[plt-scheme] Debugger: How much work to implement?

From: Prabhakar Ragde (plragde at uwaterloo.ca)
Date: Tue Oct 12 20:00:02 EDT 2004

>Our script authors can create non-trivial applications with Macromedia
>Director (or Flash).  They code mostly by reading "cookbooks" and
>adapting sample code.  A few of them understand abstraction, as a
>concept, and can apply it in simple cases.  But in general, even
>though the script authors have created actual, useful Director
>applications (with attached scripts), they would never think of
>enrolling in CS101.

Forgive me if I'm being naive, but it sounds to me as if a better
approach would be to give your script authors some higher-level
skills. This notion of "adapting sample code" is what I'm trying to
stamp out by putting a first-year course based on HtDP in place; it
seems to me that we have a continent-wide crisis caused by Java
courses (among them the one implemented at my institution) which
produce "programmers" most of whose skills can be described in this
fashion. Can't you put them through a mini-course of some sort --
whether in Scheme or in real Director/Flash -- that will give them
some conceptual tools that they can bring to bear on their everyday
tasks? --PR

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