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Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals
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Introduction to object-oriented languages


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Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals

with Simon Allardice

Video: Introduction to object-oriented languages

Most programming languages developed in the last 30 years are what are called object-oriented languages. Now this wasn't always the way. My first programming job over 25 years ago was writing assembly language, FORTRAN, and COBOL on ICL mainframes. Now these languages were not object-oriented languages. They were instead straight procedural languages where the program really is written as one long procedure. Even though it might contain functions and subroutines to make it more modular and maintainable, it's really a long piece of code combining data and logic all mixed in together.
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  1. 4m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Making the most of this course
      2m 8s
    3. Using the exercise files
      50s
  2. 22m 11s
    1. What is programming?
      5m 45s
    2. What is a programming language?
      4m 48s
    3. Writing source code
      5m 34s
    4. Compiled and interpreted languages
      6m 4s
  3. 16m 29s
    1. Why JavaScript?
      4m 45s
    2. Creating your first program in JavaScript
      6m 54s
    3. Requesting input
      4m 50s
  4. 31m 38s
    1. Introduction to variables and data types
      5m 16s
    2. Understanding strong, weak, and duck-typed languages
      3m 51s
    3. Working with numbers
      5m 4s
    4. Using characters and strings
      4m 5s
    5. Working with operators
      4m 47s
    6. Properly using white space
      6m 46s
    7. Adding comments to code for human understanding
      1m 49s
  5. 24m 49s
    1. Building with the if statement
      7m 35s
    2. Working with complex conditions
      4m 10s
    3. Setting comparison operators
      6m 59s
    4. Using the switch statement
      6m 5s
  6. 17m 56s
    1. Breaking your code apart
      4m 1s
    2. Creating and calling functions
      2m 57s
    3. Setting parameters and arguments
      6m 7s
    4. Understanding variable scope
      2m 23s
    5. Splitting code into different files
      2m 28s
  7. 13m 32s
    1. Introduction to iteration
      4m 28s
    2. Writing a while statement
      5m 24s
    3. Creating a for loop
      3m 40s
  8. 19m 28s
    1. Cleaning up with string concatenation
      4m 30s
    2. Finding patterns in strings
      8m 3s
    3. Introduction to regular expressions
      6m 55s
  9. 19m 59s
    1. Working with arrays
      5m 47s
    2. Array behavior
      5m 29s
    3. Iterating through collections
      5m 18s
    4. Collections in other languages
      3m 25s
  10. 10m 50s
    1. Programming style
      5m 55s
    2. Writing pseudocode
      4m 55s
  11. 25m 55s
    1. Input/output and persistence
      3m 6s
    2. Reading and writing from the DOM
      8m 11s
    3. Event driven programming
      7m 47s
    4. Introduction to file I/O
      6m 51s
  12. 24m 26s
    1. Introduction to debugging
      5m 57s
    2. Tracing through a section of code
      7m 5s
    3. Understanding error messages
      3m 21s
    4. Using debuggers
      8m 3s
  13. 14m 17s
    1. Introduction to object-oriented languages
      5m 18s
    2. Using classes and objects
      6m 29s
    3. Reviewing object-oriented languages
      2m 30s
  14. 11m 14s
    1. Memory management across languages
      5m 11s
    2. Introduction to algorithms
      4m 2s
    3. Introduction to multithreading
      2m 1s
  15. 29m 20s
    1. Introduction to languages
      1m 42s
    2. C-based languages
      4m 40s
    3. The Java world
      3m 13s
    4. .NET languages: C# and Visual Basic .NET
      6m 17s
    5. Ruby
      3m 4s
    6. Python
      2m 56s
    7. Objective-C
      4m 3s
    8. Libraries and frameworks
      3m 25s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Where to go from here
      1m 2s

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Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals
4h 47m Beginner Sep 22, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course provides the core knowledge to begin programming in any language. Simon Allardice uses JavaScript to explore the core syntax of a programming language, and shows how to write and execute your first application and understand what's going on under the hood. The course covers creating small programs to explore conditions, loops, variables, and expressions; working with different kinds of data and seeing how they affect memory; writing modular code; and how to debug, all using different approaches to constructing software applications.

Finally, the course compares how code is written in several different languages, the libraries and frameworks that have grown around them, and the reasons to choose each one.

Topics include:
  • Writing source code
  • Understanding compiled and interpreted languages
  • Requesting input
  • Working with numbers, characters, strings, and operators
  • Writing conditional code
  • Making the code modular
  • Writing loops
  • Finding patterns in strings
  • Working with arrays and collections
  • Adopting a programming style
  • Reading and writing to various locations
  • Debugging
  • Managing memory usage
  • Learning about other languages
Subjects:
Developer Web Programming Foundations
Author:
Simon Allardice

Introduction to object-oriented languages

Most programming languages developed in the last 30 years are what are called object-oriented languages. Now this wasn't always the way. My first programming job over 25 years ago was writing assembly language, FORTRAN, and COBOL on ICL mainframes. Now these languages were not object-oriented languages. They were instead straight procedural languages where the program really is written as one long procedure. Even though it might contain functions and subroutines to make it more modular and maintainable, it's really a long piece of code combining data and logic all mixed in together.

Now in an object-oriented language, this program would instead be split apart into self-contained objects, almost like having several mini programs. Each object is representing a different part of the application and each object contains its own data and its own logic and they communicate between themselves. Now if that sounds like it could be a little bit confusing, the idea here is that these objects represent the way you would talk and think about the actual problem.

It's meant to make thinking about your program easier. The objects don't represent mysterious abstract ideas. They first represent things like employees, images, bank accounts, player objects, car objects, whatever actually exists in your program. So object orientation is an idea and it's an idea that it's supported in many languages. And for you it's a shift to thinking about the objects in your program are not just the process. And while object-oriented programming can bring a lot of jargon into the table, there are really only a couple of terms we need to be comfortable with to move forward with it.

The first two terms we need to understand is the difference between a class and an object. And these two terms go hand in hand with object-oriented languages. A class is a blueprint. It's an idea, it's a description, it's a definition. It describes what something is, but it isn't the thing itself. It's a well-defined idea, like say a blueprint for house. And classes will exist for different parts of your program. So if you are writing a restaurant review website, you might create classes that represent a restaurant and a review or a user.

Classes could also represent visual parts of your program, things like TextBox and Button and Window. And they can also represent invisible things like dates and times and anything that can be a well-defined idea. A lot of languages come with many classes already defined, even advanced things like VideoPlayer classes, and you can also define your own. Now all classes describe and define two things: Attributes and Behavior.

What are some things characteristics, its attributes, and what can it do, what's its behavior. So in this case, let's say we are describing a class to describe a person. We might say that the person attributes are name, height, weight, gender, and age, whereas the person's behavior is walk, run, jump, speak, sleep. Think about it this way that the attributes are really your data, your variables. And the behavior is what can you do, your functions. And actually attributes and behavior in most object-oriented languages are actually described with other names, which is properties and methods.

These are the most common ways of describing these. But the class is describing these things in abstract. And what I mean by that is it says that a person has a name and it has a height, but it doesn't say what the name is because the class is just the description of something. But just like there's no point creating a blueprint if you never intend to make a house, there's no point defining a class unless you're going to make an object. So that's the relationship between the two.

The class is the idea and the object is the thing itself. We create objects based on the class like creating a house based on the blueprint. Not only that, but you can create multiple objects based on one class in the same way you could create multiple houses based on one single blueprint. Now while there is a lot of jargon associated with object orientation, encapsulation is the key idea.

This the idea that classes are self- contained units that represent both the data and the code that works on that data, that we take our properties and our methods and we box them up, we encapsulate them. JavaScript is an object-oriented language. Although it is quite casual with it, there are some other languages where object orientation is very formal and you can do very little without thinking deeply about classes and objects. So while some languages like C are not at all object-oriented, if you're working in Java, C#, Ruby, Python, VB.NET, Objective-C, you can't avoid object orientation in most modern programming languages.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals.


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Q: Using TextEdit with Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks? 
A: If you're using the built-in TextEdit program in Mavericks to write your first examples and your code doesn't seem to be working, here's one reason why: by default, "smart quotes" are now turned on in TextEdit Preferences.
 
This is where TextEdit will automatically change pairs of double quotes to "smart quotes" - where the opening and closing quote are different, like a 66 and 99.
 
While this is fine for human eyes, programming languages don't want this - when writing code, they need to be the plain, generic straight-up-and-down quotes.
 
So make sure that in TextEdit > Preferences, that "Smart quotes" are unchecked.
 
Important! Whenever you make a change to TextEdit preferences, make sure to then completely quit out of the program (Command-Q or using TextEdit > Quit TextEdit) and then re-open it, as changes won't take effect on documents you already have open.
 
However, we're not finished - just because you've changed the preferences, it does **not** change any *existing* smart quotes back to "regular" quotes - it just doesn't add new ones - so make sure to go through your files for any time you wrote quotes and TextEdit may have changed them to smart quotes - look in both the JavaScript, and your HTML too, and compare to the downloadable exercise files if necessary.
 
If that sounds like a bit of a chore, I recommend just downloading a code editor like Sublime Text (www.sublimetext.com) or TextMate (www.macromates.com) and using that instead of TextEdit - it's only a matter of time before you'd move away from TextEdit anyway - we only used it in the course because it was built-in and a quick way to get started, but it's now become more of a inconvenience than it was before.
 
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