Nov 13, 2007

What is a "Real" programming language? Or a "best" one?

Chris Anderson, the inventor of the UAV NXT drone, has posted an entry to the GeekDad blog where he strongly promotes RobotC and drops some thoughts regarding a "best" and a "real" programming language for the NXT.
While I consider RobotC indeed a tool quite well adapted to NXT programmers' needs, I rather disagree with some arguments of his (and left an according comment).
What do you think about his opinions on that subject? It's an interesting discussion that has been led many times already in the past (and will no doubt go on in the future) with a lot of aspects involved.

Leave comments there!

6 comments:

Chris Anderson said...

Mattias,

As I responded on GeekDad, I agree with many of your comments. My point is that almost any text-based language is a step up from NXT-G, but my preference for RobotC is all about the amazingly polished IDE/programming environment, not necessarily the C language itself.

Chris

RDewsbery said...

"If you're not a C programmer, don't worry--aside from a few grammatical conventions, it could be BASIC."

Except that I'm not a BASIC programmer either. Call me lazy, but I'm too old to struggle with too many new concepts and ways of doing things. Studless construction is a big enough wrench; requiring me to learn C, some derivative of C, BASIC or (frankly) anything else is a tall order.

There seems to be a big assumption in that article that everyone can - and should - be using a text-based programming language, and NXT-G is a "toy", unsuited to the task. Which is odd, because I was under the impression that the whole of the Mindstorms NXT kit was a big construction toy, suitable for making toy robots. the fact that you can take things further if you're experienced with programming is a big plus point, but I suspect that I'm actually part of the silent majority of users, who may never go much beyond either building basic robots or using the included NXT-G software.

Nope, I'll stick to NXT-G. I'm reasonably confident with features like datawires and variables it will far eclipse the (obvioulsy limited) software included with the old RCX anyway.

dickswan said...

There's lots of choices for NXT programming environments. See my article from Robot magazine at "http://www.botmag.com/articles/10-31-07_NXT.shtml" for a comparison.

I completely agree that there is not a single solution that will fit the needs of all individuals.

Dick Swan

Matthias Paul Scholz said...

Chris,

Please see my according response at GeekDad.

By the way,I encourage everyone who has a comment on this topic to post it there, as I find it hard to follow a discussion scattered on two different blogs.

Joshua Heinzl said...

What advantage does RobotC have over RoboLab besides being text based? The firmware is the same...

Josh

Michael Aivaliotis said...

As a LabVIEW programmer, I can see how NXT-G may be frustrating. It's a stripped down version of LabVIEW. Let's not forget however that for kids, text based programming is not very exciting, to put it mildly. This is the real target for NXT-G. Sure, if you are older and are keen to try something else then more power to you.

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