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- Subject: Re: Beginner to programming. References to understand terms.
- From: Jay Carlson <nop@...>
- Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:56:59 -0400
On Apr 26, 2017, at 12:21 PM, Coda Highland <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> "Good idiomatic modern C++" != "good didactic C++". The stuff you're
> talking about is a complete non-issue for a beginning programmer.
> Templates: You don't need to know how to WRITE templates in order to
> USE them. Beginners should be getting vector<> instead of arrays.
Beginners should be getting tables instead of arrays.
> Iterators: Beginners will be using integer-indexed loops. Iterators
> can be introduced later when non-random-access containers show up.
There's a good chapter on iteration in PiL. Note that cons-less iteration via next is covered...
> Smart pointers: Smart pointers are beautiful things, but
> beginner-level C++ won't be doing the kinds of memory management that
> needs it. This is going to come AFTER iterators, probably.
Smart pointers? What are pointers?
> Exception safety: Beginner C++ programmers are going to want to let
> exceptions crash the program. Writing exception-safe code can be
> introduced when it becomes necessary, which isn't going to happen
> until you get to file I/O.
Luckily for you, Lua has no story on how to handle prompt resource deallocation on non-local control flow, so I can't make the joke.
> Lambda expressions: Beginners will learn them idiomatically in the
> context of sorting a container. They won't get complicated until they
> start closing over references.
...but I can make it here!
> You're right that learning C++ to a level that you can write
> enterprise-grade software is a long and arduous education, but that
> doesn't mean that you have to jump in with both feet.
I guess I don't see the point of teaching C++ except as an elective. If you're a CS/EE major, you need to deal with the metal eventually, so you might as well go Python/Lua/Scheme then C then assembly. If you're not a CS/EE major, study Python/numpy and Excel, and run circles around the EEs.
: OK, towards the end, SICP goes pretty far in making its runtime just as annoying as real metal.