Introduction To Programming Book


Introduction : Becoming a Programmer

There Will Be a Test...

According to the popular myths, all programmers, commonly called "geeks" (even though the term itself applies to a certain type of performer in an old-style sideshow at the carnival) are strange individuals with eccentric habits. Programmers are solitary individuals who communicate better with computers than with other people, who work strange hours (usually in strange surroundings), and who are only happy when they are cracking into Pentagon or Kremlin computers and starting World War III.

Obviously, this last assertion is patently untrue and is simply a rumor fostered by the Gnomes of Zurich and the Trilateral Commission after certain rogue programmers blocked their collective efforts to take over the world. (The rest of the rumors, however, hold some elements of truth.)

This book is your invitation to join the ranks of those weird individuals who form the cyber-intelligencia comprising the true rulers of the world. As such, you will be expected to give up your three-piece suits, increase your intake of caffeinated beverages, and trade your usual 9-to-5 working hours for... well, let's just say that programmers consider 9-to-5 to be slacker's hours.

However, as a reward, you will be allowed to mutter strange curses concerning devices and processes that the rest of the world has never heard of. You will be able to use such esoteric terms as FOOBAR, bytes, registers (which do not involve paper), bitmasks, parameters, and dwords; and to appear to be devoutly contemplating the soul of a silicon chip while others about you are devoting their time and energies to the mundanities of everyday business (including such tortures as conferences and committee meetings).

In this book, Introduction to Programming, we're going to cover a lot of ground. I hope that you'll find the journey interesting and the destination rewarding. You are on your way to joining the elite of the new order (and assuming your proper position on the "bleeding edge" of technology). Your instructions are quite simple: Sit back, flex your typing fingers, and... read on. The programming language we will use, WinBatch or WIL (Windows Interface Language), is a high-level language. This means that WinBatch allows you to perform tasks using relatively simple instructions that accomplish a great deal. And, perhaps more important, WinBatch allows you to write programs without needing to know all of the finer details of the Windows operating system.

Since the assumption is that you, the reader, are not an experienced programmer (or, in any case, not experienced with WinBatch), this book will start with the basics. We begin by showing you how to use the tools in the form of the WinBatch IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and then how to write simple programs.

We will not, however, confine ourselves to only simple elements. In the course of this book, you will learn about a wide variety of programming capabilities-or functions as they are commonly called-as well as how to create data-storage elements, how to manipulate data elements, how to present them, and a host of other matters.

Along the way, you'll learn how to manipulate strings, create lists of data, read and write files, play with numbers, create buttons and controls, draw images, paint fancy windows, and even how to debug your programs. And, naturally enough, given the prevalence of networks in today's world, you'll learn how to access networks.

In short, you will learn both the basics of programming and a fair measure of the tricks of the trade-enough to put you well on the road to becoming a competent programmer.

Given this scope of material to be covered, it would be well to stop talking about it and to simply get started. Still, before proceeding, one word of warning:

There will be a test...
And, that said, let's get on with the real topic of programming applications.


Here is what you will need to start

  1. Download a fully functional evaluation version of WinBatch. http://www.winbatch.com/download.html
  2. Unzip the file then run setup.exe
  3. Download and unzip the Introduction to Programming book: Introduction To Programming
  4. Open the IntroToProgramming.pdf and start reading. Note: all of the sample scripts referenced in the Introduction to Programming book are available in the 'WinBatch Demos' subdirectory.

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