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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 15:44:08 -0600
Reply-To: Randy Brukardt <[log in to unmask]>
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From: Randy Brukardt <[log in to unmask]>
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> I really have to disagree with your statement about
> VB.  We are talking about teaching Freshmen, not
> Juniors or Seniors.  In a very practical sense, if you
> try to tell Freshmen how great generics, inheritance,
> etc., are, it's likely that those who don't quit after
> the first two weeks will have not done so because they
> fell asleep and did not wake up in time ;-).  I used
> to think Ada for Freshmen was the way to go as well
> until I actually started teaching Freshmen (all my
> previous courses were graduate level or industry).
> 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 glossy 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.
>
> Different languages for different purposes is a theme
> from day one.  In the meantime, programming at least
> starts out by being fun, and that's the hook you want
> for these people.

So teach 'em Ada using the Claw demo to add the spice. Costs nothing, gives
access to the same push buttons and dialogs that any other Windows app has,
and you still get the underlying code to be in Ada to teach good habits from
the beginning.

I would have expected you to say that VB is what they want to be taught,
because that is a legitimate reason for teaching with it. But it is just
about the only one...

ASIDE: Anyone is welcome to use the Claw demo for any non-commercial use.
We've never actually written a "license" for it, so you'll have to ask me if
you have questions about what is and is not allowed. Mainly, the only thing
not allowed is making money selling it (the demo Claw and builder); selling
apps using Claw is fine.

                        Randy.
                        R.R. Software, Inc.

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