SICP & the Dumbing Down of American Comp Sci 
Author Message
 SICP & the Dumbing Down of American Comp Sci


Quote:
> C and Java are OK, certainly better than Cobol, fortran and Basic.

I'd debate you on that.  Cobol and Fortran are well suited to their niches
(batch and simple transaction oriented processing and numerical analysis and
computation) with basic language constructs that mesh well with them (same
with APL).  Basic, Java, and C have been pushed so far beyond their initial
niches (instruction, embedded control, and systems programming, resp.), and
have grown so much "hair" in the process that they are quite ugly by
comparison.

faa



Fri, 15 Mar 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 SICP & the Dumbing Down of American Comp Sci



Quote:



> > C and Java are OK, certainly better than Cobol, Fortran and Basic.

> I'd debate you on that.  Cobol and Fortran are well suited to their niches
> (batch and simple transaction oriented processing and numerical analysis
and
> computation) with basic language constructs that mesh well with them (same
> with APL).

I confess I rubbished Cobol only on the basis of the groans of Cobol users I
have known.  Maybe it's the work Cobol is used for rather than the language
which elicits those groans.   And yes, I would rather use Fortran than C for
numerical work.  The closest I've come to APL is J, and I found it to be
confusing because of differences between successive versions.

Quote:
> Basic, Java, and C have been pushed so far beyond their initial
> niches (instruction, embedded control, and systems programming, resp.),
and
> have grown so much "hair" in the process that they are quite ugly by
> comparison.

I disagree that Java and C are ugly, but I'm told I have bad taste by my
wife - and she ought to know!


Sat, 16 Mar 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 SICP & the Dumbing Down of American Comp Sci

Quote:



> > C and Java are OK, certainly better than Cobol, Fortran and Basic.

> I'd debate you on that.  Cobol and Fortran are well suited to their niches
> (batch and simple transaction oriented processing and numerical analysis and
> computation) with basic language constructs that mesh well with them (same
> with APL).

I'll debate YOU on that.  Cobol is terrible for its niche.  Trying to do
any but the most rudimentary data processing without dynamic memory
allocation is a pain in the *ss.
Quote:
> Basic, Java, and C have been pushed so far beyond their initial
> niches (instruction, embedded control, and systems programming, resp.), and
> have grown so much "hair" in the process that they are quite ugly by
> comparison.

> faa



Sat, 30 Mar 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 SICP & the Dumbing Down of American Comp Sci


Quote:



> > > C and Java are OK, certainly better than Cobol, Fortran and Basic.

> > I'd debate you on that.  Cobol and Fortran are well suited to their
niches
> > (batch and simple transaction oriented processing and numerical analysis
and
> > computation) with basic language constructs that mesh well with them
(same
> > with APL).

> I'll debate YOU on that.  Cobol is terrible for its niche.  Trying to do
> any but the most rudimentary data processing without dynamic memory
> allocation is a pain in the *ss.

Yeah, but one can say that it was never really meant for more than the "most
rudimentary data processing" tasks.  If you look at the world as a set of
sorted batch transaction and master record files (which WAS the niche when
the language first appeared), you find COBOL uniquely suited for its
purpose.  I know that people have tried to push it well beyond that niche
nowdays.  But remember that some COBOL systems now have objects (in fact, I
beleieve ANSI COBOL has had dynamic allocation since about 1980 or abouts).
Even so, I think if one really wants to do this "dynamic" stuff, one would
want to switch to a "modern" language like PL/I (note the I, pronounced
"one").

faa



Sat, 30 Mar 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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