Andrew Ferguson Sep 2 @ 3:03am
Simple Programming Language
When I was at University I used a BBC Micro for data analysis using a combination of Basic and 6502 Machine code. Now I have a PC with more power than could have been imagined back then - but no "simple" programming language built in.

I want to be able to read data from a file, create data using various algorithms, perform statistical analysis, and draw graphs and other simple graphics. This is only for personal use - I'm not writing an application to post somewhere for others to use.

Can you suggest a language to use for Windows 7.

I think Visual Basic or Visual C (C++) would do it - but I'm very confused about which one I need as I have never used .NET stuff. SO if you think (for example) Visual Basic is what I need please state what make/version I need, and the real name of the software so I know what to look for when buying it.

I hope I've explained it OK, I can clarify if needed.

Please let me know if you have any ideas to help an old man out who is way behind the times.
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Fork_Q2 (Banned) Sep 2 @ 4:05am 
No, you don't want to use C/C++ for that, you want a simpler scripting language like Python, Perl or Ruby. Python has a great number of scientific libraries and modules you can use for statistical analysis, not as advanced or user-friendly as say, R, but it should do the job for you:

http://scipy.org/
https://code.google.com/p/pandas/
Last edited by Fork_Q2; Sep 2 @ 6:49am
[FuG] chibilibi Sep 2 @ 5:59am 
C++ and simple don't go in the same sentence unless there's something like an "isn't" in between them.
Andrew Ferguson Sep 2 @ 1:00pm 
[FuG] chibilibi - I love that answer. I guess I'm just old fashioned. I learnt when Fortran was "cool".

Fork_Q2 can I use those to draw graphs and stuff? I will do some research on Python and Ruby.

In the old days you could buy a book "teach yourself xxx in 10 days" and they came with a copy of the language - editor, compiler and macros/runtime add-ons. Is that still a viable option for me now?

Thanks to both for replying
Fork_Q2 (Banned) Sep 2 @ 1:06pm 
Yes, you can. With this library: http://matplotlib.org/

You can download Python and an IDE. There's versions 2.xx and 3.xx, I learnt 2.xx, but I hear the third version has matured quite well. The recent editions of "Learning Python" by Mark Lutz includes both versions. O'Rielly is the best publisher for programming and software books.
Dendrobates Tinctorius Sep 2 @ 1:15pm 
Originally posted by Andrew Ferguson:
In the old days you could buy a book "teach yourself xxx in 10 days" and they came with a copy of the language - editor, compiler and macros/runtime add-ons. Is that still a viable option for me now?
No, this is no longer viable because python, decent IDEs, libraries, etc. are free, as is quite a lot of documentation. You could probably find someone to take your money, but it's not as fun.
Morbo Sep 2 @ 1:15pm 
Originally posted by Andrew Ferguson:
In the old days you could buy a book "teach yourself xxx in 10 days" and they came with a copy of the language - editor, compiler and macros/runtime add-ons. Is that still a viable option for me now?
It is certainly still doable - though languages and their libraries are now vast. The 10/14 day thing now gives you the core basis and the power to seek-out the libraries and the advanced features you may need. But you may find that the disks that used to contain the compiler/IDE and runtime environment have been replaced with a couple of download links.

I'd echo the suggestion for Python, my university used it as the first unit "An introduction to programming".

If you want to go the Microsoft route, VisualBasic.NET would work, but I'd probably recommend going for C# instead, which is also a .NET language. Primarily because there are more tutorials and examples written in that language.


rojimboo Sep 2 @ 1:58pm 
Whilst not a real programming language, Matlab or its free variant GNU Octave, will do those jobs for you.
[FuG] chibilibi Sep 2 @ 2:05pm 
Also, as for your needs - C++ CAN do that, but according to your title you need a simple language. C++ is not particularly simple unless you want to do simple things like outputting text to the screen.
Andrew Ferguson Sep 2 @ 2:23pm 
Great answers - thank you all for your time and advice.

I know "how" to program, and know C, but not used C#. I agree it can be complex. I wasn't worried so much by the language as how to draw graphs and display data.

The consensus seems to be Python, and I've found some vids on Youtube which may help, and also found out it's free which came as a pleasant suprise. I will give it a try and see if it's what I need.

Thanks again for all your comments
navorskatie Sep 2 @ 4:14pm 
Looks like gnuplot is also supported in Windows, so that's another option for your graphing request.

RDFsniper Sep 2 @ 5:01pm 
windowvista
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Date Posted: Sep 2 @ 3:03am
Posts: 11