Help biologist choose a new programming language

Dr Engelbert Buxbaum engelbert_buxbaum at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 17 05:27:03 EST 2003

In article <c09b237b.0302060136.5683054e at posting.google.com>,
ladasky at my-deja.com (John Ladasky) writes:
>Hi, folks,
>My personal programming background: like many, from about 1982 - 1987
>I owned an Apple II.  I got started with BASIC, and eventually
>switched to 6502 assembler for greater speed.  I was getting into the
>guts of the machine, even doing crude operating system hacks.  Those
>were the days.  Fresh from my undergraduate degree in 1990, I went to
>work for a biotech company where my duties included some programming,
>first in Turbo Pascal and later in Borland C (not C++).  I was doing
>data acquisition work, talking directly to hardware.  When we switched
>from DOS to the Windows 3.1 GUI, I had to program with the manuals
>open on my lap, because of the hundreds of OS messages and function
>calls -- but I managed. 

With that sort of background one of your options would by Delphi (or its
Linux derivative: Kylix), by Borland. Since you already know Turbo
Pascal, Object Pascal should be a doodle. 

However, the complexities of modern graphical operating systems can be
avoided only at the expense of user comfort. A Unix-filter like program
can be written in any language, but if you want something that looks
like a modern, user friendly program, you probably have to dive into
this matter.

This is very frustrating, I am basically in the same situation. I have
written a largish (36,000 lines) statistics program in Turbo Pascal
under DOS for routine handling and evaluation of lab data, but its user
interface is completely obsolete now. Updating it to a modern
point-and-click program is beyond my capabilities, but on the other hand
it would be a shame to let all the previous work go to waste. 

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