/robowaifu/ - DIY Robot Wives

Advancing robotics to a point where anime catgrill meidos in tiny miniskirts are a reality.

Roadmap: file restoration script within a few days, Final Solution alpha in a couple weeks.

Sorry for not being around for so long, will start getting back to it soon.

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Selecting a Programming Language Robowaifu Technician 09/11/2019 (Wed) 13:07:45 No.128
What programming language would suit us and our waifus best? For those of us with limited experience programming, it's a daunting question.
Would a language with a rigid structure be best?
Do we want an object-oriented language?
How much do you care about wether or not a given language is commonly used and widespread?
What the fuck does all that terminology mean?
Is LISP just a meme, or will it save us all?

In this thread, we will discuss these questions and more so those of us who aren't already settled into a language can find our way.
I'm hardly an unbiased developer, having worked in C++ professionally on and off for 10 years now. I consider it the world's most flexible language, and it's probably also the single most important language today for AI--an area obviously of much importance to /robowaifu/. I've used a few other languages in my career and hobbies, but C++ is certainly my favorite one. While not the most ideal language for a beginner to start with, it can be done, and if you begin with it then you will both understand the 'machine' very well, you also won't believe in 'magic' the way Python and other languages will feed you.
>How much do you care about wether or not a given language is commonly used and widespread?
Well, it certainly has an impact on the widespread availability of developers out there, and thus the likelihood of them connecting with us who might express interest in developing robowaifus. There are approaching 5 million professional programmers in C++ today, and every single one of them care about performance. I personally consider this a vital differentiator for the potential for success in devising our own robowaifus, but again, I'm hardly an unbiased source.

Python is probably the single language with the most promise for a beginner IMO. It's widely used as a general language and scripting tool for admins. It's used all over the sciences now, especially in combination with the R platform. It's the scripting API for Tensorflow (the single most important Deep Learning framework today). The downside is that if you ever decide to go deeper into programming and actually understand how everything works, you'll have to spend quite a while unlearning the belief in 'magic' that Python will inevitably force on the beginner.
https ://www.python.org/

Scala is probably a very good choice for a beginner as well. Kind of a mashup of several languages, it lays a great foundation for functional programming in general.
https ://scala-lang.org/
I have minimal experience programming. I've dabbled with Python, HTML, CSS, and know very little beyond the very basics.
That being said, I'm not afriad to go in any direction I see fit, and I work well under a steep learning curve if the topic at hand interests me.
With that in mind, no languages are off the table as far as I'm concerned. Only problem is I have basically no fucking idea about what language I should really use.
If it helps narrow things down, I'm not concerned with the hardware aspect of things at the moment. I'm just concerned about making the personality, and I'm looking to have her be an emergent system. The more heavy lifting I can offload to the computer, the better. I also want her scope to be easily expandable.
For instance: let's say I've already succeeded in getting her to be fairly competent, and I want to see if I can get her to play a game to test her capability for logical reasoning. This hypothetical game is a game that I didn't program myself. I'll want to build that bridge as easily as possible.

On a final note, both logical reasoning and abstraction tend to come naturally to me, but usually from weird angles.

Kek, you posted literally right as I was finishing typing all this shit.
>Kek, you posted literally right as I was finishing typing all this shit.
Heh, synchronicity.

TBH, you're dealing with a question I think every guy who wants to learn programming for real faces. I can probably give you some ideas about the theoretical basics, and general architecture questions. But truth be told, I think like a C++ developer, having done it now for all these years. I dove into it intentionally, and ultimately because I wanted to create both AI and robots. But even if I hadn't had that as a long-term goal in life, I still consider it to have been one of the better choices I've ever made. It's paid many bills, and there are lots of well-paying jobs out there for talented C++ devs.

AMA, but in the end you'll still be faced with the original conundrum anon: You still have to decide. This will probably means months (years?) of serious research and trial and error. You've stated that logical thinking comes easy to you, so that should ease the process for you.
I guess the two biggest questions I have for you right now are:
1 - In regards to my previously posted concerns about expandibility, how does this play into the equation? Is C++ a good language for that, is it something that can be done with just about any language, or am I looking for something that doesn't really exist?
2 - I should have mentioned this earlier, but both of my servers use archaic architectures (Alpha64). If at all possible, I want to incorporate those into my designs. Essentially this would mean having them mostly do behind-the-scenes number crunching, and little else. Of course, I also have a modern desktop which is considerably more powerful, so it's not a matter of life or death, but the inclusion of those servers is ideal.
tbh, you'd have to very explicitly and specifically define your meaning of the word 'expandability'. To me the word naturally connotes 'flexibility' and as I've already stated ITT, IMO C++ is literally the most flexible language in the world. Several other languages have been literally written using C++ underneath, to give you some idea.

However, 'flexibility' definitely doesn't equate to 'developer productivity' which I suspect is actually closer to your underlying definition of the word. As with other areas of engineering, everything is a tradeoff. Other languages may make you more productive at the cost of flexibility. In other words, if you can accomplish exactly what you want and achieve all the engineering requirements in a particular language, then you're ahead--as long as you don't need to change that scope later.

This kind of knowledge honestly takes years to acquire.

BTW, iirc correctly GCC supports Alpha architecture, so probably any front end language it supports will be OK with it's compiler. C++, for example. YMMV, so you'll have to confirm this specifically. I'm unable to. If you can a 'hello world', then you should be good. EG, file named main.cpp :
#include <iostream>
int main() {
std::cout << "Hello World\n";

compile & run with:
g++ main.cpp && ./a

If you see
Hello World

then you're golden.
hmm. looks like newlines don't render inside code tags. :/
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Certainly food for thought.
By "expandability" I mean: Taking a program I wrote, and making it do something that wasn't accounted for in the original code.
As an example, let's take my general plan for developing the presently hypothetical AI.
I will probably just have her start out as a really basic chatbot that can read large datasets. But later on, I will want her to be able to interface with other programs. This may include: playing a game, crawling the web for more data, maybe even communicating with different AIs that other anons programmed.
I might also want her to have a graphical interface later on. I will even want her to be able to make her own programs at some point.
One thing I will certainly want to do over time is optimize and adjust the way she parses data, and at some point have her be able to do that herself.

Of course, I won't be jumping straight into all that shit from the get-go like a maniac. Version 1.0 is going to be so basic that she won't even be able to count to potato. But I will want a language that makes the process of adding random shit like that as easy as possible.
Heh, I was following you right up until the very last sentence.
>But I will want a language that makes the process of adding random shit like that as easy as possible.
You were describing again and again the need for incredible flexibility, and C++ certainly fits the bill. Then at the last second you jumped all the way over to the other end of the spectrum and made ease of use the priority. C++ definitely doesn't fit that bill heh.

See what I mean? Everything in engineering is a tradeoff. Using well-defined approaches to software engineering can reduce dependencies on specific language features somewhat, but has it's limits. The language choice for a project often dictates the limits of what can actually be accomplished, practically speaking.

I'm not trying to overcomplicate things, honestly. Real-world engineering is already complicated af all by itself.

My instinct is you should try Scala anon. It will give you a great learning platform, both flexible and powerful, yet pretty easy to use as well. If in the end you find you need even more power and you will, i'll bet then you'll have a smooth transition to an even more flexible and powerful platform like C++ .

BTW, I may be 'logging off' before long, but I'll be back and answer anything else later on.
Also BTW
Nano best gril
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When I said "easy", I wasn't really thinking my words through. I apologize.
What I really meant was that I want a language that's built to do the kind of shit I described, as opposed to something super rigid or limited that I'd have to use fucky workarounds with.

Also, I briefly spoke with one of my professors earlier today about it (though not in so much detail).
His recommendations were: C++, R, or Clojure. He also mentioned another language I can't remember the name of that's supposed to be C++ on steroids or something.
I see. Well, there's certainly no magic 'make robowaifu' button to press anon. As with Sir Isaac, I'd recommend you stand on other's shoulders the way we all do. Find an opensauce project that's sort of close to what you imagine, then start digging. Build and run the system as is. Start tinkering around with it. With any luck in a few weeks or months you'll have a good idea what makes it tick and then you can start over from scratch and use your own ideas instead.

There simply is no replacement at this time for human ingenuity in the software engineering field. It's a very creative process after all.

Not sure how that would serve very well in a general sense for our endeavors anon. I could be wrong, but it's not something I would recommend you pursue atp.
Wouldn't be a bad choice, if rather esoteric. Scala has most of the good things about Clojure and is far more mainstream, as opposed to academic.

>'C++ on steroids'
Hmm, can't say I've ever heard of that. C++ literally is pure steroids, almost by definition.
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I really wish we had more than just three people here, it's hard to get fired up in a ghost town
I already have a somewhat abstract plan of attack. Study a language, make a bunch of tiny programs and fuck around with features as I do so, study existing examples of AI, make note of interesting things, repeat ad nauseam until I get to the point where I feel like I can write something basic that is only 99% terrible, and build up from there. I have no delusions of this being any less impossibly difficult and time consuming than I'm imagining.
At this point, as far as I'm concerned, it's a choice between C++ or Clojure. I'll sleep on it and make my choice in the morning. Whatever I choose, I'll shell out some shekels for a few books and just get into it.
If I don't force myself in a direction while there's still a fire under my ass, then it'll be a long-ass time before that fire comes again.
>I really wish we had more than just three people here, it's hard to get fired up in a ghost town
There's the Meta thread for discussing such topics anon. I personally need just the internal vision in my heart of literally millions men dispossessed by the evils of feminism to give me the motivation I need. For me it's literally a spiritual issue.
>repeat ad nauseam until I get to the point where I feel like I can write something basic that is only 99% terrible, and build up from there.
Heh, sounds like a plan. :^)

Yeah, it's important in life to move while you have momentum anon. Whatever you decide on, I'll try to help you to the degree I can.
The three people possibly 4, I don't know if you are including me. are loyal men to their brothers in arms. I am glad I found a small wholesome community like this where we can freely share ideas between each other without the fear of losing our jobs or being grounded by our parents. (^: I mean this in the most literal sense, I love this community. Also when you guys get time, I wanna speak about something concerning in the meta thread.

Sage for off topic
I plan to set up my box with Clojure and follow along with you anon, so hopefully the guys get code tags working properly here soon.
>that pic
lol nice
I got it from /b2/ on the final days of 8chan before it was shut down. It's a little scary to think about. I guess it's kind of like reading a German news paper from early 1945...
I'm back, and I decided to go with C++.
Clojure was certainly tempting, being a LISP dialect with full Java support and a growing corporate userbase. In the end though I coudn't deny the far superior wealth of support and documentation that already exists for C++.
Bought a guide for learning it, and a book about algorithms because I have a feeling I'll need that down the line.
OK, sounds good. AMA I should be able to help you with C++ and using it well. May or may not be able to help with original algorithm designs. OFC the C++ bread already has important links not the least of which is getting familiar with the book list maintained over on stackoverflow. Welcome aboard the coder train anon. May we have robowaifus in our hearts and homes soon!

BTW, you'll need to figure out a good editor that you can be comfortable with soon.
I hope your C++ studies work out for you anon.
This is good advice. I'd modify it slightly to say that a true novice should cut their teeth on Python (I hear that Python The Hard Way is a good primer) and then add some C on embedded systems - preferably something real-time - before touching C++. Python, "magic" and all, has the main advantage of laying down fundamental patterns of thought, and time-sensitive embedded C gets you close to the machine so that Python's abstractions won't damage long-term development. All learning consists of telling lies to small children; the trick is knowing when to take the lies away and replace them with the next, slightly less untrue set. In any case don't learn with JavaScript and definitely don't touch PHP until you have several better languages under your belt. I've observed that people who start with either of those two languages seem to suffer some kind of brain damage that carries over insufferably into other languages.

Clojure is also a decent choice as a first functional language. Functional experience pays dividends in any language. I hear that "Clojure for the Brave and True" is a good primer.

Don't neglect your tradecraft. Learn version control early. Understand how to collaborate with your future and past selves. Learn what good, disciplined thought feels and smells like and what sloppy thought feels and smells like. The Jargon File is a decent source of tips on developing your mindset, although some of it must be understood in its historical context.
>All learning consists of telling lies to small children; the trick is knowing when to take the lies away and replace them with the next, slightly less untrue set.
heh, creative way to word that anon. Great advice overall. What can I say, I love C++. I make no bones about it tbh. I learned C first, and wish I hadn't. If I'd had Ch27 of Stroustrup's PPP2 back then I would have both understood C better, and would have much more quickly transitioned to C++ thereafter.

Anyway, thanks for the advice and the tips. That kind of post helps out here a lot.
>The Jargon File
Thanks anon.
Could you please tell me the browser and OS you made this post on? Thanks.
Chromium derivative & Ubuntu.
It's funny, but I keep rethinking back to your words anon, especially the "Understand how to collaborate with your future and past selves." bit. That idea is helping to guide me in how to choose better function and variable naming, how to refactor code out to stay focused in the 'inner core' of a program, and generally how to do better architecture of my stuff. Thanks for the tip anon!
I am glad that the words helped you, but don’t thank me, Anon - thank Master Foo: http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/unix-koans/prodigy.html

>“Moving in accordance with the law of nature, it unfolds inexorably in the minds of programmers, assimilating designs to its own nature. All software that would compete with it must become like to it; empty, empty, profoundly empty, perfectly void, hail!”
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very nice, here's one for you anon (though regrettably you'd probably have to get the 'made-from-atoms' version to enjoy it.

Some lisp and AI related books:
>Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP)
Book: https://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/sicp/full-text/book/book.html
Lectures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J_xL4IGhJA&list=PLE18841CABEA24090&index=1

>Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming
Book and code: https://github.com/norvig/paip-lisp

>Practical Common Lisp
Book and code: http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/

>The Common Lisp Cookbook
Book: https://lispcookbook.github.io/cl-cookbook/

>Clojure For The Brave and True
Book: https://www.braveclojure.com/clojure-for-the-brave-and-true/

>Is LISP just a meme, or will it save us all?
Lisp is good for learning (Scheme and SICP) and it allows one to build working programs fast (Clojure and Common Lisp), in addition, lisp has been traditionally used in AI programming.

>How much do you care about wether or not a given language is commonly used and widespread?
It's important that the language...
1) is tested and that it actually works
2) has a community, so you can get libraries, tools, learning resources and help
lisp (Common Lisp and Clojure), java and C++ are examples of languages that fulfill these requirements.

>What the fuck does all that terminology mean?
Object-oriented programming (OOP) just means that the language support one particular way of programming. nowadays, OOP is most widely used in the industry but functional programming is gaining a lot attention lately.
Thanks for the links, Lisper-Anon.
This is an open-ended question so feel free to respond with your own opinion or thoughts.

As I understand it, compilers are continuing to improve to the point where even very savvy coders have a hard time beating them. So if a higher level programming language still compiles to fast code, then what are some advantages of using a lower level language in the context of AI and robotics?
Well, I'm no expert in compiler design, and for the men who are, the phrase 'higher level programming language' applies to C and basically everything else outside of assembler or actual machine code.

You're making what is a mistake atp of just lumping everything into black and white. 'Very savvy coders' can probably implement a 'better' generic programming implementation than say, C++ template meta-programming by hand-writing assembler, but that would come with a few trade-offs;
-1. It would only be for a specific example, whereas the high-level meta-programming approach is fully generic.
-2. It would require months of the developers concentrated effort to produce a more performant version than say, GCC right out of the box.
-3. It would only work on a specific type of CPU, for example Intel or ARM.
-4. It would be a bitch to maintain that code after the fact (IMO).

So yea higher-level languages like C++ are certainly 'better' than low-level languages in that case.

Further, I'll presume the question is related to the common perception of 'higher-level' and please define that explicitly w/o using 'well, kinda like Haskell, you know' heh. While there are literally millions of professionals programming in C++ daily for a living, most amateurs consider it some a small niche thing (and therefore automatically both difficult and not worth learning).

Python certainly has more popularity and is considered higher-level. Examples of it's use abound in the sciences. But you certainly wouldn't write a 120fps FPS using it. In engineering, everything is a trade-off, and there's no free lunch--only elegant and inelegant approaches.

I use Python and C++ specifically because of OP's topic ITT: What programming language would suit us and our [robo]waifus best?

TensorFlow is arguably the single most import AI ML/DL framework right now. There's rather a good user API for the tool using Python. But the engine itself isn't written in Python, but rather in C++ (there's also an API in that language too ofc). TF performs metric shittons of intensive math operations and you definitely wouldn't be too happy with the performance if those were done in Python instead of C++. Yet calling into the C++ code w/ Python is a great idea.

Each language has it's place and there are definitely still quite wide performance gaps between very mature, highly-optimizable languages like C, C++, and FORTRAN, and modern coffee languages like Python, JavaScript, and C#, when performing math-intensive operations like performing tensor calculus on billion-cell matrices.
I don't think it's a good idea to advice beginners today to learn C++ as a start, bc its seems to be hard to work with. Python is what many scientists and beginners use. We'll need to glue different existing programs together, we won't write them completely on our own. For that, Python is the way to go. Speed only matters in some cases, btw.
>>4338 I understand your point Anon, but honestly, C++ isn't that hard to learn if you focus on the proper essentials. The problem is there's such yuge boatload of terrible, terrible educational material on C++ out there. It's really given guys the wrong impression of the language imo. I hope to correct some of that with the TDD. >Speed only matters in some cases, btw. Maybe in a general-purpose app or program. For practically the entire spectrum of software engineering related to robowaifus, speed is king. We literally will not be able to solve this domain successfully without well-written C & C++ programming. But yes, once the core engines are written and debugged, then adding in Python scripting on top of that will be suitable ofc.
>>4358 >I hope to correct some of that with the RDD.* derp. >>3001
>>4358 The engines for everything I can think of are general purpose, other people are using those and are working on improvements. Could you give me any example where we need fast software which isn't used outside of this project? Btw, there are ways to make Python code faster if necessary, same for many Lisp variants. However, I have no intenion to start one of these famous fights about programming languages here. I never tried CPP really, had no reason so far.
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>>4376 >Could you give me any example where we need fast software Two words, Anon: Hard Real-time OK maybe that's 3 words heh There is literally nothing that is software controlled inside a safety-critical system (such as a Gynoid Robot expected to be around naive humans like children, for example) that isn't absolutely dependent on (billions of) calculations being done not only properly, but within a hard-limit time budget. I can go on about this for a while, but to save some time, do a little research of your own on those two words first Anon, and then come back and ask further ITT.
>>128 Good day fellow robo-lover! In reality, if we consider waifus to be both hardware and software, then there will be several groups of languages used: -Low-level languages such as architecture-specific assembly, C, maybe (unlikely) C++, which will be needed for embedded controllers with limited RAM and processing power. -Languages that will be running within an OS environment for machine-learning, bigger data proccessing etc. Those could be C++, Python, Go...you name it XD Coming from an electronics background, I think the topology of the waifu bot should be: -Simple, minimum driver code for interfacing to the hardware which by itself can execute a set of actions/steps -Higher level system for managing the overall state of the bot by aggregating data via APIs -I'm not fond of IoT, so I'd prefer the network connectivity to either not be present, or disconnected from the hardware control. I'll always recommend starting with C, just because it forces you to study the underlying architecture. However you should learn from a guide/book (like Ken and Ritchie's C) as learning it on your own is more frustrating without enough background. If you want to focus on higher level, I'm not sure what to offer. I use Python, but as mentioned earlier, it hides a lot from the beginner.
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>>4403 >However you should learn from a guide/book (like [Kernighan] and Ritchie's C) Here's the bookcover. You literally cannot be involved in the C community w/o running into this.
>>4405 Hehe It's a well written book (though I've only read the first two chapters and usually use the others for reference). Also, perhaps you chaps might point me to the right thread, as this a little off-topic. If there's no thread I could create one. I wonder if anyone considered using alternative CPU architectures (i.e. not x86/amd64 or Arm) to make sure the waifu bot runs on an open architecture where the documentation can be readily acquired. For me this is important from a security perspective (Intel ME...) because a waifu bot is a very personal object and may be able to acquire a lot of info about you. I was once hyped about RISCV until I heard some open source projects struggling to get the necessary changes added to the standard (Libre-SoC). OpenPOWER might be interesting as it is well established.
>>4406 We are very concerned about the botnet issues here, both from security and privacy perspectives. We don't have a specified thread, but it is touched on in our SBC & microcontrollers thread. >>16 Please feel free to start an entirely new thread on the topic Anon if you feel qualified. Since this is such a technical topic, if you wouldn't mind make it an effort-post OP, detailing both the hazards of commodity processors, maybe something about the efforts in the alternative communities so far. Plenty of links always help round out a good OP ofc. Thank you.
>>4407 Sure, I'm quite busy on weekdays, but I'll see if I can do a little write-up for the weekend. I'm glad I found this place, as for once I can have a serious conversation about implementing waifuswith current technology, not just wishing and hoping! Thanks!
>>4406 BTW, this might be a good post to introduce to newcomers. >>2701
>>4408 >Thanks! You're welcome. Glad to have you here.
>related xpost >>6712
Here's something that might be useful. It seems to be picking up a lot of adherents. Nim https://nim-lang.org/ It's supposed to be easy to use like python but has a lot of advanced features without so much complication. Some features. It has macros which can make programs rewrite themselves according to situations and is supposed to raise productivity if you know how to use them. Macros are a big deal in LISP and C++. It can compile itself or to C or javascript. It has more than one level of garbage protection and memory protection so you can dash off stuff to test then advance speed by allocating memory yourself if what you wrote works well. Seems like something easier to use than C++ and LISP but more useful than python without being so big.
>>8524 Python is very common in science and education, though. It also has a lot of libraries, and speed isn't always a matter. However, I wanted to try out NIM for a while now. If it becomes popular here, I'm quite sure I will do so.
One thing is that if we're going to have different languages interacting then the language that will make this happen is C. Additionally, robowaifus are cutting edge tech, so we won't be able to cut ourselves some slack with convenient off the shelf hardware and operating systems, we'll have to deal with purpose-built hardware and software which inevitably comes with odd behaviors and optimizations, and to create and make use of those knowing the theory behind assembly is required, so that when the hardware pops up an assembly programmer will already know all about memory models and vector instructions and whatnot and be able to pick up programming for this new hardware with just an instruction set listing. Why are soundcards cheap? Because inside them is a DSP with a native word size of 24 bits and which can only read and manipulate data in that one size, it also has weird instructions that optimize reading an array in an unusual order common in DSPs, not a full-blown ARM core that's made with many more millions of transistors providing features a soundcard will never use. Similarly, the average router until recently had a MIPS CPU with no floating point unit, floats aren't relevant for router tasks. At this point the whole range of programming languages is required somewhere. Straight up machine code, compiled languages, and scripting languages. Focus on theory, general experience, and topics related to robowaifu engineering. Whatever you know will likely be of use somewhere.
>>8608 >At this point the whole range of programming languages is required somewhere. This Anon gets it. We're going to be having all sorts of hardware too. Probably broadly divisible into mobile (ie, onboard the robowaifu) and immobile. >mobile: At least three types and probably more: -edge sensors/actuators. Neuromorphics wants to both combine these together and push large numbers of them out to the edges of the robowaifu. -microcontrollers. Shepherds after a fashion directing all those edge devices, and reporting up and down the chain with the SBCs. -sbcs. The mobile 'brains' that will manage most of the heuristic-type work for the systems. Ofc, they will stay in touch at least intermittently with the immobile resources. >immobile: At least 3 types of systems, probably more: -servers for data, mostly big storage devices. -servers for AI training, lots of GPU horsepower. -gateway systems for securing and defending the rest. On top of that is typical networking, etc. already common in anon's homes. >tl;dr We'll all need a lot of different types of software in the end. So, just make a choice and dive in.

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