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Sorry for any inconvenience. The article mentions both Ada and Pascal — neither of which really "took off" outside of the States, with the former being used mainly by contractors of the US Dept. This is my own, personal, extension to the article — which I agree with — and why first year students should be taught C in first year.

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Java is a very high level language that has interesting features that make it easier for programmers. Libraries are fantastic. They offer an API and abstract a metric fuck tonne of work that a programmer doesn't care about.

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I don't care how the library works inside, just that I have a way of putting in input and getting expected output see my post on abstraction. I've extensively used libraries, even this week, for audio codec decoding. Libraries mean not reinventing the wheel and reusing code something students are discouraged from doing, as it's plagiarism, yet in the real world you are rewarded. Again, starting with C means that you appreciate the libraries more.

Managing your programs memory manually is a pain in the hole. We all know this after spending countless hours finding memory leaks in our programs. Java's inbuilt memory management tool is great — it saves me from having to do it. However, if I had have learned Java first, I would assume for a short amount of time that all languages managed memory for you or that all languages were shite compared to Java because they don't manage memory for you. Going from a "lesser" language like C to Java makes you appreciate the memory manager.

Java is a complex language that will spoil a first year student. As an example, my first year class was about 60 people, final year was 8. There are ways to keep students, possibly with other, easier, languages in the second semester of first year — so that students don't hate the subject when choosing the next years subject post exams.

Conversely, I could say that you should teach Java in first year and expand on more difficult languages like C or assembler which should be taught side by side, in my mind later down the line — keeping retention high in the initial years, and drilling down with each successive semester to more systems level programming. There's a time and place for Java, which I believe is third year or final year. This will keep Java fresh in the students mind while they are going job hunting after leaving the bosom of academia.

This will give them a good head start, as most companies are Java houses in Ireland. Filed in Programming No Comments. Wikipedia says:. In computer science , abstraction is the process by which data and programs are defined with a representation similar to its meaning semantics , while hiding away the implementation details.

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Abstraction tries to reduce and factor out details so that the programmer can focus on a few concepts at a time. A system can have several abstraction layers whereby different meanings and amounts of detail are exposed to the programmer.

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  • For example, low-level abstraction layers expose details of the hardware where the program is run , while high-level layers deal with the business logic of the program. That might be a bit too wordy for some people, and not at all clear. Here's my analogy of abstraction. If someone can drive a Manual transmission car, they can drive any Manual transmission car.

    Automatic drivers, sadly, cannot drive a Manual transmission drivers without "relearing" the car. That is an aside, we'll assume that all cars are Manual transmission cars — as is the case in Ireland for most cars.

    C++?? A Critique of C++ and Programming and Language Trends of the 1990s

    All I need to know, in order to drive a car — any car — is how to use the breaks, accelerator, steering wheel, clutch and transmission. Since I already know this in my car, I can abstract away your car and it's controls. I do not need to know the inner workings of your car in order to drive it, just the controls. I don't need to know how exactly the breaks work in your car, only that they work. I don't need to know, that your car has a turbo charger, only that when I push the accelerator, the car moves. I also don't need to know the exact revs that I should gear up or gear down although that would be better on the engine!

    Virtually all controls are the same. Standardization means that the clutch, break and accelerator are all in the same place, regardless of the car. This means that I do not need to relearn how a car works. To me, a car is just a car, and is interchangeable with any other car. As a programmer, or someone using a third party API for example , abstraction means not caring how the inner workings of some function works — Linked list data structure, variable names inside the function, the sorting algorithm used, etc — just that I have a standard preferable unchanging interface to do whatever I need to do.

    Abstraction can be taught of as a black box. For input, you get output.

    Why C and C++ are Awful Programming Languages

    That shouldn't be the case, but often is. We need abstraction so that, as a programmer, we can concentrate on other aspects of the program — this is the corner-stone for large scale, multi developer, software projects. I've explained this to a number of colleagues over the years, so I decided it was time to write it down so that it's more widely available and so that I don't have to explain it again.

    Let's be honest here. They're genuine professional power tools: they'll do what you ask them to really quickly, even if that is just to spin on the spot chopping peoples' legs off. Care required! It's just easier for most people to be productive in higher-level languages. Well, unless you're doing something where you have to be incredibly close to the metal like a device driver, but even then it's best to keep the amount of low-level code small and to try to get to use high-level things as soon as you can.

    One technique that is used quite a bit, especially by really experienced developers, is to split the program up into components that are then glued together. You can then write the components in a low-level language if necessary, but use the far superior gluing capabilities of a high-level language effectively. I know many people are very productive doing this. It is a more powerful successor to the FreeBSD 'unifdef' tool. Sunifdef is most useful to developers of constantly evolving products with large code bases, where preprocessor conditionals are used to configure the feature sets, APIs or implementations of different releases.

    In these environments, the code base steadily accumulates ifdef-pollution as transient configuration options become obsolete. Sunifdef can largely automate the recurrent task of purging redundant if logic from the code. Changes: Six bugs are fixed in this release. Five of these fixes tackle longstanding defects of sunifdef's parsing and evaluation of integer constants, a niche that has received little scrutiny since the tool branched from unifdef.

    This version provides robust parsing of hex, decimal, and octal numerals and arithmetic on them. However, sunifdef still evaluates all integer constants as ints and performs signed integer arithmetic upon them. This falls short of emulating the C preprocessor's arithmetic in limit cases, which is an unfixed defect. Readily available frameworks and APIs can make developers very productive. However, they can also limit developers' imagination, explains Overstock. One of Java's key strengths today is its multitude of APIs and frameworks, addressing a wide range of problem domains.

    Such APIs and frameworks provide ready-made answers to many programming problems. Indeed, programming in Java today is to a great extent an exercise in learning to identify and use APIs and frameworks suited to a problem area.

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    Using readily available APIs and frameworks can keep a developer at a fairly high level of abstraction: Part of a Java developer's productivity comes from not having to reinvent the wheel with every project-instead, a developer can apply high-level frameworks to a set of similar projects and problems, expecting generally high-quality results. While productivity is very important in a developer's work, so is originality and innovation.

    In a conversation at JavaOne earlier this year, Chris Maki, a principal software engineer at Overstock. When I first started as a software engineer And we tried to do that. Today, it seems like we look at the Java APIs and the different packages, and say, "Well, this is all we can do.

    Criticism of C++

    This is what the APIs tell us. Back in those days, we were doing more typical client-server type applications. We would have a database, and most of the logic was in what we would call a fat client today.

    Introduction to Inheritance in C++ Programming with example - OOPs with C++

    In the graphical or presentation layer, we would [use] animations One of the applications I was working on was a pipeline application, which doesn't sound very sexy or interesting, yet as data moved through the pipeline, we used animations to show pictures of the different places the product would go, have [part of the UI] fade in and fade out If I was going to do that in Java [today], it would seem to me like a daunting task, given the complexities of some of the Swing APIs.

    I know that they made a lot of improvements, but when I sit down to do an app today, I don't think [that] whatever I can think of I'm going to do. I typically think the APIs and the design patterns tell me I've got to do this [or that]. While we made a lot of improvements by having cross-platform code, and write once, deploy anywhere kind of things, we've also limited our thinking.