On Wed 25 May 2005 14:15, Ronan Cunniffe wrote:
> > Computer languages are just there to do a job.
> > The best language depends on the job.
> > There is no such thing as "a good first language", IMHO.
> > Is Russian a good first language? Sanskrit? Italian?
>> Okay, I'll bite.
>> Timothy, would you say that the Roman numeral system (i.e. II + II = IV)
> is a good first notation for teaching somebody arithmetic?
No, it's not a good first notation because nobody uses it,
which is exactly my point.
It's pretty obvious the decimal system is not the best notation -
logically, hexadecimal would be much better.
But since one normally learns to count in order to count,
it is better to learn the system that everyone uses.
> You'd probably agree that introducing somebody via an obfuscatory
> morass that *actively* kills off exploration of more advanced ideas is not
> a good idea.
In my view, people should be taught programming in order to write programs
which hopefully do something interesting
like deleting advertisements from TV programs.
e-mail (<80k only): tim /at/ birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
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