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Old 01-21-2006, 08:03 PM   #1
fleshofchaos
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I know this is a very general question...

but how can I learn to code?

I've read about things like C++ and stuff but I have no idea what that is. I know everyone has got to start somewhere, so I am asking where that is.

Any info would be really nice! I don't know what else to say, really, except that I want to join the staff of a MUD but I want to get some experience in first, if at least for nothing else than personal knowledge. Still, it couldn't hurt.

Thanks.
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:14 PM   #2
Hajamin
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The best would be taking some college courses, but if that's not possible here are a few suggestions.

1. Realize this isn't a simple thing, it's going to take time(a lot of it) and it's GOING to be stressful. If you can't handle stress, you might want to think twice about it.

2. There are a lot of different languages out there, C++ being one of the more complex ones. I'd suggest starting with something like VB(Visual Basic).

3. Find a good book, O'Rielly books are probably(not probably, they are) the best out there.

4. Read the book, and try to reproduce the examples they talk about. Most books will come with a CD that has the compilers and editors you will need.

5. Once you think you understand the stuff in the books, pick a simple project(a mud is not simple, but I'm sure you knew that) and work your way through it.

6. If you know anyone that codes, bug them when ever you have a question, if not I'm sure people here or on other forums will be more than willing to answer your questions.

7. If at first you don't succeed(and you won't), don't give up, keep trying.

It's going to take a lot of time, and the more you put into it, the faster you will learn. You will also want to learn the standards, the books should teach it, but you can also use google and search for "coding practices" or "coding standards" to find some good references on it.

Good luck.
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:15 PM   #3
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Oh, and put a coffee machine next to your computer!
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:40 PM   #4
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I have a quick question. Is Lau a good language to start with? I only picked it because it may help with Programming with MUSH Client. I'm debating between that and VB, I guess.
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Old 01-22-2006, 02:18 AM   #5
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Lua is a "scripting" language, which is very different from languages like C/C++. Most MUDs are coded in the latter two (well, mostly C probably). Lua itself is coded in C actually.

As Hajamin said, C/C++ are fairly complex because they force you to deal with many not so trivial things, like memory management and data types. Languages like Lua hide all those gory details from you and allow you to concentrate on what you actually want to make the computer do. Therefore, if you don't have any programming experience whatsoever then Lua is a good choice, especially if you have an environment where you can use it for solving practical problems (like scripting in Mushclient), which is much better than going through textbook examples. The skills you pick up in Lua can later be applied to C, once you are comfortable enough with programming in general. In fact, since you can code Lua itself in C, after some time you could try writing Lua extensions in C, which is a fairly simple and well documented process, and learn at least beginning C that way. Again - in a practical and comfortable environment.
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:36 AM   #6
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It may sound silly...

But I would suggest the 'C (Or any of the other languages they put them out for) for Dummies' books. If you have never had any coding experience, and want to learn from the ground up.

I started with no experience, teach yourself. Using these books as a basis, they bring you up to a high basic, low intermediate level, without stressing you out too much.

There aren't many books on programming languages you can sit down and read without getting frustrated at some point, but the Dummies books do a very good job.

They wont make you a master, but they can certainly help you on the way.
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Old 01-23-2006, 01:59 AM   #7
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Start with Ruby! And if you want to learn how to program, get your ass over to my website: http://www.compsci.ca/ - plenty of people there are willing to help you get started. Lots of tutorials, example source code, etc (and a forum with over 100,000 posts). Yes, it's kind of ugly, but it works .

If you want to go all in... install Linux, it's a much friendlier programming environment. And whatever you do, DON'T use an IDE (such as Visual Studio) to start. It'll make you stupid.
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Old 01-23-2006, 04:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Drealoth @ Jan. 23 2006,15:59)
If you want to go all in... install Linux, it's a much friendlier programming environment. And whatever you do, DON'T use an IDE (such as Visual Studio) to start. It'll make you stupid.
POINT AND DROOL PROGRAMMING!!!

Oh wait.. that's VB... never mind
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