[Tutor] help with homework

Asokan Pichai pasokan at talentsprint.com
Mon Oct 29 10:15:32 CET 2012

On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM, Alan Gauld <alan.gauld at btinternet.com> wrote:
> On 29/10/12 08:37, Asokan Pichai wrote:
>>> teachers put stupid artificial constraints on your code,
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>> such as banning the use of len().
>> There may be legitimate learning outcomes for a teacher
>> to specify such conditions.
> In that case they should think up a scenario that requires the use of the
> construct that is most appropriate. Teachers should never encourage bad
> practice(*) and that's what this example does.
> It's valid to put constraints such as "do not use any external
> modules" or to use a specific construct if that's what's being taught.
> But it's never right to leave the student the freedom to use any solution
> *except* the one that is most logical and readily available.
>> In this case, learning to use a counter that is incremented
>> under certain conditions.
> But there are many better cases where that solution is needed rather than
> using len(). This one just sounds like lazy teaching.
> (*) Actually enforcing bad practice one to demonstrate the problems
> can be valid provided its followed immediately by the best practice
> alternative.

As a trainer, I believe using a bad example is WRONG; even to teach
how not to write. Better to critique the suggested bad answers and
explain why that is bad, rather than enforce a constraint that leads
to a bad way and then call it out as bad explain why.

That said, it *is* preferable IMO, not use such strong condemnation
without knowing full background.

Probably by now this is OT, so I should stop now.

Asokan Pichai

If a language is designed for non-programmers, soon only
non-programs get written in it.                 --- Anonymouse

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