- title Programming on Ubuntu
Ubuntu and Programming
Ubuntu is a great development platform. You can easily program in C/C++, java, fortran, python, perl, ruby, tcl, lisp ... and many more.
Scripting languages are usually easy to learn and use. They are called scripting languages because they are interpreted instead of compiled to machine language like C/C++ for example.
Out of the box Ubuntu comes with Python and many extension modules. Python is very powerful and easy to use. In fact it is the preferred language by most of the Ubuntu developers. You can easily play with python interactively. Start a terminal and type python[enter]. For a more elaborate tutorial and other useful information about Python, visit http://www.python.org
Perl is very popular with web programmers and system administrators. One of Perl's main features is regular expressions. Most languages now include regular expressions but Perl is particularly powerful when processing a lot of text. Perl is already installed on your Ubuntu system by default. Visit the Perl website for more information. Perl has a large number of extensions written for it; visit cpan.perl.org to find them.
Ruby is a "dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write." Check out http://www.ruby-lang.org for more. Ruby is also installed by default on your system.
You might want to install the
irb package to use the ruby interactive interpreter.
This is a collection of other extremely useful languages.
C and C++
C is not usually a great language to begin programming with but it is the most powerful programming language in popular use. If you need speed and efficiency, C is the best choice. The Linux kernel, the heart of the Ubuntu operating system, is written in C. C++ is mostly an extension of C. C++ has the main advantage of being an Object Oriented language. (With some talent C can also be used for OOP). To use C and C++ you will need to do to install the build-essential package.
sudo apt-get install build-essential
You can now compile C and C++ programs with gcc and g++. Read their respective man pages for more information.
The vb2py project is developing a suite of conversion tools to aid in translating existing Visual Basic projects into Python.
Gambas is very similar to Microsoft's Visual Basic system (but not compatible) and available in Ubuntu's repositories. If you are familiar with VB then you may want to try Gambas as a stepping stone to more powerful languages.
Java was created by Sun Microsystems and is now used all over the place. The beauty of Java is its power, combined with its portability. Programs written in Java can usually be run across multiple operating systems on multiple machine architectures without a need to recompile like C/C++, as long as there is a Java Virtual Machine available on the desired OS and platform. Java is a popular language to learn due to its object oriented nature, cross platform abilities and the fact that instructing a virtual machine can often be easier than instructing a real machine. One of the most comprehensive development environments for Java is Eclipse, which you can find in the Ubuntu repositories along with many plugins. Java was originally created as a proprietary format, this is no longer the case since Sun founded the OpenJDK project.
Mono is a Free Software implementation of Microsoft's .NET system. If you are familiar with languages such as C# then you will like Mono. Mono Devel is in Ubuntu and can quickly create extremely powerful programs which, if coded accordingly, can even be run on Microsoft Windows. Mono is relatively new to the programming world, but its power has attracted many popular projects like the Beagle "desktop search" tool, the Banshee media player and the F-Spot picture/photo organizer.