Just a question to throw out there

Another noobrube question.

Is this the “easiest” language to learn? I’m well aware that none of
these programming languages are “easy” but I’ve been struggling with
this for a while and don’t want to give up.

Or is there something else I should know first BEFORE going to Ruby?
Why’s guide is a biggggg help but I don’t know why I can’t retain this
information.

Any help guides?
Anything?

Hi –

On Fri, 3 Nov 2006, Skotty wrote:

Another noobrube question.

Is this the “easiest” language to learn? I’m well aware that none of these programming languages are “easy” but I’ve been struggling with this for a while and don’t want to give up.

Or is there something else I should know first BEFORE going to Ruby? Why’s guide is a biggggg help but I don’t know why I can’t retain this information.

Any help guides?
Anything?

Have you looked at Chris P.'s “Learn to Program” book? It uses Ruby
as the instruction language.

David

Yah David,

Maybe it’s just my own lack of comprehension I just don’t know why none
of
this is sticking. I’ve been dabbling with Ruby for a good month now and
only
know the very basics.

Should there be a Ruby for dummies book, for guys like me? :smiley:
----- Original Message -----
From: [email protected]
To: “ruby-talk ML” [email protected]
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 10:42 AM
Subject: Re: Just a question to throw out there…

This is indeed my “first” dive into programming, with little
unsuccessful
dabs here and there (a couple days or so of trying and then quitting)
with a
couple other languages than ruby.

But I never stick with it, and I’d love to learn something. Maybe I’ll
head
down to the library and check that out, it couldn’t hurt I guess. For
now
I’ll continue with my “hello world” screens.

thanks
skt
----- Original Message -----
From: “Tim P.” [email protected]
To: “ruby-talk ML” [email protected]
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: Just a question to throw out there…

On 11/2/06, Skotty [email protected] wrote:

Another noobrube question.

Is this the “easiest” language to learn? I’m well aware that none of these programming languages are “easy” but I’ve been struggling with this for a while and don’t want to give up.

Or is there something else I should know first BEFORE going to Ruby? Why’s guide is a biggggg help but I don’t know why I can’t retain this information.

Any help guides?
Anything?

How much programming experience do you have? If you have never done
any programming whatsoever, then diving straight into Ruby and _why’s
guide is probably not the best way to go.

Go to your local library and grab the first volume of Knuth’s “The Art
of Computer Programming”. Read and understand this book – it will
give you a fantastic foundation for any language that you pick up.

Persevere and good luck!

TwP

On Nov 2, 2006, at 12:49 PM, Tim P. wrote:

Go to your local library and grab the first volume of Knuth’s “The Art
of Computer Programming”. Read and understand this book – it will
give you a fantastic foundation for any language that you pick up.

Wow. I respect that book a lot Tim, but start there? I must be a
wimp because that book still intimidates me today! :wink:

James Edward G. II

On Nov 2, 2006, at 12:23 PM, Skotty wrote:

Any help guides?
Anything?

There was a fun side conversation on this at RubyConf this year.
Basically, you need to know this: Computers are really, really
stupid. :wink:

Don’t buy that? Try this exercise:

Make up a random number.

You had no trouble doing that, right? Well congratulations, because
you just leap ahead of about 30 years of computer research in a few
seconds. :wink:

Obviously, I’m being flippant here, but the point stands. Learning
to program is hard because you need to dumb yourself down to the
level of the machine and express problems in terms it can understand.

Did you ever play that game in school where you had to tell your
teacher how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? You write up
what you just know are excellent instructions and as you read them
the teacher makes a mess all over the place, spreading jelly on
unopened bread packages, table-tops, and other children, just by
following the instructions literally. The teacher is simulating a
computer here.

In the RubyConf discussion we decided that our popular books and
tutorials don’t always do a very good job of teaching you how to
think like that. Therein lies at least one hurdle of learning to
program.

Here’s another interesting point: most of us who have been speaking
to machines for a reasonable period of time can pick up new languages
pretty easily. The reason is that we already have a lot of practice
with the thinking-dumb part and we just need to learn the new
syntax. (Our books and tutorials are good at teaching this.)

Anyway, the point of all this is: don’t panic. We all go through
this adjustment period you’re in now. It gets easier. The problem
is that you’re just way too intelligent. Don’t worry though, we’ll
have you dumbed down in no time! :smiley:

Welcome to programming.

James Edward G. II

That was the most amusing email I’ve read all day. Thank you, that made
me
feel about 300 times more confident.

Naturally I think a major part of my problem is I’m trying TOO hard to
become a programmer and not enough time focusing on the basics. I’ve
read
several other pieces of code, and scripts and thought “well hey i can do
that.” which I guess is probably not the best way to go about it.

I AM learning, I mean I guess at least a little bit. But it feels like
it’s
taking me a really long time to retain.

Well thanks for the welcome, I’m sure I’ll get it Im just frustrated
that
I’m not getting it right away.

Skt
Webpage (www.freewebs.com/scottygiveshighfives)
Email: [email protected]
(That’s a mario reference.)

You sing a new song, unsung.
----- Original Message -----
From: “James Edward G. II” [email protected]
To: “ruby-talk ML” [email protected]
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: Just a question to throw out there…

On Nov 2, 2006, at 1:49 PM, Tim P. wrote:

Go to your local library and grab the first volume of Knuth’s “The Art
of Computer Programming”. Read and understand this book – it will
give you a fantastic foundation for any language that you pick up.

IMO not good advice for someone new. There’s a good chance that a
beginner, who is told he/she must “read and understand” Knuth to
become a programmer, will walk away from programming forever after
picking up this book. It’s a great book, but not for beginners. Did
you read and comprehend Knuth before you got your first program up
and running? Did you master MIX assembly language as your first
programming language?

I think the Chris P. book is a far better recommendation.

http://pine.fm/LearnToProgram/

Persevere and good luck!

Now that’s good advice.

Regards, Morton

Skotty wrote:

Yah David,

Maybe it’s just my own lack of comprehension I just don’t know why none of
this is sticking. I’ve been dabbling with Ruby for a good month now and only
know the very basics.

Have a look at this research paper
(http://www.cs.mdx.ac.uk/research/PhDArea/saeed/paper1.pdf).
It offers to explain why some people take to programming like a
fish to water, and others seem to never get the hang of it.
Maybe it will help you decide where you sit.

In any case, keep plugging at it. I hear the Chris P.'s ‘Learn to
Program’ is good, and you can also look at ‘Programming Ruby’
(first edition is included with Ruby and available online [I like this version http://phrogz.net/ProgrammingRuby/])

Have a look at the Ruby Q. (http://rubyquiz.com/), lots of good
relatively short and idiomatic Ruby code.

cheers
Chris

Yah I’ve got Why’s guide bookmarked. I really enjoy his style of writing
and
his little cartoons are pretty darn funny.

The only problem i see is that it’s kind of distracting when he goes
into
his stories and what not. But otherwise a very good source.

Webpage (www.freewebs.com/scottygiveshighfives)
Email: [email protected]
(That’s a mario reference.)

You sing a new song, unsung.
----- Original Message -----
From: “Raju Gandhi” [email protected]
To: “ruby-talk ML” [email protected]
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 12:05 PM
Subject: Re: Just a question to throw out there…

Hey!!!

Another good book to work with Ruby is *Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby
*http://poignantguide.net/ruby/

I found this book to be both fun and useful. Of course in my opinion the
Pickaxe book (Programming Ruby) is one of the best books for Ruby (and
maybe
even on programming) out there…

Again, Good luck…

On Nov 2, 2006, at 2:39 PM, Tim P. wrote:

I’ll be honest, it has been a long time since I’ve opened up Knuth and
actually read the thing. In a true political move, I’ll reverse my
stance and be accused of being a waffler :slight_smile: Don’t start with Knuth!

I learned programming as a kid with Logo and its turtle graphics.

Me too. I’ve thought of doing a subset of a Logo implementation as a
Ruby Q… It’s not too tough and pretty darn fun.

James Edward G. II

On 11/2/06, James Edward G. II [email protected] wrote:

On Nov 2, 2006, at 12:49 PM, Tim P. wrote:

Go to your local library and grab the first volume of Knuth’s “The Art
of Computer Programming”. Read and understand this book – it will
give you a fantastic foundation for any language that you pick up.

Wow. I respect that book a lot Tim, but start there? I must be a
wimp because that book still intimidates me today! :wink:

I’ll be honest, it has been a long time since I’ve opened up Knuth and
actually read the thing. In a true political move, I’ll reverse my
stance and be accused of being a waffler :slight_smile: Don’t start with Knuth!

What helped me most in learning to program was a good course on data
structures and algorithms followed by a course in Object Oriented
programming and design.

Skotty, have you looked into any entry level programming courses at
your local college? If you cannot attend one of these courses, at
least take a look at their book list.

I learned programming as a kid with Logo and its turtle graphics. It
is a programming language that makes very clear James’ earlier post
about computers being stupid. It taught me the basics of loops,
control structures, and the coolness of drawing the transformers logo.

Now I’m rambling.

TwP

If it’s any consolation, I’m a programmer and am finding Ruby tricky
to pick up. There are some powerful concepts in there like blocks
and iterators that are new to me.

Keep at it and you’ll pick it up … as someone recommended above,
choosing a problem that you want to solve will keep you interested.

Good luck!

Bob

On 11/2/06, ChrisH [email protected] wrote:

(http://www.cs.mdx.ac.uk/research/PhDArea/saeed/paper1.pdf).
It offers to explain why some people take to programming like a
fish to water, and others seem to never get the hang of it.
Maybe it will help you decide where you sit.

Thanks for linking to this. It’s pretty amazing.
Page 11 in particular blew my mind.

On Nov 2, 2006, at 4:20 PM, James Edward G. II wrote:

On Nov 2, 2006, at 2:39 PM, Tim P. wrote:

I learned programming as a kid with Logo and its turtle graphics.

Me too. I’ve thought of doing a subset of a Logo implementation as
a Ruby Q… It’s not too tough and pretty darn fun.

Yes, Ruby makes implementing turtle graphics both easy and fun. It
just so happens that I started working on a Ruby/Tk turtle graphics
package today.

I think it would make a great quiz, but I also think it would violate
your less-than-two-hour-to-implement rule. Although it involves
nothing difficult, there are lots of details to be attended to.
Maybe, it’s just because I’m slow, but I expect I’ll have four or
five hours in it before my turtle draws it first square on a Tk canvas.

Regards, Morton

I was alright with blocks, and then along came these @ and several other
things, and def/classes and so forth. I guess it all boils down to how
much
dedication I’m actually willing to put into it. Which at this moment is
high, but I’ve been known to drop something after a short period of
time.

But I’m GOING to stick with this, to learn it and perhaps start other
languages.

But for now, I guess I’ll just keep reading the tutorials and try that
problem solving thing, and pounding them out.

BTW thanks for all the great responses, this is what I like to see in a
community. :smiley:

Skt
Webpage (www.freewebs.com/scottygiveshighfives)
Email: [email protected]
(That’s a mario reference.)

You sing a new song, unsung.
----- Original Message -----
From: “Robert Conn” [email protected]
To: “ruby-talk ML” [email protected]
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:00 PM
Subject: Re: Just a question to throw out there…

On Nov 2, 2006, at 5:09 PM, Morton G. wrote:

I think it would make a great quiz, but I also think it would
violate your less-than-two-hour-to-implement rule.

Well we could always do it as a multi-part quiz. I was also
referring to a very small subset.

James Edward G. II

Skotty wrote:

Another noobrube question.

Is this the “easiest” language to learn? I’m well aware that none of
these programming languages are “easy” but I’ve been struggling with
this for a while and don’t want to give up.

Or is there something else I should know first BEFORE going to Ruby?
Why’s guide is a biggggg help but I don’t know why I can’t retain this
information.

Any help guides?
Anything?

Depends on your background and your goals. I assume you have no
programming at all. If this is the case,the best way is to find a small
project you are interested in and try to solve it with Ruby or other
languages, such Perl. After that you may know which one might fit you at
this stage. Once you have enough programming background you should be
able to learn another one pretty fast.

Good luck,

Li

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