[Edu-sig] re: Python Programming: An Introduction to ComputerScience

Laura Creighton lac at strakt.com
Fri Dec 19 04:17:33 EST 2003

In a message of Thu, 18 Dec 2003 10:43:49 PST, "Kirby Urner" writes:
>I dunno Arthur -- doesn't seem a cut and dried an issue to me.
>Open source is a relatively recent phenomenon and until recently, just about
>any language learning was going to involve using some commercial brand of
>licensed software.  Oft times, it was a university that was the licensee,
>so  students didn't have a sense of paying for it (separately), but that was
>before PCs came along.

?? Before PCs came along, open source was the norm at universities,
and all the universities I knew were teaching some sort of 'teaching
langauge', generally one they wrote themselves, or Pascal.
'Commercial programming' when it was done by people employed by
businesses, was in general done in COBOL or RPG.  Scientists used
FORTRAN.  University computer science departments didn't concern
themselves with such wordly things.  The universities did indeed pay
for the mainframes, and the operating systems which ran on them, of

The big switch happened when computer science departments became flooded
with people who wanted to be programmers, and they decided that it would
be a good idea to teach languages that people wanted to learn because
they would use them on the job, rather than languages you were guaranteed
to never ever see again unless you got a job at your university.



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