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"Richard L. Conn" <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 4 Dec 1999 21:05:05 -0500
text/plain (129 lines)
Hi, Everyone,

To further the fuel of this particular fire, I've
done a little more investigating into what is going
on with VB use in the State University System of
Georgia.  My class at Kennesaw State University is
not isolated by any means, and what I've observed
is that a myriad of languages are used at each of
the universities with VB, C++, Java, and Ada all in
the running at all the schools I looked at.  The
language is chosen for each course for different
reasons.  Ada and VB seem to come up less than the
others, with C++ taking a lead over Java based on
my observations (nothing official here).

The number of students is quite large in all cases
(not Top-10 in number, but still large).  Kennesaw
State University has 900 CS students, Southern Poly
has 1,400 CS students, and Georgia Institute of
Technology (GA Tech) has over 1,000 CS students
(not sure of the more accurate count).  I've noted
that GA Tech (which is the premier research university
in the state) is offering a Software Engineering
course to Juniors that promotes the use of VB in the
course (altho the overview suggests any language,
it recommends VB, and students in my class confirmed
today that most GA Tech students they know about are
using VB for this course).  Here is the URL:

You might also be interested in the project details,
where VB is mentioned:

Southern Poly (which is closest to Lockheed and is
developing an on-campus offering at Lockheed) offers
an MS in Software Engineering (the only such program
in Georgia).  Their primary language is C++ (as is
evidenced by the Transition Courses including an OO
course using C++).  Here is the URL:

I showed my Freshmen today how to
write a Web Browser.  It took about 10 minutes, and
some are taking it back to their jobs (the average
age of our CS students is 29), creating their own
custom Web Browsers.  I created a custom Web Browser
myself at Lockheed this week for possible use on my
program (about 72 Software Engineers).  The VB Web
Browser will access the resources of our websites
(whose 600M bytes of web pages are created
in a variety of ways, using GWRL (written in Ada95
and available on the current ASE CDROM) and the CMM
Level 4 Data Collection System (written in C and Perl),
both of which I wrote).  I suspect we will adopt the
use of this Web Browser over the conventional Netscape
and Internet Explorer browsers because its custom design
allows us to implement features which integrate with
custom servers on the website itself for enhanced ease
of use and functionality, including greater access
control.  Also, maintenance is very low on it (I had
to write only a few lines of code to implement it).

One last note: my teaching load for next year is
almost all in place for the first half of the year.
It includes another course in VB at KSU (altho there
is still a chance this will change to C++), two courses
in Web Publishing at Lockheed, and one course in Ada95
at Lockheed.  A course in Java at Lockheed is also
possible, but not probable at this time.

This teaching load is in addition to my "real" jobs as
a Software Process Engineer (emphasizing the move to
CMM Level 4 and 5 processes) and the LMAS representative
to the LM Reuse/COTS Working Group of the LM Corporate
Software Subcouncil.

Richard Conn, ASE and PAL Manager

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Robert I. Eachus
> Sent: Friday, December 03, 1999 7:57 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What the competition looks like
> At 01:11 PM 12/3/1999 +1100, Geoff Bull wrote:
> >"Richard L. Conn" wrote:
> >> The VB controls
> >> operate at such a high
> >> level of abstraction that you don't have to worry about
> >> the low-level details and can concentrate on the problem.
> >
> >Actually, I wonder if that's not part of your problem.
>      I totally agree.  When teaching Ada in a programming course,
> I have found it is very gratifying to the students to be given a
> package specification and a description of what they have to do
> to implement correctly the body of the package.  This completely
> eliminates the need for the students to know anything about with
> clauses, Text_IO, program organization, etc. to complete the
> first few assignments.   Two other advantages are that you can
> provide decent diagnostics in your driver, so they don't have to
> get into the debugger or for that matter exceptions.  And second
> you can write a grading program to make it easy on the
> instructor.   Some examples--I certainly haven't used all of them:
>      Towers of Hanoi (works nicely as an intro to tasking...)
>      Runge-Kutta (great for engineers.)
>      Grammar recognizer (Finite state machines)
>      Now obviously I haven't taught Ada at a CS1 level in
> (hmmm...) 15 years, but for grad level course not directed at CS
> majors it is great.  Spend one hour on an intro to Ada (that
> notes that a lot is delayed until later) and the students can
> concentrate on the algorithms.
>                                         Robert I. Eachus
> with Standard_Disclaimer;
> use  Standard_Disclaimer;
> function Message (Text: in Clever_Ideas) return Better_Ideas is...