I work in an EDA company (Electronic Design Automation) and need to learn a scripting language. If I know basic C language, how much of the C language knowledge would be helpful in learning the two languages (Perl/Tlc) and what things might be "traps" in moving from the C language to either of the two?

Thanks and Regards, Arvind Gupta.

  • This is very subjective, unless someone has research evidence. I would think TCL is easier, as it is like lisp (but without so many parenthesis). It also looks a lot like C. You should also consider Python and bash. – ctrl-alt-delor Dec 2 at 14:51
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    Welcome to Computer Science Educators, user6292! I second @ctrl-alt-delor about considering Python and bash. And that this question is, indeed, subjective. Some aspects will be easier to learn than others within each language. If you want to prevent closure, you might want to modify it to something more like, "what are the relative merits for a newcomer? Which would you then advise a new learner begin with?" Relative merits can be discussed with less left to opinion. Good luck in any case on your new job!! – Ben I. Dec 2 at 18:25
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    Maybe this will give some insight:xkcd.com/312 – Buffy Dec 2 at 19:44
  • You might also want to look at AWK: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AWK – Buffy Dec 2 at 20:45
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    You said that you need to learn a scripting language. What is the "need"? Is it any scripting language to meet company guidelines? Is the need based on job-related tasks that need to be scripted? Or, are you looking to learn a scripting language for general personal development? How does the "need" drive the selection of Perl or Tcl, or where those just two choices that you have readily available to work with? – Gypsy Spellweaver Dec 3 at 1:35

The answer does not really depend on how easy the language is, but on what you want to do with it and which one is more popular (or maybe enforced) by your company.

Personally, I would avoid both and go for python 3. If web applications are targeted, you might want to consider javascript.

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    Sorry, but I think those are both bad choices. Python isn't a scripting language, for example, and javascript has a fairly narrow range of typical uses, hence a fairly narrow set of support libraries. – Buffy Dec 2 at 19:40
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    @buffy I disagree. Python is an excellent scripting language. Here is a very good resource that teaches file scripting through Python: automatetheboringstuff.com – Ben I. Dec 2 at 23:55
  • @Buffy I first got to know Python as a scripting language (used in the testing of network routing components) ca. 2002. Ten years earlier I had started scripting with Perl (because it was close enough to C :-) and still use it, but I'd be the first to admit that Perl code tends towards write-only code. So Python is probably the superior (and more widely used) choice these days, also because it provides a huge ecosystem of library and language bindings for just about any application area. – njuffa Dec 3 at 20:05

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