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Old 07-01-2006, 11:03 PM
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MikeJ MikeJ is offline

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Default A Brief History of Programming

A Brief History of Programming
Before starting any object-oriented programming, it is important to understand where the concept comes from. There have been many important "benchmarks" in coding styles, evolving until finally reaching the current pinnacle, OOP.

The first stage is the so-called cryptic programming stage. Those who have been programming for decades probably remember this stage fondly: it was the first era of programming. Computers were new and it took a lot of training to become a proficient programmer, and of course, there was a lack of knowledgeable coders. Think punch cards. Job security was rather high, as there were so few eligible applicants, and thus, programmers had little reason to change.

Of course, no company likes being held hostage by their employees, so a move was made to make programming more accessible. This stage is considered the spaghetti-code programming stage. This was the era of BASIC; it was relatively easy to learn a language and all one needed was a compiler to do some neat stuff (especially if you were just a hobbyist). This was when the use of GoSub and GoTo was used frequently. It was a time of free programming, when everyone and his or her mother had the chance to program. It should come as no surprise that the market was flooded with some inferior products with massive memory leaks and critical errors. (Interestingly enough, this was also when Microsoft was creating their first Operating System! .)

The third stage was more modern; the structured programming stage was the time that programming languages started to settle down, and people started to use the one-task-one-module belief. That is, each module has its own purpose and only does that one thing. No more random jumping around to different line numbers; the program followed a set order of events and reliability improved greatly. Astute readers will note that this stage closely resembles VB6 or C/C++.

The fourth stage is a type of intermediate stage between structured programming and OOP and is known as the event-driven programming stage. This stage was marked by greater user interactivity with the program (think of all the general Object events from VB6, such as _Click() or _KeyDown()). This made development easier for the programmer due to increased ease-of-use, but it came at the cost of using "pure" programming models.

Finally, we reach the object-oriented programming stage. This is where programming currently is at; each object can have methods, properties, events. This stage has seen the greatest reliability and reusability of code yet. You could create a class with methods you frequently use, drop it into a project, and suddenly use it all over again. You could create a user class and use it any manner of web projects. The possibilities go far beyond anything previously possible with earlier incarnations of Visual Basic.
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Last edited by MikeJ; 12-14-2006 at 12:00 AM.
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