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  1. #1
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Looking for a new programming language

    Howdy!

    I currently know a few programming languages which I use quite regularly to keep myself busy. The programming languages I currently use are:

    1. PHP
    2. C#
    3. C
    4. C++
    5. Java



    As you can probably tell, I'm a C fan I like the syntax.

    So... I'm looking to learn a new programming language I mainly deal with mathematical/physics programs, and I'm a Linux user - but any cross-platform language is preferred.

    Thanks,
    Jake.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  2. #2
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    You might enjoy Python, it's cross platform, has some similarities with the likes of C++ and it's great for producing web applications

  3. #3
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Python had certainly crossed my mind! I tried it once, quite some time ago, and took an instant dislike to it However, I'm taking Physics in University and I know that many universities use Python for calculations in Physics courses, so I'll definitely give it a go!

    Is Python any good when it comes to developing a user interface?
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  4. #4
    SitePοint Troll disgracian's Avatar
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    I cannot see the link between web applications and the OP's stated preference of maths & physics, but hey.

    Check out some functional programming languages such as Haskell, Scheme or Erlang. I don't think they have much application for physics, but they should satisfy your mathematical criteria. I've never used any of them personally so I can't recommend any of them on experience, only that they seem to be the most popular.

    Cheers,
    D.

  5. #5
    SitePοint Troll disgracian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Arkinstall View Post
    Is Python any good when it comes to developing a user interface?
    There are some GUI libraries for Phython, but I don't know how good they are.

    Cheers,
    D.

  6. #6
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disgracian View Post
    I cannot see the link between web applications and the OP's stated preference of maths & physics, but hey.

    Check out some functional programming languages such as Haskell, Scheme or Erlang. I don't think they have much application for physics, but they should satisfy your mathematical criteria. I've never used any of them personally so I can't recommend any of them on experience, only that they seem to be the most popular.

    Cheers,
    D.
    Well, this isn't for web applications specifically. However, it certainly has place - for example, I'm building a website at the moment aimed at maths/physics students, and I've almost finished writing a graphing application to display graphs based on user-defined functions in PHP.

    So really what I'm looking for is a language that can output an image, at the moment. I've written simulators before in Java and C#, but the animation side of things isn't very relevant to meat the moment.

    I don't think they have much application for physics, but they should satisfy your mathematical criteria.
    For me, at least, Physics = Maths; In fact a physics degree is practically a maths degree. The applications are more based on calculations and analysis, rather than simulation.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  7. #7
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Haskell, Scheme and Erlang seem very interesting - I think I'll give those 3 and Python a go, some time in the near future!
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  8. #8
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
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    As I've never needed anything like that, I can't recommend a language. And I wouldnt say that physics = math, but that math is the language of physics. You can't write a novel if you're literacy impaired.

    What ever you use, you're going to want a lot of native advanced math functions and something that crunches numbers fast. And it will probably be at the expense of being "user friendly".

    Maybe you could send an email to one of the big labs and ask what they use?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Arkinstall View Post
    Python had certainly crossed my mind! I tried it once, quite some time ago, and took an instant dislike to it However, I'm taking Physics in University and I know that many universities use Python for calculations in Physics courses, so I'll definitely give it a go!

    Is Python any good when it comes to developing a user interface?
    Yes. Python comes with a gui library called tkinter. No installation hassles; your gui capabilities are up an running once you install python. However, wxpython is a better gui library, so at some point you'll probably want to install that.

    python also can be used as a server side programming language for web interfaces. python can be used with cgi, fastCGI, and a new interface called WSGI. python also provides a clone of java jsp pages, called psp pages. There are also several frameworks available. For more information see here:

    http://docs.python.org/howto/webservers.html

    I tried it once, quite some time ago, and took an instant dislike to it
    I know the languages you do if you strike C# from the list, and I think python is the best of the lot. It's almost impossible for me to code in C++ anymore because of all the braces and semicolons I have to type. In any case, C/C++ and python are a good combo because if you need some speed you can rewrite parts of your python code in C/C++ and then call those functions from python.

    For image manipulation, python has the the python image library(PIL). For more sophisticated graphics and animation, there is pygame.

    Additionally, there are two offshoots of python, called jython and IronPython. jython is python with the ability to access Java classes. And IronPython is an MS strain of python that does windows specific things. When comparing the different offshots, python is called CPython to distinguish it from jython and IronPython.

  10. #10
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    What ever you use, you're going to want a lot of native advanced math functions and something that crunches numbers fast. And it will probably be at the expense of being "user friendly".
    Rather a confusing statement to make Mitt's, It's pretty simple to work out that the more powerful the language, the lower the level it is (and with that comes greater speed as it has less abstraction from the machine code). In that sense if you want less overhead and more raw power, it would obviously be ASM, C or C++.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    If you're willing to buy a funky keyboard, what about APL? : ) lawlz

    Haskell is working with Perl6 (or Perl6 is working with Haskell, I forget), and Erlang I recently saw being used for some progams in Linux as I had to download an update recently (was it for git? I forget) : ) So there's an Erlang-Linux group (or several) out there, meaning there are communities of people you can ask for more info about.

  12. #12
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    If you're willing to buy a funky keyboard, what about APL? : ) lawlz.




    Wow.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    You'd be a Real Man with a language like that under your belt! : )

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    if i find it, you can have my old disks of Turbo Pascal

    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes
    If you're willing to buy a funky keyboard, what about APL?
    yeah, that's something to consider
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


  15. #15
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Crazy, you're in luck...
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Borland has released three old versions of Turbo Pascal free of charge because of their historical interest: versions 1.0, 3.02 and 5.5 for MS-DOS.
    Download: http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/20803

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson
    Crazy, you're in luck...
    aaahh... back to the eighties again.. brings back memories
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Just an interesting read... http://blogs.perl.org/users/leon_tim...different.html

    *continues walking down the hallway whistling*

  18. #18
    Utopia, Inc. silver trophy
    ScallioXTX's Avatar
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    I really like the syntax and power of Ruby.
    Haven't really used myself (yet), but I'm still thinking of giving it whirl one day.

    btw, I do mean Ruby, not RoR


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