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Flounder 2Sep2007 19:14

Beginner General Qs - Pick-A-Language
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.

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,


DaWei 2Sep2007 22:45

Re: Beginner General Qs - Pick-A-Language
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.

Flounder 2Sep2007 22:56

Re: Beginner General Qs - Pick-A-Language
Correction: By C i meant C++

So C++ or Java has decent graphical output capabilities, i.e. plotting and/or other methods?

DaWei 2Sep2007 23:46

Re: Beginner General Qs - Pick-A-Language
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.

jwshepherd 3Sep2007 10:46

Re: Beginner General Qs - Pick-A-Language
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.

DaWei 3Sep2007 11:36

Re: Beginner General Qs - Pick-A-Language
OpenGL is a third-party product. The OP might not live entirely in a Windows Vista world, shepherd.

jwshepherd 3Sep2007 11:49

Re: Beginner General Qs - Pick-A-Language
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

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.

DaWei 3Sep2007 13:15

Re: Beginner General Qs - Pick-A-Language
OpenGL is fully supported by Microsoft in Windows XP. Also note that my post said "not entirely". Your post is misleading.

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