I've been listening.  I agree with you on the fact that what institutions teach is not necessarily what each one of us wants to learn.  Even more so these same institutions don't want to give away their best kept secret recipes

course 101 :  how to build a transistor in your garage(help !!!)
course 102 :  how to build a chip in your garage(help !!!)
course 103 :  how to make compilers in your garage(put Ada here!!! help !!!)
course 104 :  how to make programs/robots in your garage for the chip you built in your garage(put Ada here!!! help !!!)

course 105 :  how to succeed in business in your garage with the chips/programs/robots you built in your garage(help !!!)

If Ada would provide this means to help garage absent-minded inventors, it would be helping the world a great deal.  In my eyes all Bill Gates is doing is brainwashing us to be completely dependent of his kind of drug/OS/hip product(whichever you prefer), just like all the other multinational companies(coke, pepsi, nestle...).

This would permit us all to be like Mr. Hewlett/Mr. Packard/Mr. Jobs and even Mr. Gates himself...in our garages instead of watching TV :)

Ok. That said.  Back to reality...sigh.
Santé bonheur!
David Marceau
Analyst/Programmer - Firepower Systems
Land Software Engineering Centre - DND Canada
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: jim hopper [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 1999 10:18 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What the competition looks like

Richard,  your post was interesting, but very scary.  if all the kids
in university are learning is how to use visual basic to do visually
stunning, but irrelevant programs (mind candy) than we are indeed in
big trouble.  how does a person make the jump from a dependence on
precanned libraries using such tools to the real world??  are we
going to graduate an entire generation of university students who
think programming should be that easy?   visual basic and other such
tools it seems to me should be forbidden to cs students until they
learn the fundamentals and how to do it the correct way.  how many
bridges and buildings have fallen down around the world (and other
catastrophes) because some engineer was just taught the formulas and
not the basics of how the equations are derived, and where they are
valid and where they are not.

I already dispair over the younger people i work with today because
they don't have any idea of what their code really does because they
seldom are taught much of anything about assembly language and the
guts of processors.  Now you are suggesting that and even more
ignorant group are on their way, who think that writing a program is
just a matter of sticking the proper libraries together!  Sounds a
lot like the engineers who think that building a bigger bridge is
just a matter of sticking the same old equations and designs together!

At a recent computer software engineering course in the US, the participants
were given an awkward question to answer.  "If you had just boarded an
airliner and discovered that your team of programmers had been responsible
for the flight control software, how many of you would disembark
                     unknown author