November 29th, 2003

  • evan


Speaking of types, this poor program isn't gonna work even if they could get the syntax right.

For a beginner, is fixing Period1's type to either float or string a good thing or a bad thing?

(And whoa, people still use floppies?)

I'm very curious about teaching programming languages; I asked htang (who has studied both CS and teaching extensively) about it and she didn't know if there was any conclusive evidence about what is more "natural". Regarding types, it always seemed to me that teaching C++ was needlessly confusing in that the magical "cout" function didn't care about types while everything else did.

Meena wanted to learn about programming so I tried to start her with Python. The first major point of confusion (aside from the minor confusions that are inevitably overcome with teaching) was the difference between "print x" and simply "x" at the prompt, because both seemed to just output x's value.
  • evan

(no subject)

Speaking of learning, LL1 just had a link to a dialect of Haskell designed for teaching. (Speaking of Haskell, which actual program (interpreter? compiler?) do people use? I see three or something like that in Debian.) Their features look neat (messages like that "did you mean a float?" error message would've helped out the poor programmer I linked to in my last post).

I read some of an interview with one of the creators of ML (I think that was from lambda_ultimate and he indicated they never thought the language would be useful beyond their initial goal (theorem proving, I think?).