Beginner's Language?

raj israelrt at optushome.com.au
Sun May 6 04:09:23 CEST 2001


Education is different from vocational training.
Vocational training is for plumbers and those who have to
start-work-right-now.
Education is  about understanding the fundamentals and the theory that
underlies the subject / the system / the "all".
Education is meant for those capable of   understanding the
fundamentals and the theory that underlies the subject / the system /
the "all".

In this context, I stand by my previous statements:
Lisp, Scheme, subsetted Ada, Smalltalk , Ruby , Python (and if
approached judiciously, even Java and C++) can be used usefully as a
language of discourse.

Perl while admirable as a tool for sys admins and wannabe-hackers  [
do you want your child to just become a sys-admin ? :-) ]  is a
linguistic mishmash  that tries to be all things to all programmers
and ends up becoming ( again to quote Larry Wall ) a "Pathologically
Eclectic Rubbish Lister".

If you really want to teach children to use a multiparadigm language,
try Oz / Mozart. It is has functional, object oriented, logic and
constraint based, features and has concurrency built in. Confusing ? 
Yes ! But unlike Perl, Mozart was DESIGNED  and did not grow by a
process of uglification / accretion.

Accretion is not necessarily bad. Just look at Lisp with it brilliant
metaobject protocol, multiple dispatch and CLOS. But to contemplate
teaching Perl or  Basic to children.........
Phaugh ! 




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