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"Richard L. Conn" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Richard L. Conn
Wed, 1 Dec 1999 17:02:06 -0500
text/plain (69 lines)
Interesting ... how old are you?  Where did you go
to school?  What data structures text did you use?
I'm curious because of our radically different
perception of Freshmen.  And it sounds like you are
talking about Basic, NOT Visual Basic.  I have no
problem with you calling Basic primitive, but Visual
Basic isn't that by any stretch of the imagination.

Richard Conn, ASE and PAL Manager

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Borgia, William M.
> Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 1999 4:09 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What the competition looks like
>         Rick Conn wrote:
>         > Now that I've dealt on this level, being able to teach
>         > a fun, visual language where they can have a running
>         > program at the end of a three-hour lecture/lab on the
>         > first day that displays full-color glossey pictures
>         > and has push buttons and dialog boxes is a whole
>         > different level than just having a program that prints
>         > "Hello, World."  Then, having later discussions about
>         > how it is not cool to have Windows crash while your
>         > airplane it flying with it rings home.  And when
>         > objects and classes become so natural that when they
>         > look at other languages and don't immediately see them,
>         > they ask why the objects aren't there, I think we have
>         > a good thing.
>         [Borgia:]
>         I never thought of generics, inheritance, tasking, etc., to be
> advanced computer science topics at all.  Rather, I see them as advanced
> facilities of programming languages.  With the exception of
> tasking, which I
> learned as a first-semester sophomore, I learned each of the rest of those
> topics as a freshman.  Knowing these language constructs is essential to
> implementation of many other introductory comp. sci. topics like graph
> theory, set theory, multithreading, etc.
>         If freshman cannot understand generics, how could they
> possibly have
> a practical introduction to elementary data structures (those
> learned before
> a data structures course -- stacks, queues, lists, trees)?  If I remember
> correctly, I never saw a "Hello, world" project in any of my freshman Ada
> courses.  What I do remember was that most of the projects alternated
> between developing a generic package and then developing
> something practical
> that used that package.  Furthermore, many of these packages that I had to
> develop that year came in very useful down the road.
>         Visual Basic is not for the beginning computer science students.
> Its far more primitive than that, almost for the non-programmers.
>  Since VB
> lacks so many of these features like true dynamic memory allocation,
> students would likely have a strong learning curve when trying to grasp
> "advanced" topics.  While I agree that VB is fun, it seems to be so far
> removed from even the elementary topics of a computer science curriculum,
> which must focus on much more than writing pretty programs.
>         Bill Borgia