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"Crispen, Bob" <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Sep 1999 08:21:09 -0500
text/plain (49 lines)
> Richard L. Conn sez:
>
> No, they don't use GUI Builders.  Ada is Ada and VB is VB.  GUIs are a
> part of VB, and they are an add-on to Ada.  "Hello world" in Ada is
> still using Text_IO ... "Hello world" in VB is drawing a form that
> contains
> a button that launches another form (or message box) when pressed.  This
> form or message box contains a graphic and the text of the message.
> "Hello world" in Ada requires 5 lines of code (counting carriage returns),
> while "Hello world" in VB requires the programmer to draw a picture and
> write 1 line of code.
>
It's when they have to write that second line of code
that we start to separate the sheep from the goats.

> These are what I do on the first day in each class.  Who do you think gets
> more excited?  ;-)
>
No doubt the VB folks, and with good reason.  The
folks at Microsoft have worked hard to make the
process of creating software at that level fun and
easy, and they've kept all the mysterious syntax and
number twiddling of the real GUI code well out of
sight.

And a good thing too.  Typing in mysterious numbers
to build any sort of geometry is, imho, an unnatural
act, at least until you get to the very advanced stages
and need to know what those numbers mean and how
they fit into algorithms.

About the only quibble I have is over what percentage
of the course's content is CS and what percentage
MS.  When it comes to what most of us consider
code, the IDEs pretty much leave you to your own
resources, and that's the bit most of us consider to
be code.

Unless they learn the "real code" you'll (a very general
"you'll" -- I know Conn's reputation and I know he's
more aware of this than most) -- you'll have made the
same mistake the Sophists did (if we're to believe their
enemies).  The Sophists are alleged to have turned out
students who could express themselves with supreme
elegance, but who had nothing to say.

Bob Crispen
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