Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious      HOME > > ARDUINO LANGUAGE COURSE  t.o.c.

Two Discourses:

Syntax is everything!

Becoming a GOOD programmer

This is one of a collection of pages which, together, attempt to show you "everything" about the Arduino's programming language.

There is a page for you with more information about the project in general, and the way these pages are organized, if you want that.

Please visit my page about power browsing notes sometime.

This page, and the software it references, ©TK Boyd, 1/2010.

Good news!

This "tutorial" is just a shell of what will be here one day... it will only take a moment to read in its present form... but please take that moment!

Syntax is everything!

Nine compile errors out of ten can be fixed simply by careful attention to syntax rules.

Simple example: What's wrong with....

void serialdb(string sPrompt);

...? Remember the format of a function:

VOID (or other) name ( maybe some stuff)

How does the simple example violate this?

It has an extra semicolon (;), at the end of the first line, between the parentheses and the open-curly-brace on the next line. This silly little syntax error led to error messages which made no sense to me. Fix the syntax, and you don't have error messages to decipher!

Where you put it is important!

Things that don't cause the compiler to complain, but do cause you program to fail to work as you MEANT it to are often traced to a legal line being in the wrong place, e.g. inside the {}s of an "if..." when it was supposed to be after the terminal } of the "if...". Etc.

Becoming a GOOD programmer.

Knowing the language is the EASY part. Suppose you were studying to become a car mechanic. You could read books to know what fluids to put in the gas tank, the washer bottle, the transmission. But the art of taking an engine apart in the right order, and of re-assembling it is a little harder to master. Getting from a customer's complaint that "it makes a ticking noise at 55 mph" to finding what is wrong and fixing it again requires skills you won't find in many books.

Becoming a good programmer is more that knowing the "legal" things to go into the program's sourcecode. You do need to know what is legal, too! And these tutorials will help you with that. But you also need to develop a determination to not only write "legal" code, but also to only write "good" code. And you need to learn about how you go about building a program. And how to find bugs. These tutorials ALSO try to help you with those matters.

If while working through these tutorials, you find yourself feeling "I don't need to know this" when reading a passage... don't skip, don't skim. Stay focused. While you may not "need" what the passage is about to stay "legal", the passage may be one of those guiding you towards doing things WELL, instead of merely "adequately".

   Search this site or the web      powered by FreeFind

Site search Web search
Site Map    What's New    Search

The search engine is not intelligent. It merely seeks the words you specify. It will not do anything sensible with "What does the 'could not compile' error mean?" It will just return references to pages with "what", "does", "could", "not".... etc.

SPELL your search term properly. When I review search logs, it is amazing how many people ask the engine to search for something meaningless.

Why does this site cause a script to run? I have my web-traffic monitored for me by eXTReMe tracker. They offer a free tracker. If you want to try it, check out their site. And if there are Google ads on the page, they are run with scripts, too.

Click here to return to Arduino COURSE table of contents.
Click here to go to the author's home page.

Ad from page's editor: Yes.. I do enjoy compiling these things for you... hope they are helpful. However.. this doesn't pay my bills!!! If you find this stuff useful, (and you run an MS-DOS or Windows PC) please visit my freeware and shareware page, download something, and circulate it for me? Links on your page to this page would also be appreciated!
Click here to visit editor's freeware, shareware page.

Here is how you can contact this page's editor. This page, and the software it references, ©TK Boyd, 1/2010.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional Page tested for compliance with INDUSTRY (not MS-only) standards, using the free, publicly accessible validator at