[plt-scheme] The perfect teaching language--Is this too much to ask for?

From: hendrik at topoi.pooq.com (hendrik at topoi.pooq.com)
Date: Sat Jun 13 23:50:19 EDT 2009

On Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 11:22:03PM -0400, Todd O'Bryan wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 7:36 PM, Matthias Felleisen<matthias at ccs.neu.edu> wrote:
> >
> > On Jun 13, 2009, at 7:04 PM, Todd O'Bryan wrote:
> >
> >> or am I still not correctly verbalizing/understanding what I'm asking for?
> >
> > You are but like a typical consumer and many computer scientists, you are
> > proposing a solution instead of stating and describing the problem.
> >
> That's largely because the problem reduces to, "I think there's
> something wrong that could be improved and I have a vague sense of
> what's wrong and what might fix it." Thanks for bearing with me.
> > 1. We made the decision to go without static types for good reason. You
> > don't want types (at the beginning).
> I really do (maybe wrongly). Because if I don't have types at the
> beginning, by the time types really count, students don't take them
> seriously.

Yeah... But if you have type from the start, students don't see the 
point.  Types are just something that gets in the way of getting thir 
code running....  This breeds a desire for typeless langauges.

I've learned that a rigorous static type-checker will catch almost 
all of my programming errors.  I've had programs of a thousand lines run 
correctly the first time I get them through the compiler.

But I would never have learned to appreciate strong static typing if I 
hadn't spent a lot of time without it.

So perhaps you want a language that runs in two modes -- one typeless, 
to have everything crash regularly or get into hopeless data structure 
tangles, and one typed, where it tells you everything wrong at the 

-- hendrik

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