Subject: Re: Beginner's Language?
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: 15 May 2001 02:02:03 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.ada,comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.smalltalk,comp.lang.basic,comp.lang.functional,comp.lang.scheme,comp.lang.perl
Message-ID: <9dq2mr$8bduv$>
Iain McNaughton  <> wrote:
| Oh, what the heck, here's my two cents:
| Seems to me that the best language for a beginner is BASIC. I'm quite
| serious about this. I don't mean Visual Basic, or any of the other
| recent extensions or amendments to BASIC; I mean original BASIC, as
| developed at Dartmouth in the 60s.

Not everyone will agree with you. In fact, some have been known to be
quite vehement about it, such as Dijkstra's classic flame:

	It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students
	that have ad a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers
	they are mentally multilated beyond hope of regeneration.[*]

In that same paper, he says somewhat similar things (in varying degrees)
about FORTRAN, PL/I, COBOL, APL, and (reading between the lines) Ada.

And since this thread included a considerable amount of Lisp/Scheme-bashing
because the syntax isn't "natural" (by some opinions), one more excerpt:

	Projects promoting programming in "natural language" are
	intrinsically doomed to fail.


[*] EWD 498 "How do we tell truths that might hurt?", pp.129-131
    in Edsger W. Dijkstra, "Selected Writing on Computing: A Personal
    Perspective" (Springer Verlag, 1982) ISBN 0-387-90652-5. Scanned
    version at <URL:>

Rob Warnock, 31-2-510
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