[OT] Re: Who modified my local variable?

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Tue Jun 13 15:15:15 MDT 2006

On Tue, 13 Jun 2006 at 14:21 -0600, Michael L Torrie wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-06-13 at 14:12 -0600, Hans Fugal wrote:
> > I doubt Java's goals included training students to program in C/C++.
> > You sound silly.
> Well, like it or not, Java is used now as a training language in most CS
> programs across the country.  And yes it is silly.

Training for programming in general. Silly or not, that is distinct from
training specifically for C/C++. Nobody would use Java to train
specifically for C++, they'd just use C++. Your assumption that C++ is
the end goal is not the only valid viewpoint.

> > That's a valid approach. In either case, students are going to have to
> > _understand_ the memory model of C++ to avoid memory leaks. This doesn't
> > happen automatically with either approach. 
> True, but having dealt with the harder approach, students may find it
> easier to work with the easier, better approaches.  As a sort-of-related
> example, I find that in my experience, Linux developers are much, much
> better able to transition to developing for Windows than Windows
> developers are able to move to developing for Linux or any Unix.

I agree, but the amount of work involved in learning the harder approach
is not smaller just because you learn it first.

It's simply a matter of depth. The deeper your understanding, the better
off you are, but also the more work it took to get where you are. If you
do have the depth of understanding, you know the difference between new
in C++ and new in Java. If you don't have the depth, well then you're
still a terribly C++ programmer whether you started in Java or not.

Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net
There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the 
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
    -- Johann Sebastian Bach
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