[Edu-sig] Talking about "Handles"

Andre Roberge andre.roberge at gmail.com
Tue Oct 3 00:52:40 CEST 2006

(Fully aware of the potential problems of quoting out of context and
of the limitation of using analogies...)

On 10/2/06, Scott David Daniels <Scott.Daniels at acm.org> wrote:
> I'm catching up here, and just read the namespaces thing --
> How about "namespaces are like card catalogs in a closed stack library."

Analogies to library card catalogs would need to be explained to
today's kids (including those 1st year university students).  If any
analogy is going to be used, I think it should be a future looking one
- or, at least a "time-neutral" one.

I'd prefer something like
namespace <--> book
variable/function/object name <--> character's name in a book
two or more name for same object <--> character's name and alias(es)
or nickname(s)

That being said....  I believe that, just like for learning another
"human" language, nothing beats the "immersion paradigm" to learn any
language, including programming ones.  Just introduce the vocabulary,
use it in context with plenty of different examples and, soon enough,
the students will construct their own "mental map" without referring
to a translation in a different language.

André Roberge

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