[Fsf Education] Programming Languages

Raju Mathur raju@linux-delhi.org
Thu, 31 Oct 2002 10:53:00 +0530

>>>>> "RKM" == Ramakrishnan M <gnu@vsnl.net> writes:

    RKM>  || On Wed, 30 Oct 2002 20:16:31 +0530 || Raju Mathur
    RKM> <raju@linux-delhi.org> wrote:

    rm> I'd say Python.  Even though I personally prefer Perl for my
    rm> own programming, I appreciate that it takes some getting used
    rm> to.  Python

    RKM> The original topic was "Which language should students on
    RKM> Kerala learn" ?

    RKM> Arun, hope you did not miss out any other word from this,
    RKM> which can quite alter the topic. The word is "first". :-)

    RKM> First of all, I don't think learning (one) "language" as a
    RKM> recipe for every programming problem is a nice idea. People
    RKM> program computers (which itself has a vague definition now a
    RKM> days) for different purposes. I do signal processing using
    RKM> computers (which does not include any form of input from
    RKM> humans). Using Perl or Python or Lisp for that purpose is
    RKM> ridiculous. We are talking about micro-seconds of processing
    RKM> times. The average amount of "high level language" (which
    RKM> sadly include C and only C most of the time) in the sort of
    RKM> programs we do is roughly 5% (in terms of program memory, and
    RKM> number of instructions ..yes we talk of program memory and
    RKM> *not* number of lines).

    RKM> Yes, school students of Kerala do not to Signal Processing,
    RKM> but I was just trying to give an example that learning and
    RKM> using "one programming language" as a recipe for all problems
    RKM> is a plain bad idea.

    RKM> So may be you might want to re-phrase the original post.

    rm> is easy to learn and brings out OO concepts in a nice fashion.
    rm> It still uses whitespace as syntax, but one can't have
    rm> everything :-)

    RKM> OO concepts ?? For school students of Kerala (assuming
    RKM> students implies school students) ?? What more are they
    RKM> supposed to learn ?

    RKM> Let's first list the requirements first and then debate the
    RKM> rest. Again, the phrase in the original post is a bit
    RKM> vague...

    RKM> I believe, one should use different language for different
    RKM> purposes. There is no one stop programming language for any
    RKM> given problem. That's the reason why we have so many
    RKM> languages + some cracks decided to remove brackets and
    RKM> decided to use white spaces instead and thus enforce the use
    RKM> of an intelligent editor!!

    rm> The students can move to Perl once they have some experience
    rm> under their belts and are ready for a language that Takes Off
    rm> Its Shirt and Gets To Work ;-)

    RKM> And make everyone's life difficult by writing write-only
    RKM> programs, use same variables in all possible name spaces and
    RKM> do all sort of funky stuff.

    RKM> They will all end up as bad programmers in their later
    RKM> life... :-)

So, what's your point?

-- Raju
Raju Mathur               raju@kandalaya.org      http://kandalaya.org/
                      It is the mind that moves