Writing solid code book

Bob Gailer bgailer at alum.rpi.edu
Thu Sep 4 13:33:36 CEST 2003


At 10:00 PM 9/3/2003 -0600, you wrote:
>[snip]
>My "Software Engineering" class votes again tomorrow on the language we use
>for our group project.  Tuesday's vote was Java (8 votes), Python (5), C++
>(3), and Smalltalk (1); Thursday's vote will be between Java and Python.  I
>get the opportunity to learn one or the other in a week.

Does your class want to learn Software Engineering or does it want to learn 
a language. If the focus is on learning Software Engineering and the 
learning of a language is to support that, the less effort you have to put 
into learning (and using) the language the more time and energy you'll have 
to learn and apply engineering concepts.

One of the first "productivity languages" was APL. One could solve problems 
in a fraction of the time it took in FORTRAN etc. In the early 1970s a 
college class was given a term project - write a program to solve something 
related to the course subject. Some students wrote the APL solution and 
turned it in the following day. The prof was pissed that they had done it 
so easily, and forbade the use of APL for the assignment!

So beware of choosing Python. It might make the class too easy.

Bob Gailer
bgailer at alum.rpi.edu
303 442 2625
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