[plt-scheme] Re: More pedagogic stuff

From: Marco Morazan (morazanm at gmail.com)
Date: Wed Aug 13 17:38:53 EDT 2008

On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 2:47 PM, Viera Proulx <vkp at ccs.neu.edu> wrote:

> Now that my students dutifully test every method in Java - because I gave
> them a tool that does not increase the difficulty of program design beyond
> what they already are doing --- I looked to see what the others do. Out of
> 20 popular Java textbooks not one asks for anything that resembles tests the
> way we know them. Maybe some println statements. They all include a two page
> sections where they explain that testing is important and people do it in
> real life.

Yes, we can certainly put in the trash all those Java books that
unnecessarily saturate the shelfs in bookstores. There is no doubt in
my mind that the development of tests and the practice of testing give
programmers insight into the problem they are solving and into the
design of their programs.

> It may not be science, but it is a disciplined practice.

I would argue it is on the verge of being a formal method and it is
certainly science. Specify a problem, design an experiment (the
program), run experiments (the testing), and draw conclusions
(arguments for program correctness). Is this not science?
Collectively, we are just a few steps away from program verification
in the UG curriculum. Quite exciting! :-)



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