Quote from jamesh on November 22, 2011, 17:07
Quote from hamster on November 22, 2011, 07:30
I don't really think that speed of execution matters - after all, PHP seems to be ruling the web
Oh, and something that supports garbage collection is a must (goodbye C/C++).
If speed is what they are after, then the RaspPi is the wrong device
I disagree. If you don't understand about memory allocation AND deallocation, and just assume the language does it for you, you are in for a very nasty shock when you need to start doing it. Of course, if you never intend to start doing it you would be OK, but you are limiting you employment prospects!
As for speed, the Raspi can be pretty quick when programmed correctly. And programming correctly (and efficiently) is part of the concept! After all, we have Elite on the BBC - 3D wireframe graphics with backface removal in 1MHz. Not bad!
That point at which I ask, "Okay first language for a little kid, or first language for an adult?"
Now the OP is asking directly about first language for a kid, as such there gets to be a point where we're worrying too much about advanced capabilities
For a kid the big necessities are ease of learning and fun applications that can be done with the language and not necessarily "how does garbage collection work?"
Once they get hooked on programming and learn good programming fundamentals, then move them off of milk and onto steak
For that matter, a good first programming language for a child is one that involves lots of parental interaction. Talk with them about, ask them why they did something one way, why did they choose it over another method, you know really get them thinking about what they're doing and praise their work.