Beginner General Qs - Pick-A-Language

Flounder's Avatar, Join Date: Sep 2007
Newbie Member
Hello everyone, i have limited experience in programming. If you have the time to read this post i will give you a little background about myself, my experience, and what i want to do. Then hopefully you can offer me some valuable advice. I will try to keep it as short as possible.

I recently graduated school with an engineering degree and got a job as an Offshore Pipeline Engineer. Needless to say, with 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week, there is a lot free time for me to start a new hobby.

I would like to buy some books when i go home, and when offshore, read, learn, and hopefully start developing interactive programs, leaning towards games. Even stuff that might help me with work.

In a nutshell, what i really have been interested in is combining physical knowledge of mechanics and dynamics with the programming skills i hope to develop.

Ex:
Last night (bored) i used Excel and VBA to read an array of 3-D coordinates, multiply a series of 3 cosine matrices to the coordinates to convert them in 2-D space, plot the points, and vary the three independent angles of the cosine matrices to make whatever set of points i entered appear to be rotating in 3-D space.

In this little program i realized something; my tools were extremely limited.

I have some experience in C++ (building solvers, nothing graphical), and moderate experience in Matlab/ActionScript 2.0. I like how i am able to simply incorporate graphics with code with AS, still it has its limitations.

My real questions are; Is C too complicated for someone without extensive computer science experience looking to do what i want to do? Does it sound like C is what i am looking for? Should I be looking somewhere else, perhaps programming tools geared towards graphical interfaces and output (something like openGL??? which i know nothing about)?

I have read about Blender, the open source 3-D application with built in programming. However, I sort of want to start from the ground up, learn the nitty-gritty. I have all the time and patience in the world.

Please offer any advice as i really have no idea where to begin and could use some help. Thanks a lot guys,

David
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DaWei's Avatar, Join Date: Dec 2006
Team Leader
If you have some experience in C++, I wouldn't bother with C.

If you don't feel your programming is that strong, you might want to consider something like Python, which provides the scripting facility for Blender.
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Flounder's Avatar, Join Date: Sep 2007
Newbie Member
Correction: By C i meant C++


So C++ or Java has decent graphical output capabilities, i.e. plotting and/or other methods?
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DaWei's Avatar, Join Date: Dec 2006
Team Leader
Such capabilities for C++ are provided by libraries, they are not part of the language. You mentioned, for instance, Open-GL. There are others.

C++ (or C) is used extensively when ultimate performance is required. It is, in fact, the underlying foundation for scripting languages such as Python and PHP.
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jwshepherd's Avatar, Join Date: Aug 2007
Team Leader
most of the graphics programs are written in C & C++and while OPen GL is no longer supported M$ has change it to DirectX which has more capabilities.
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DaWei's Avatar, Join Date: Dec 2006
Team Leader
OpenGL is a third-party product. The OP might not live entirely in a Windows Vista world, shepherd.
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jwshepherd's Avatar, Join Date: Aug 2007
Team Leader
Sorry, While Open Gl is still in existence I hadn't look at it since about 98 when Direct3D ( direct X ) came out.

But, No one said anything about Vista
Quote:
Last night (bored) i used Excel and VBA to read an
But that is a Microsoft Product which denotes to me that he is in fact using Windows. Because while Wine can make office work it will not work cmpletely with VBA Scripting.
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DaWei's Avatar, Join Date: Dec 2006
Team Leader
OpenGL is fully supported by Microsoft in Windows XP. Also note that my post said "not entirely". Your post is misleading.