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Old 02-18-2018, 08:02 AM   #1
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Don't know how to proceed in regards to get coding


I'm trying to think of things to code, but I'm a bit at a loss. Games are out for me (personal reasons) and I would love to program something useful (or participate in a project). However, I'm afraid my creativity has abandoned me in regards of what to do with my coding interests and thus what I should be learning. The open source projects I do use (LibreOffice, FireFox) are both extremely big and I'm unsure whether it would be a good idea to contribute to them for someone who basically needs to start over.

Need and willing to learn.

Any suggestions? A web-app? A desktop program? Which language? Perhaps participate in some open source project? Create a new one?

Not that skilled, but I have some old knowledge of various languages (need to learn again).

What path is best for me to follow?

* This is a genuine question born from a lack of inspiration, I'm not looking for hand-holding.

EDIT: found this site, which targets first time contributors:

Last edited by xahodo; 02-18-2018 at 08:07 AM.
Old 02-19-2018, 09:00 AM   #2
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i'm not a professional, but...
i got into shell scripting evtl.
started with: my personal needs. something that my desktop is missing but which i can add myself by
a) writing a script that does it
b) plug it into some existing framework like a panel, conky (for desktop display) etc.
Old 02-19-2018, 09:08 AM   #3
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:19 AM   #4
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The only programs I have ever written were all solutions to immediate problems.

I wanted button bars on my desktop similar to the ones that MS Office used to put up (may still put up for all that I know to the contrary!)

I wanted a program that would help me solve sudokus by making guesses and then unwinding them if necessary, while also flagging up illegal entries.

I wanted a graphical program for writing out cello parts.

What do you want (apart from learning to program)? You'll learn faster if you have a practical target.
Old 02-19-2018, 11:07 AM   #5
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You might be interested to know that MuseScore is already a full-featured open source music scoring program that can do cello parts. (I was planning to by either Finale® or Sibelius® and wound up buying neither one ... because I felt that I didn't have to. It's that good.)

You might also be interested in learning about GNU Prolog (gprolog), which is an unusual programming language that can, among other things, be programmed to solve Sudoku puzzles and logic problems. ("The man with the red vest is sitting next to the owner of the racetrack.") This is a non-procedural programming tool of enormous power.

Do you like statistics? "R" is a programming language that it is purpose-built for that domain. Especially when paired with tools like Python – or, when embedded into commercial tools like SAS® and/or SPSS® – it is capable of amazing things.

Today, most of the things that you might think of to do have, to some extent, already been done and done well. ("We stand upon the shoulders of giants.") But, those "giants" are always looking for contributors.

If you've merely assumed "PHP or C++ what else is there?" ... ... think outside the box.

Have fun. If computer programming turns out to be "your thing," you'll never run out of things to have fun with, and you'll never again be starting from scratch. You'll wander into first one area and then another, and find them all filled with "giants" who are willing to share.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 02-19-2018 at 11:11 AM.
Old 02-19-2018, 01:58 PM   #6
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We could really use a better Quake frontend than the best one we have available:

Most people starting a new desktop app these days would use Electron with ReactJS (or something similar, like VueJS), and maybe something that adds type safety to Javascript (like Typescript or Flow). Personally, I'd recommend at least looking into Qt, C++ and QML. Here's a good source for learning QML:

Last edited by dugan; 02-19-2018 at 02:05 PM.
Old 02-22-2018, 05:34 PM   #7
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it wouldn't be a bad idea to get out the most advanced math text book that you understand and write programs to solve it in what ever language you finally decide to use

you have such a rich environment for C and it's kin it seems natural to go with a kind of C

for a project how about an electronic simulator based on Maxwell's original equations

Last edited by rob.rice; 02-22-2018 at 05:48 PM.
Old 02-22-2018, 06:07 PM   #8
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I know exactly what you're talking about. I've been there too. However now I can't keep up .

So some advice:

You'll have to ask yourself some questions:

Which platform(s) do you want your apps to support(it's way easier starting out as cross platform than porting later ). Choose your language and GUI kit accordingly.

What license do you want to use? most open-source stuff can't legally be linked into a proprietary app. Another factor for your gui and language selection.

Next "learn" the language, there is absolutely tons of resources for that, often fairly cheap. There are many free Android apps, such as Sololearn that have step by step tutorials. A hard copy of a book is still IMO the best way to go. Many people quit coding before they get very far, so you can take advantage of the cheap used books found almost anywhere they sell used books (Amazon,ebay,etc)

Then just start coding several utilities such as simple: calculators, text editors, file managers, gui's for cli apps.....etc. The rest is history...

Most of all ENJOY!
Old 02-22-2018, 07:13 PM   #9
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Yeah, I went through that, learned a little then looked, thought about what to code, and looked and seen everything had already been done before me. So I just find something I like but it has quirks in it. so I get the source and see what I can do with it to make it more suitable to my taste.

The one project I went after was a program to set the background image on my desktop, everything I tried was not up to par, even feh. It just slapped up the image with some ugly border around it. Leaving some crappy looking image on the desktop.

So I found one close to what I wanted then modify the hell out of it, now I can take any image and make it any size I want to set on my desktop with multiple choices of color arrangements, and display modes. Then I make it so I can change images at a user specified time, and randomize not only the image, but the mode of display and color scheme too. All at the same time if I want to.

then I rewrote it in C++ and now mega more options on it now and its faster loading mega images.

So I'd say go out and find something you like and make it better. Or bug fix everything someone else wrote.

Last edited by BW-userx; 02-22-2018 at 07:27 PM.


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