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Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:43 am
by Ratschor
I think I should introduce myself first: I'm 18 years old and currently visiting a school that has as much to do with programming as science has to do with the catholic church. But I've always been interested in this kind of things and always wanted to understand, but never got around to do anything about this. So this is my first programming language (besides an few pages of a book about C++ in the local library) and I'm asking myself if it's a good idea to learn LISP as my first programming language?
I've already started to read a few tutorials and I'm surprised that I'm not more confused as I was when reading about C++, since I expected this to be even harder. Don't judge me for this statement, as I said, I'm new to programming and have pretty much no idea what I'm talking about.

PS: I've got the idea of learning LISP form http://www.xkcd.com (an internet comic, whose creator ocasionally posts LISP-related content)

Re: Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:53 am
by Kompottkin
I strongly believe that Lisps are great first languages (especially as compared to C++).

My personal suggestion would be getting a copy of Racket and working through How to Design Programs, 2nd Edition (HtDP2). (Note #1: There are little info boxes to the right of the text. Don't overlook them! Note #2: Working through the book means doing all the exercises.)

If you've already started with some other Lisp (like Common Lisp), that's fine, of course, but most tutorials presume some prior programming experience. HtDP, on the other hand, teaches not just a programming language, but programming.

Re: Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:19 am
by Ratschor
So that's why I'm kinda confused by most of the terms used...
I'll have a look at that book, and yeah, I've already started with some CLISP, but I guessat that stage it's no problem for me to try another approach :)
Btw, what do you think of LISPworks?
And thanks! (Nearby forgot that xD)

Re: Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:39 am
by Kompottkin
You're most welcome! :)

Both CLISP and LispWorks are implementations of the language Common Lisp. There are various other implementations of Common Lisp, like SBCL, ECL, Allegro CL, and Clozure CL.

Common Lisp is a wonderful language. I tend to use it for basically everything. I would still recommend Racket to a beginner, though, if only because there is no equivalent to HtDP2 using Common Lisp. Also, by working through HtDP, you'll acquire all the necessary skills to make switching to Common Lisp (or Clojure, or Scheme, or even non-Lisps, really) easy.

Re: Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:27 am
by sylwester
While there is probably a good thing to keep with one dialect while learning you probably want to know both Common Lisp and Scheme in the end.
If you prefer continuing with Common Lisp I would recommend Land of LISP (Learn to Program in Lisp, One Game at a Time!)
Soon, an similar book adapted for Racket (Dialect of Scheme) would be available that's called Realm of Racker. I'm planning to buy this since I enjoyed LOL so much :-)

Re: Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:46 am
by Ratschor
Thanks again! :)
Guess I'll get racket then, since working through HtDP2 with CLISP turns out to be pretty complicated xD
Guess if I'm able to finish that book and aquire some skills, I'll read LOL too, sounds like a good way to deepen my knowledge :D

Re: Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:14 pm
by saulgoode
If you tire of reading, there are some great video lectures by Hal Abelson and Gerald Sussman available from MIT (link below). The videos are from the 1980s -- so no laptops hooked up to video projectors showing powerpoint slides -- but the material is still relevant, and pretty easy to follow (though a bit less apprehensible than the Racket tutorials). The language they use is Scheme (Prof. Sussman co-authored the language with one of his students) and the textbook they follow (which they wrote) is available online.

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-e ... -lectures/

Re: Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:18 pm
by sylwester
saulgoode wrote:If you tire of reading, there are some great video lectures by Hal Abelson and Gerald Sussman available from MIT (link below). The videos are from the 1980s -- so no laptops hooked up to video projectors showing powerpoint slides -- but the material is still relevant, and pretty easy to follow (though a bit less apprehensible than the Racket tutorials). The language they use is Scheme (Prof. Sussman co-authored the language with one of his students) and the textbook they follow (which they wrote) is available online.

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-e ... -lectures/


In Racket use "#lang planet neil/sicp" in place of "#lang racket" and it will be compatible with those videos :-)

Re: Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 8:31 am
by Ratschor
I don't think I'll get tired of reading too fast, I like reading in common too much xD
But thanks for the great tips :)
I already like this forum xD
And after this week I can finally start with these tutorials :D
(Since I'm currently on my matura trip)

Re: Hello, am I even in the right place?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:42 pm
by milkybar_ton
All good stuff, i'm trying to work through Land of Lisp at the moment but will certainly check out the other stuff mentioned here.
Anybody got a RaspberryPi? i'd love to be able to control it's GPIO pins with lisp, do you think this is even possible?
ta