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  1. #1
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    So I'm fairly certain we all more or less have a language or two that are our languages of choice, but in order for us to evolve as developers, it's good to keep horizons open. The Pragmatic Programmers recommend learning one new language a year, and I'm rather taking that to heart. Last year, the language was Ruby, and I fell in love and it has become my main language of choice ever since. In the meantime I've managed to pick up a lot of the details of Javascript, in part because of the fact that Ruby and JS are so similar in many ways (and some people are saying that Javascript is the Next Big Language, which is kind of cool).

    This year, though, I'll be taking a peek at Erlang, which is a very cool-looking language that is designed with extreme concurrency in mind. It follows a neat model that features share-nothing processes that pass messages to each other. They carry extremely low overhead, including very fast creation and message passing. Ericsson uses this language internally for a lot of their stuff.

    Erlang also has the cool Lisp-and-Smalltalk-like ability of updating code during the running of the actual process, so that you never need to restart the application (particularly important in the telecom industry, where Ericsson operates, and where you don't want phone calls and such to stop working or to get cut off just because of a service upgrade).

    I'm ordering a book today or tomorrow (I need to muster up the resolve) to start learning Erlang, because it looks extremely kickass, and the sequential subset is a functional programming language, language paradigm which I've been trying to get into.

    Next year I'm thinking of looking into Lua or maybe one of the Real Functional Languages (tm), like Haskell, ML, or OCaml.

    Anyway, what neat languages have you come across recently? Anything particularly interesting about any of them? What's definitely (or not so definitely) next on your to-learn list? Why? I'm curious to hear everyone's answers to these questions

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  3. #2
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    Damn me, here I am two minutes later and I've already discovered a new one that looks interesting

    Io looks to be a Smalltalk-like (i.e., object-oriented up the wazoo), prototype-based (mm, prototypes. Go JS!) language that supports concurrency using the Actor model, the same way Erlang does it. It supports blocks (w00t!), and possibly the neatest thing I've read about it so far is that it has differential inheritance -- i.e., a given object only stores the differences between itself and the object it was created from (keeping in mind that a prototype-based language means that an object is always a clone of another object, with `classes' being prototype objects that hold commonalities for all objects of that type).

    Cool!

  4. #3
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    Sorry, I win: http://www.lolcode.com/
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  5. #4
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    Dammit, I totally forgot to mention that!

    There's some LOLCODE on the board in the GT College of Computing common area. Totally awesome

  6. #5
    Senior Member Eddy Bones's Avatar
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    Hmm, I'm not really getting into anything new or exciting, at least not compared to you guys. Right now I'm catching up on Javascript which has come in quite handy. Moo.fx is really sweet.

    Aside from that I'm just working with C#.NET. It was the first language I studied in college and I like it the most out of the couple I've studied. I'd go out and learn some more languages, but I want my proficiency in C# to go up first. ASP.NET along with it, but that's a whole different story. Anyhow, I've been working on some 2D video games with C#. I've uploaded a screen of my first game (a Tetris clone) if anyone's curious. I'm working on my second game right now which is a clone of Worm, and I think I'm almost to the point where I can start building my first (very) simple RPG / adventure game in a Zelda-esque manner.

    After that I might step into the world of 3D game dev with Microsoft's XNA framework, but who knows. That seems like a world away from where I am right now.

    I guess right now I feel like I'm at the bottom rungs of the developer scale, so I'm trying to advance up in a way that's fun for me at the same time.
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  7. #6
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    That Tetris is looking pretty awesome

    C# is a language I've almost started learning a half dozen times, but the association with MS means that it drops on my to-learn list very easily, so whenever I run across another neat language, I tend to prefer it.

    They're doing some cool things with C# 3.0, including the ability to add new methods to primitive types, but the way that they're tackling that smacks of bolted-on afterthought, unlike the much more natural way that it occurs in Ruby (and Javascript). Nonetheless, I try to keep up with what C# is capable of, more or less, so that I at least have an idea if and when the time comes to learn and use it.

  8. #7
    Senior Member karinne's Avatar
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    I would like to come to grips with AJAX and get on with Ruby. Also looking into CakePHP.
    [a web design portfolio - Currently NOT AVAILABLE for work | web design | Re-coding | PSD-to-HTML]
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  9. #8
    Senior Member -chris-'s Avatar
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    I would like to be proficient enought in ASP to code an entire app withough referring back to my book every few minutes.

    Then I will probably look into javascript.
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  10. #9
    ljm
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    Senior Member ljm's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind learning Ruby, but at the moment my focus is on advancing my knowledge of PHP. There's little point learning a new language when I'm about to start work on a fairly large project!

    I'm playing about with Code Igniter on the side.

  11. #10
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    I would disagree that there's little point in learning a new language in any situation. Learning a new language can give you insights as to new ways you can achieve things in the other languages you know. Every language brings with it not only new syntax, but a new way of approaching problems, and sometimes you can cross-polinate those approaches into your other projects, as well.

    I personally think I'm a fairly good programmer, and I think a whole lot of that comes from the fact that I know many many different programming languages, and I've spent some time reading the things the community of each has to say about how that language should best be used. For example, if it weren't for my understanding of Ruby and the paradigms behind it, I'd still be scared to death of metaprogramming, whereas now I embrace it as just another tool in the toolbox that can often help me achieve things in an even easier way. (Admittedly, some languages, like Java, make metaprogramming so difficult that it becomes a last resort.)

    Nonetheless, I think earlier on when you only know one or two languages it might be good to take it slower. I wouldn't know, as my first language was C++, and about two months after I started learning it I started learning VB for a class, and about four months after I started that I started learning (or applying my knowledge to) ASP/VBScript for a website, and about four months after that I started learning PHP to redo that website, and... So my learning of various languages has been very fast-paced. I think my biggest gap was between learning Java (three years ago) and learning Ruby (last year), though there was some Matlab in between. That was largely because I was stagnating, and in retrospect it sucked pretty badly


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