Talk:What is a better language to learn?

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Mike: O_o Someone really likes Python... I was just looking for a small description, but, sure...

NeoTA: That's me. I'll shrink it as soon as I figure how to do it justice -- cause the standard libraries are one feature that is amazingly useful and timesaving and i don't yet know how to convey this briefly.

Mike: I hate to break this to you, but every language worth shaking a stick at has it's own standard library, and large amounts of non-standard-but-easily-accessible libraries available. Heck, take FreeBasic. It comes with it's own library. Sure, it's not comprehensive, but the standard package also comes with the BASIC translated headers of some 50 other libraries, from Allegro to OpenGL. And so forth.

NeoTA: Explain how a single standard library compares to 300+ standard libraries. Do you think Lua should be removed, in view of the criterion you provided?


NeoTA: Separately, what is a person coming to this page most likely to want? I say the most likely is to build an editor to assist in making a game. I was surprised by TMC's talking about C++ being used ubiquitously in commercial games. While it's true, how does that knowledge help the reader?

TMC: Uhhh.. I think we all got a little side tracked. It went from suggestions for a better language to general descriptions. (It informs the reader that if they want to look at the code for any particular game, they can expect to need to know C++)

Mike: Kinda. The title of the page is "What is a better language ... to learn?" My idea was "ok, I'll list all the languages I know of that are popular and better than QBasic." I just added short descriptions because it's easier to discern which language sounds interesting with some notion about what the language is, rather than just it's name ("Python? That's stupid!").

Incidentally, most people would call 300+ standard libraries "bloat".

NeoTA: Oh? You are most people?

219 is the exact number, i was going by the online help before (which treats installed modules and base modules the same, so i got a listing with them both mixed together.)

Mike: See, the concept of a "standard library" is that it's a collection of functions/objects/modules/whatever that is guaranteed to be available on any supported platform, regardless of optional or customizable modules.

Now, if the standard library contains 219 modules, that's something completely different.

NeoTA In python, a module means almost the same thing as a library. So i am reluctant to call it a library -- a module can have submodules, and you can do 'import bigmodule' and then access the modules like ' w = bigmodule.packing.writer( "filename.ext") '. It's natural to consider that similar to a library. OTOH there is no 'all' module -- you can't use 'import *'. So it creates a logical conflict. I think this got confused when I tried to explain python's modules in terms of libraries

.. Would you say Windows has "a" standard library, or standard libraries?

Mike: Windows isn't a language. It has the Win32 API, but that's not what I'm talking about.

NeoTA : It's oriented towards a similar scenario, an application that is installed once to allow you to run many other applications easily.

Mike: That's like saying that the ground enables transportation by virtue of it being there. Sure, if it 'ain't there, we fall to our never-ending dooms. However, we transport ourselves by means of walking, cars, etc. Similarly, the friggen Operating System is not the same as a programming library. The the libraries' job to talk to the OS, and the OS's job to talk to the processor.

The Win32 API is somewhere in between. It is a programming library, but... Ok, to explain my point, Python on a Windows machine will be able to access the API, whereas Python on a Linux box will likely not be able to.