Section 2 - Fundamentals - Part 1

Overview

This “Fundamentals” section of the guide is the first that is aimed at exploring and gaining and in-depth understanding of various subjects related to computer programming in general and with Harbour and HMG in particular. My intention in adding these sections is to create a reference that compliments the existing help resources installed alongside HMG and online on various websites.

My aim is to provide a comprehensive explanation of some of the key concepts, principles, subjects and tools you need to understand to be able to design and develop your own computer programs. In addition to explaining these, I provide various examples to demonstrate how certain areas work which I hope will be useful in developing your knowledge as you begin to design and develop your own applications.

Secondly, and just as importantly, there may be aspects included in this and other sections focusing on the theory that I don’t use in later chapters as the “learning project” progresses, so these sections may become a useful reference for you when you start writing your own applications. An example of this is PUBLIC variables which I don’t use in my code but it is important that you know what these are, what their advantages are and what the disadvantages to using them are.

I strongly recommend that you to make the time to go through each of these sections once you complete preceding sections as certain aspects of each subject will be included in the later stages of building the ePortfolio application and I will not be including further, detailed explanation of these when they are used in later chapters.

Secondly, and just as importantly, there may be aspects included in this and other “Fundamentals” sections that I don’t use in later chapters as the “learning project” progresses but which might be useful in writing your own applications. An example of this is PUBLIC variables, which I don’t use in my own code, but which you may decide to use once you understand their advantages and disadvantages.

In this section, we explore the following subjects in detail;

  • Commands, Functions and Statements – the essential “building blocks” used in computer programming
  • Standard Data Types – Character, Numeric, Data, Logical and NIL
  • Advanced Data Types – Memo, Array, Code Block, and Object
  • Variables and Variable Scoping
  • Operators – the essential tools used to perform actions in computer programs

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