[Oberon] Reiser - Wirth book

Bob Walkden bob at web-options.com
Sun Oct 3 16:31:44 MEST 2010

> Yes I could do that, but....
> I don't want to learn Oberon by being overwhelmed with Algebra, Calculus,
> EBNF, and all the other garbage that is too often introduced into the
> realm of computer programming. IMO, there's no need for it _for most
> of application_. Does Nitikin present Oberon from "Quantum Physics" point
> of view, or merely in terms of the requirements of "Astrophysics"? :) Do
> see what I mean? That's why I referenced "Icon Programming for
> Humanists", to shift away from the "stars", down to the lowly level of
> "strings" where most of us peasants live. :D Thanks for your input.
> --
> Duke

If you can overcome your prejudice you may be surprised to learn that the
'garbage' will help you with your strings far more than you might currently
imagine. To put that in context, my studies were in languages and
linguistics, so I am (or was) in the target group for that Icon book - a
humanities student. My professional programming background started with
COBOL and I had no formal introduction to the 'garbage' or any mathematics
beyond the age of 15. When I started to learn Modula-2 in the late 1980s I
found the 'garbage' very difficult because it was so unfamiliar. However,
persistence paid off and I now have a postgrad qualification in garbage. The
great benefit of it is that it provides you with not just the fundamentals
of programming,  but also the fundamentals of language - obviously of value
if you plan on some serious text processing. There is a unity at the heart
of these disciplines that you will never understand unless you make the
effort to 'get to the next level', as they say.

Wirth's book "Algorithms and data structures" deals with string
manipulation, pattern-matching and other tasks which appear similar to the
tasks in the Icon programming book as far as I can tell from quick online
flick through it. You might find it useful. It was probably the book that
helped me most when I was learning Modula-2. There is an Oberon version
available online somewhere, I think.


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