Programming symbols


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Thread: Programming symbols

  1. #1
    Philip King Guest

    Programming symbols


    Dear Mr. Appleman,
    In reference to programming symbols, does your book, "How Computer Programming
    Works," define the meaning of or state when to use symbols such as: #,(),
    _, *, ^, %,{},[],\\,//,etc.? If not, where can I find this information, as
    it would benefit my understanding greatly. Thank you for your patience with
    noviciate questions.
    Philip King
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  2. #2
    Dan Appleman Guest

    Re: Programming symbols

    Yes and no.

    Consider the symbol //.
    In C or C++ that means what follows is a comment.
    In VB, it will cause an error - the comment symbol is '.
    You won't find in my book a list of all possible symbols and what they mean in each
    programming language.
    What you will learn is the concept of a symbol - how symbols are used, and the fact
    that comments exist and how they are used. The next step - learning the comment
    symbol for your particular language, will be up to you to find in the documentation
    for your particular language.
    But knowing something must exist, and knowing the form it will take (a symbol in a
    line), already takes you 90% of the way to a solution. More so - because if I just
    told you // is a comment, you'd get all confused the first time you saw a VB program
    or program in another language. But if I tell you "there exists such a thing as a
    comment, and languages will use a symbol in a line to indicate that everything that
    folllows is a comment" - then you've learned a concept that you can quickly apply to
    any language.

    That's the difference between learning "programming" and learning "computer science".
    It's like a driving school: Would you choose a driving school that only taught you to
    drive Ford Mustang convertables? No! You'd choose one that taught you to drive any
    car. Sure, you'd have to adjust the mirrors and search for a few minutes to find the
    parking brake each time you sat in a new car, but you'd know the parking brake is
    there somewhere, and wouldn't stop until you found it.
    My book will teach you the concepts you need to use any programming language. You'll
    still need to take the next step and check out the individual symbols and syntax for
    the particular language you're using.

    Dan


    Philip King wrote:

    > Dear Mr. Appleman,
    > In reference to programming symbols, does your book, "How Computer Programming
    > Works," define the meaning of or state when to use symbols such as: #,(),
    > _, *, ^, %,{},[],\\,//,etc.? If not, where can I find this information, as
    > it would benefit my understanding greatly. Thank you for your patience with
    > noviciate questions.
    > Philip King


    Share on Google+

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