available online, read the preface to understand why its very different from most other introductory programming books:

http://www.htdp.org/2003-09-26/Book/cur ... _toc_start


At a more advanced level, SICP is another classic which uses Lisp/Scheme, available online at: http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html



I also really found Peter Norvig's "Paradigms Of Artificial Intelligence Programming" to be extremely good for learning more 'practical' Lisp. Paul Graham's book is also highly recommended at a more advanced level. In fact pretty much everything Paul Graham has written is excellent whether its about Lisp or just general politica/social commentary and I'd thoroughly recommend reading his essays at http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html .

For a less theoretical introduction to Lisp, this is decent: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/LispBook/index.html

For something hilarious written by a Lisp programmer Eric Naggum's writings are awesome: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Erik_Naggum . In particular, his perl rant is one of the funniest computer related things I can remember reading http://groups.google.no/group/comp.lang ... ab1cb2f863


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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Berengal » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:13 pm UTC

Putting in a request for wxPython tutorials. The official site's is quite lacking.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby ash.gti » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:08 am UTC

Anyone have any good references for Objective-C/Objective-C++?

*edit*
I know basics about Objective-C, Like how to make basic objects, polymorphism, etc. And am also experienced in mixing standard C, and standard C libraries with Objective-C. I just am not comfortable to the point were if someone asked me to make a project specifically in Objective-C I'd say I could...
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Phloam » Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:24 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:Do you know of some good Perl learning resources?


When I learned Perl (about 2002) Robert's Perl Tutorial was the best around and I'm glad to see theres still a copy floating around the net. I'd be suprised if anything better has come out since, Perl doesnt seem to get the attention of R or Python.

Azquelt wrote:For Perl, if you can find any of the O'Reily books on Perl, they're well worth a read


Very true. The classic Camel book, Programming Perl is very good, and they also do Learning Perl which is a great intro for newbies.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby masher » Thu May 08, 2008 2:22 am UTC

Does anybody know any good tutorials on source control?
How it works, best practice, why do it....?

.

I've seen plenty of stuff on CVS vs SVN vs GIT vs..., but nothing on how to best use a source control tool.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby EvanED » Thu May 08, 2008 2:26 am UTC

For Subversion: Version Control with Subversion
For CVS: Open Source Development with CVS

I can't speak to the latter much, but the former is quite good.

I'm not sure what to say regarding best practices specifically though, or why to use it.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby The Hyphenator » Mon May 26, 2008 2:09 am UTC

Anyone have any D resources? It sounds at least twenty times more awesome than C/C++ from what I've read about it, and Derelict includes OpenGL, which I REALLY also want to learn. So, yeah, I want OpenGL tutorials too. Apologies if someone has asked about this already; I just skimmed through the thread.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Albino » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:19 am UTC

C++ Primer (I think it's in its 4th edition) is an amazing, excellent book for learning C++.
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Re: How Do I Learn About [n]?

Postby Berengal » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:49 pm UTC

Javascript and greasemonkey tutorials, please? I'm an utter n00b at both, but I "know how to program" (for certain values of know).
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