Fri, 2 Feb 2001 10:53:12 +0000
At 10:51 30/01/01, Ian Sommerville wrote:
>Ada has not had the impact which I and many others anticipated and is
>now primarily used for defence and aerospace systems. Few
>universities now teach Ada as a first language (I think the last Uk
>university changed from Ada to Java this year) so few students
>actually understand it.
Not true, there is still at least one that hasn't changed to Java!
Here at Portsmouth we still teach Ada as the first language to a wide range
of students on our computer science, software engineering and information
technology courses. We believe it is the best language to support the
teaching of the foundations of programming, especially modularity,
readability and correctness. We use GNAT because it gives students better
help with error messages than any other compiler we've seen.
We also believe Ada provides an excellent platform from which to go on to
teach Java, which we do in the second year for CS and SE students. That was
a change this year (we used to teach C++) and seems to have gone well.
We've tried this year teaching Java as the first language for our MSc
conversion course students (again replacing C++). That hasn't been a great
success but , to be fair, perhaps for reasons nothing to do with choice of
Dr Jim Briggs
Department of Information Systems, University of Portsmouth
Burnaby Terrace, 1 Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3AE, UK
Tel: +44 (23) 9284 6438 Fax: +44 (23) 9284 6402