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Old 02-15-2003, 08:14 PM   #1
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
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Suggest a great n00bie book?

Ahhh, I can feel the flames now...

"If you would use the search button, you'd see this is asked 10 times a day" If that is true, I appologize, I don't use this forum, pretty much ever. I also wanted to have this question tailored to my needs, so I figure I could tell you guys my level of experience with different things. Here goes:

I know absolutely nothing about programming beyond extremely basic html code. I don't know any scripting, can't do anything beyond very basic bash strings like pipes and semi-colons, and I've read 1 how-to on (I think it was) perl (it was whatever the "pre-cursor" is to php) and didn't understand anything, not 1 thing no matter how basic made any sense to me at all. This, amongst other reasons, I was hopping for a great book geared towards n00bies, and maybe develops into basic steps just beyond basic n00b knowledge

I do however have a decent understanding of standard linux commands, can do a few things here and there, and am ok at setting up a system to my needs. If I am shown how to do something I can usually retain it if it's important.

Now, since I am aware there are more than just a few programming languages I guess it's important to let you guys know what I want to attain in the end:
Well I basically want to be able to go through my startup scripts and read them and know what's going on (the "if" statements and so on); I would also like to be able to create small wrapper scripts to encompass several programs into and even possible add a simple X style gui to (something like Acid's acidrip: ) and maybe even eventually be able to debug some programs once in a while.

I don't know where to start, which language to learn, or even if I'd need to learn programming to attain those things; maybe just scripting will do, but where to learn that?

I am definitely looking for something solid (as in a book), a how-to would work, as long as there is an easy printable version (like text only) availble.

Thanks for any suggestions, and I expect some flames, so go right ahead

Old 02-15-2003, 08:43 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Sparta, NC USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
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Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition is the best book on Linux that I have found.

The best starting point, I guess, would be learning the bash shell.

See the Programming HOWTOs

The O'Reilly books has good books that come highly recommended.

Last edited by fancypiper; 02-15-2003 at 08:46 PM.
Old 02-15-2003, 08:49 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Arizona
Distribution: Gentoo!
Posts: 124

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For Python, try the Python tutorial and docs.

For Perl, google for Picking up Perl. Its a free book, and will teach you the basics of Perl.

For Scheme, you'll need to do a bit of hunting. Look for DrScheme, and you'll find all the docs you need.

For Ruby, check out the Ruby homepage.

Those are all "scripting" languages. They will do what you want. Some are simpler than others. I prefer Python, but I can do a bit of Perl, Scheme, and Ruby. They are great for writing wrappers.

For shell scripting, has the Advanced Bash Scripting Guide.
Old 02-15-2003, 09:01 PM   #4
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Original Poster
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Smile Thanks!

Thank you both very much!

Last edited by MasterC; 02-15-2003 at 09:02 PM.
Old 02-15-2003, 10:42 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: A Meatlocker, well feels like one
Distribution: Gentoo
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If you are wanting to write gui apps then your best bet for that will be C/C++. I've found one free book online you can also buy a hardcopy of it.
I haven't had a chance to look through it yet so...
Old 02-15-2003, 10:51 PM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: SoCal
Distribution: SlackWare 10
Posts: 17

Rep: Reputation: 0 Has lots of good c++ insight. He'll email it to you for free. There's also a book you can buy.

If you're like me, you'll have to find a project to do, to learn a new language. On the job, or enroll in a class. If you pick one of your own, the folks here can definitely get you past any particular snags you hit. All you have to do is come up with the right questions (that is half of the problem!)

Thanks for having the guts to post your questions! I know nothing of scripts, and will bookmark this page for use when I have time to get back to Linux.

Last edited by Wondre; 02-15-2003 at 10:57 PM.
Old 02-16-2003, 01:42 AM   #7
Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Canada
Distribution: Redhat 9.0
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Learn some C and than GTK+.

Pointers On C
ISBN: 0673999866

Programming Book Reviews at < >

There are a few GTK+ books around but not too many. The website has tutorials though < >
Old 02-16-2003, 12:53 PM   #8
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: SC, USA
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0 Powerpack
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This book doesn't help much for beginner's, but if you know c/c++ even just the basics Jamsa's C/C++ Bible is an awesome reference. It's insanely large and only $50.
Old 02-21-2003, 05:39 PM   #9
Registered: May 2002
Location: Wales
Distribution: Slack 8.1, Gentoo 1.3a, Red Hat 7.3, Red Hat 7.2, Manrake 8.2
Posts: 328

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Any language or script you learn will help you understand other languages.

In essence all languages rely on several main things.

If you learn and understand an if-then-else construct in one lang you generally speaking can pick up other languages version relatively quickly.

The same goes for while-Do, For loops etc. its all down to Syntax

The main issue that you should apply yourself too is learning a language well (which ever you choose) first without Object Orientation then once you understand basic things like loops, functions and one dimensional arrays you can move on to learn more about OO and other issues.

I suggest you learn Java, C/C++ or a language with Syntax that is relatively close to one of these as once you learn basic syntax and theories behind programming it will help you get into another.

Although Im not suggesting a language in particular I found during my degree that learning constructs etc. helped me learn syntax this went from high level languages like VB down to Assembly Language.

Any thing you learn will help you to some degree (I am finding this during my Masters Degree, where Im learning things ranging from JScript/VBScript, DHTML, SQL, ASP to Java.

In essence choose a language youre interested in and you will learn much of what you need for other laguages.


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