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On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:34 AM, steve donovan
<> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 8:27 PM, Coda Highland <> wrote:
>> I need to learn Rust one of these days. Go... does not impress me, and
>> I'm a Xoogler. I just don't get it.
> Rust is very ... educational, in a good sense of the word. It's a
> useful corrective for people who have been swimming in a sea of
> mutable references all their lives, and are tired of shark bites.
> Ultimately less complex than C++, but it's sufficiently different to
> be hard for both new comers and experienced pros.

*bookmarks* Someday...

>> Absolutely! That's why I said Scheme is a great second language --
>> introduce it after the students have gotten past the "this is how to
>> make the computer do what you want it to do" stage, bring in some new
>> fundamentals, really broaden horizons.
> Computer science departments used to do this, alas. My old friend who
> used to work in the CS department where I grew up, said that it
> leveled the field and got people thinking.

Heh. "Leveling the field" might be a less accurate description than
"winnowing the chaff." My CS senior capstone class in college was
taught in Scheme, and I think that one class did more for me as an
engineer than the rest of my four years, but I couldn't believe how
many people had theoretically gone through essentially the same
curriculum I had leading up to that point but couldn't hash it in that

I lost points on one assignment because we were supposed to take a
module written in the previous assignment by another student and use
that to implement a larger program. Unfortunately, the module I
received was completely nonfunctional -- so utterly wrong that there
was no hope of merely debugging it; I had to completely rewrite it,
and my professor chewed me out for not following the instructions.

> But our dear Lua is in fact descended from Scheme as much as she is an
> Algol derivative, so I think we can make that 'second language' case
> for her as well.

Eh. That same argument could be used to justify Javascript in that
role. Not sure I'd recommend THAT, and largely for the same reason --
just because they SUPPORT functional programming doesn't mean anyone
actually writes code that way.

> Double alas, people focus too much on vocational training rather than
> foundational education. Students want something 'useful' on their
> resume, and haven't had enough exposure to know that it's more
> important to know how to learn a programming language, than to learn a
> specific one.  They want their takeaway fish, and aren't interested in
> a fishing rod.

Well, there's two sides of the coin there, as I mentioned upthread:
For the people for whom programming is incidental to their careers,
vocational training is probably the RIGHT choice.

/s/ Adam