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next programming to learn?

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Aznavalanche

New Member
hey all, so i'm new to robotics and have been doing my best to learn the basics (I'm only fourteen years old, by the way). I just got done learning how to program in PBasic (which is programming language for a company called Parallax). I needed help deciding which language to learn next. My dad suggested to learn C++ visual, or anytype of C, he's an electrical engineer though. Don't get me wrong, i do trust in his opinions, but I just wanted one from a robotics engineer/technician. So what would you guys suggest for me to learn next?
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Although I don't use it, I would suggest learning C, C++ Visual doesn't have much use for microconteollers, and is only a step away from plain C anyway.

If you use PIC 18F series then there's a free C compiler, called C18 - most of the 18F series application notes are written using it.
 

Aznavalanche

New Member
so I'm guessing that PIC 18F is a micocontroller? I think I might try and get my hands on one. But if I can't, I can pretty much use any microcontroller, right? And I already have a C compiler because my dad knows how to program in C(something...i forgot which one), so I can just use that.
 

tresca

Member
Whatever compiler your dad has, it will not work with any microcontroller. Most likely it works only for a certain series of microcontrollers from some company. So if you are using that compiler, you'd have to use those microcontrollers.

I would say start off with either the PIC or AVR.
Both are good starters, and each with alot of support, groups, projects, code, how tos...everything really.

Most of the people here use PIC, but there are a few that use AVR.

Good luck.
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
It sounds like you dad is suggesting you learn to use C in visual studio. That is a good idea. The problem is that you will be working in visual studio C++. This is OK as long as your dad can help you stay away from the C++ extensions to C.

When you do move on to microcontrollers use the microcontroller he wants to use.

If your dad does not have the hardware and/or software for the microcontroller he is used to. Then I would suggets the PIC18 and the student version of the C language C18 compiler and a PICkit2 or Junebug programmer (hardward tool for programing PICs).

I have little use for C++, instead I like C#. I do not use either on a microcontroller.
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
It really doesn't matter which language you learn to program in as long as it is one of the earlier languages. I would suggest C or Basic as both have a short learning curve. I would stay away from C++ as this is more complex and really only has advantages if working on large (multi programmer) projects.

At your age I would try and program your PC and try to get an understanding of program flow and how programs work in general. Once you learn basic coding then other languages come easy.

Mike.
 

Triode

Active Member
I think hes talking about programming on the PC to begin with. Visual Studio C++ could be more useful later on. It is mainly hard to use in the sense that you have to get a lot of settings right for the program to even compile, if you can get past that its not too difficult. But if you are not planning on moving on to more complex projects, for a while anyway, something simpler may be a good idea just so you don't get discouraged.
 

Triode

Active Member
yeah, i guess I didn't catch that. He did mention Visual C++, which isn't for MCUs, so that threw me off. C18 would be a good one then, but were not sure he's programming a chip that can use that.
 

be80be

Well-Known Member
I just got done learning how to program in PBasic (which is programming language for a company called Parallax)
I would go with the 18fxxx chips and Swordfish basic. If you want to get in to making some robots of your own. Swordfish is like C in many
ways and if you get into this It will not be time wasted learning it. Seeing you know some Basic now it would be easy for you to learn Swordfish. And if you want to learn C you can get C18 like 3v0 said and It will not take to much time to get up a going with it to.
 
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Krumlink

New Member
This is terrible, everybody is suggesting something different.
 

Salgat

New Member
For robotics your three main choices are assembly, c, and Basic. I personally suggest assembly, as you can expand the logic to any other language and it will provide a solid understanding of the architecture you are working on.
 

colin mac

New Member
I'd recommend learning C if it's embedded systems you're after. Because most small devices
usually have a C compiler and not a C++ compiler. C++ compilers can also compile C so they're more complex to write and the extras of C++ aren't important with microcontrollers. C is a procedural language that gets the job done.

After you learn C you can easily pick up other languages because a lot of languages have borrowed its syntax - C++, C#, Java and so on.
 

Aznavalanche

New Member
This is terrible, everybody is suggesting something different.
Exactly haha! But since I want to learn to program my own robots, I've narrowed my choices down to 3: C, assembly, or swordfish. Personally, I would go with C just because just now my dad told me he actually does have a compiler for C (we just have to look for it). So I won't have to waste as much money. But I want to learn something that's easy, and that a lot of others use. If I do go with C I think I'll use the PIC 18F...
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Exactly haha! But since I want to learn to program my own robots, I've narrowed my choices down to 3: C, assembly, or swordfish. Personally, I would go with C just because just now my dad told me he actually does have a compiler for C (we just have to look for it). So I won't have to waste as much money. But I want to learn something that's easy, and that a lot of others use. If I do go with C I think I'll use the PIC 18F...
Unless he has a PIC compiler for C it's not much help, apart from learning the very basics of C on the PC first.
 

Triode

Active Member
well most people are recommending C and i agree, there's several reasons its good for a beginner looking to advance a bit. It's similar to a lot of programming languages widely used today, its widely used, its able to handle most jobs that a normal person would want to do, and its similar for programming PC apps and for PIC programming. Basic has some of these advantages, but not all of them.
 

Aznavalanche

New Member
ok...i think i'll go with C. now for the buying...many questions.haha sorry.

1. which emulator would I want to get
2. Depending on the emulator, which PIC18F would I want to get
3. Can I get a PIC compiler for C for free somewhere (download?)

...My parents don't want me spending too much money so I would like to spend as little money as possible. If I have to, I'll still pay if it's expensive.
 
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