Help biologist choose a new programming language
Jonathan G Campbell
jg.campbell at ntlworld.com
Thu Feb 6 08:40:40 EST 2003
John Ladasky wrote:
> Hi, folks,
> After devoting several years to programming the most troublesome
> computers of all, namely living cells, I am beginning to take an
> interest in programming silicon again.
> I need the ability to read flat-format text files, seek out some key
> words and sequence data, and analyze for patterns. Not too difficult,
> Well, I followed one friend's advice and investigated Java, perhaps a
> little too quickly. I purchased Ivor Horton's _Beginning_Java_2_
> book. It is reasonably well-written. But how many pages did I have
> to read before I got through everything I needed to know, in order to
> read and write files? Four hundred! I need to keep straight detailed
> information about objects, inheritance, exceptions, buffers, and
> streams, just to read data from a text file???
> I haven't actually sat down to program in Java yet.
That's the problem.
> But at first
> glance, it would seem to be a step backwards even from the procedural
> C programming that I was doing a decade ago.
> Here is what I think would make a good programming language for me
> (but feel free to try to convince me that I should have other
> 1) A low barrier to entry for performing simple tasks, such as
> processing text files. This will allow me to accomplish the job I
> want to do right now.
> 2) A language that doesn't force me to obsess about the details of
> 3) I would like to return to graphical applications eventually.
> Therefore the language should have a GUI library, either
> Windows-specific or cross-platform.
> 4) Speed is nice, but secondary.
Go with Java. You'll be at least twice as productive as with C++ or C.
Of course, if _all_ you are doing (and aiming to do) is ripping text
files apart and putting them together in another way, then the Perl
suggestion is apt.
Jonathan G Campbell BT48 7PG jg.campbell at ntlworld.com 028 7126 6125
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