[plt-scheme] Scheme contradictions

From: Stephen Bloch (sbloch at adelphi.edu)
Date: Mon Jul 31 10:25:58 EDT 2006

At 12:23 PM -0400 7/30/06, hendrik at topoi.pooq.com wrote:
>My son (who already can use C, Java, C++, Eiffel and has programmed his
>Nintendo DS) tried How To Design Programs and got totally bored long
>before he got to the meat of thr language.

I'm curious about the phrase "the meat of the language".  I would 
point out that HtDP doesn't claim to be about learning Scheme, it 
claims to be about learning to program, using as little Scheme as 
possible in order to do that.  One could write the same book in Java, 
or C++, but "as little Java as possible" or "as little C++ as 
possible" would be a lot more language, and the book would be a lot 
longer and harder to read.

That said, did your son work through the exercises in Chapter 12? 
That's usually the "moment of truth" for my students who come in 
thinking they already know how to program.  Chapters 12-17 should 
give him a bit of a workout.  If that's not sufficiently challenging, 
chapters 19-24 on higher-order functions should stretch his mind. 
State and mutation (chapters 34-37) will be nothing new for him, 
coming from C, Java, C++, etc., but some of the examples of things to 
do with them will be novel.  In particular, chapters 39-41 put state 
and higher-order functions together in a fascinating and non-obvious 
way to explain a lot of what's going on "behind the scenes" in Java 
and C++.
					Stephen Bloch
					sbloch at adelphi.edu

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