Jaime E. Villate
villate at gnu.org
Wed Oct 15 18:42:13 EDT 2003
On Wed, Oct 15, 2003 at 06:26:29PM +0200, Gerrit Holl wrote:
> I am a physics student, and next year, I will be teached Java.
> The same is true for (at least) Chemists and Elektrotechnicians.
> I am at the University of Twente, and I know that the Vrije
> Universititeit also teaches programming with Java. I'm not sure
> whether the Universiteit van Amsterdam also uses Java to teach
> physisians programming. In The Netherlands, there is not a big
> difference between more and less important universities.
I do not know Java very well, and even if I would not use it to
teach my students here in Portugal, I do not think there is anything
wrong with adopting it in a science course.
The only problem I see with Java is that some Java features are not
standard and will only work with SUN's proprietary versions;
it is better to avoid using those non-standard features and
write programs that can run with the free versions of Java.
As a physicist, I've had to use several different programming
languages during the last 25 years. Some years ago, Fortran used to be
the preferred language in Physics, mainly because there was a large
number of libraries already well tested; a lot of those libraries have
now been ported to C++ or C.
In some applications I had to use assembly language and in some other
cases I've even become an expert in Postscript as a programming
I think that it is good to get exposed to different languages. That's
why nowadays my choice for teaching would be Python, because it would
allow me to cover procedural programming as well as object oriented
programming and GUI applications without the overhead of a complicated
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