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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
X-To: "W. Wesley Groleau x4923" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 17:06:02 -0500
Reply-To: "Richard L. Conn" <[log in to unmask]>
From: "Richard L. Conn" <[log in to unmask]>
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Hi, Wes,

Yes, they will pick up bad habits if not shown the
other side from time to time.  It's definitely
necessary to do so.

As to your latter paragraph, it sounds like you are
thinking of a Comparative Languages course.  Certainly
desirable.

----------------------------------
Richard Conn, ASE and PAL Manager
http://xenadu.home.mindspring.com/

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of W. Wesley Groleau x4923
> Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 1999 4:25 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Teaching methods (was: What the competition looks like)
>
>
> > I really have to disagree with your statement about VB.  We are talking
> > about teaching Freshmen, not Juniors or Seniors.  ....
>
> But what about the bad habits they pick up?  I see Ada written by former
> C people with no range constraints.  They've learned that when you need a
> number, you say int, float, or double.  So they will never use
> "... is range 1 .. 100;"  unless the instructor forces them to.
> Similarly,
> I've debugged Pascal written by Fortran folks that said
>
>   CONST
>      Depth_Mode = 1;
>      Distance_Mode = 2;
>   ...
>      if Mode = Depth_Mode ...
>      (or even 'if Mode = 1 ...')
>   ...
>
> > 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 .....
>
> Sure.  But you start out with the easy stuff and add to it as you go
> along.
>
> On the other hand, if you teach VB (or even C) first, and constantly point
> out its deficiencies as you go along, maybe that's not so bad.  If the
> student learns what's great about a range constraint WHILE learning how to
> declare a C int ....
>
> But what if you taught both together?  A little Ada, and the corresponding
> features of (language X) at the same time, with a brief discussion of the
> pros and cons of each might help avoid the tendency to always want to
> write in your first language (and to act like it when writing in other
> languages).

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