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Help biologist choose a new programming language

Caltech News Server hsauro at cxx.calxxx.edu
Wed Feb 19 04:46:09 EST 2003

Sounds like you should look at Delphi by Borland. Delphi allows one to
choose to program in a procedural or OOP fashion. Excellent for GUI work,
portable to Linux. Code is compiled to single exe. No need to read 400 pages
before you can read a file! If you don't want to, you don't have to worry
about inheritance, exceptions, buffers, stream or objects. Many shareware
GUI based windows apps are written in Delphi, many coorporations, if they
don't use VB, will choose Delphi. Excellent connectivity to databases,
probably one of the best and it's so simple.

Very shallow learning curve, brilliant Visual IDE makes writing GUI apps
very straight forward. At the samer time you can drop down anbd write
assembler if you so wish.


"Nathan Haigh" <nathanhaigh at ukonline.co.uk> wrote in message
news:pgpmoose.200302061201.17339 at net.bio.net...
> "John Ladasky" <ladasky at my-deja.com> wrote in message
> news:c09b237b.0302060136.5683054e at posting.google.com...
> > Hi, folks,
> >
> > Well, I followed one friend's advice and investigated Java, perhaps a
> > little too quickly.  I purchased Ivor Horton's _Beginning_Java_2_
> > book.  It is reasonably well-written.  But how many pages did I have
> > to read before I got through everything I needed to know, in order to
> > read and write files?  Four hundred!  I need to keep straight detailed
> > information about objects, inheritance, exceptions, buffers, and
> > streams, just to read data from a text file???
> >
> > I haven't actually sat down to program in Java yet.  But at first
> > glance, it would seem to be a step backwards even from the procedural
> > C programming that I was doing a decade ago.  I was willing to accept
> > the complexity of the Windows GUI, and program with manuals open on my
> > lap.  It is a lot harder for me to accept that I will need to do this
> > in order to process plain old text, perhaps without even any screen
> > output.
> >
> > Here is what I think would make a good programming language for me
> > (but feel free to try to convince me that I should have other
> > priorities):
> >
> > 1) A low barrier to entry for performing simple tasks, such as
> > processing text files.  This will allow me to accomplish the job I
> > want to do right now.
> >
> > 2) A language that doesn't force me to obsess about the details of
> > OOP.
> >
> > 3) I would like to return to graphical applications eventually.
> > Therefore the language should have a GUI library, either
> > Windows-specific or cross-platform.
> >
> > 4) Speed is nice, but secondary.  When I consider the fact that my
> > Apple II was a 1.0 MHz machine with an 8-bit data bus, and my new
> > machine will be a hyper-threaded Pentium IV 2.0 GHz machine with a
> > 32-bit (64-bit?) data bus, I'm willing to bet that even an Applesoft
> > BASIC interpreter would be fast enough.
> >
> > Any suggestions?  (I was kidding about BASIC.)
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > --
> > John J. Ladasky Jr., Ph.D.
> > Department of Biology
> > Johns Hopkins University
> > Baltimore MD 21218
> > USA
> > Earth
> I am a bioinformatics PhD student in my 2nd year. Before enbarking on this
> course i had no programming skills, so embarked on 2 programming courses
> (Java and Perl). I was amazed at how much stuff you need to get through to
> do a simple task such as open a file, read it a line at a time, parse the
> line and close the file etc etc.
> If you want a language that is easy to pick up and use, aswell as having
> very powerful pattern matching (regular expressions - regex) then perl is
> good bet. It is used widly in the bioinformatics field and there are the
> BioPerl modules that are well devoloped and do a lot of the common tasks
> that you will come across. It also has a cross platform graphical
> module (Perl Tk).
> If you want some help setting it up/getting started, let me know.
> Nathan


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