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 Turing: Why would you teach this?
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Cinjection




PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 8:56 pm   Post subject: Turing: Why would you teach this?

Ok, i'm in gr.9 and for my gr.10 class next year i'll be programming in Turing so i thought i'd get a head start on it. I'm experianced in both VB and C++ so it's not exactly difficult. It is thought, in my opinion, very stupid. First of all the difficulty between VB and Turing is very basic. Exept in VB you can actually get pretty nice apps going quickly. Some of the Turing syntax is just a little....wierd. Like for example:

code:

if (cat = "cool") then
put "Cats are cool"
else if (cars = "cool" then
put "Cars are cool"
end if
end if

The 'end if's. I think Turing is the only language that requires you to put endless end ifs. I don't think Turing supports switch..case statments(not sure though) but that is a good alternitive to the end ifs. Also some of the things just strike me as wierd....like the assignment operator
code:

cat := "cool"

Again i don't think := is the best way to teach programmers to work properly. It's a bunch of these little things, ya know. Like no end of line character. Most languages use it and its not hard to put a ; at the end to practice good programming. So i ask, is Turing really a good language to teach in schools?
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lyam_kaskade




PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:05 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

I never thought so. Though not for the reasons you give. Syntax is different in every programming language, it's something students will have to get used to. Not all languages end statements/commands with a semicolon. Python, for example.

I just don't like Turing because it's licensed. A scripting language like Python would be easy to learn, as well as practical.

EDIT:
Also, this is the Turing Help forum. Not sure if this is the correct place for a discussion like this, but I don't know where else it would go...
Mazer




PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:10 pm   Post subject: Re: Turing: Why would you teach this?

Cinjection wrote:
Ok, i'm in gr.9 and for my gr.10 class next year i'll be programming in Turing so i thought i'd get a head start on it. I'm experianced in both VB and C++ so it's not exactly difficult. It is thought, in my opinion, very stupid. First of all the difficulty between VB and Turing is very basic. Exept in VB you can actually get pretty nice apps going quickly. Some of the Turing syntax is just a little....wierd. Like for example:

code:

if (cat = "cool") then
put "Cats are cool"
else if (cars = "cool" then
put "Cars are cool"
end if
end if

The 'end if's. I think Turing is the only language that requires you to put endless end ifs. I don't think Turing supports switch..case statments(not sure though) but that is a good alternitive to the end ifs.

You were actually doing it wrong. Could be written as:
code:

if cat = "cool" then
    put "Cats are cool"
elsif cars = "cool" then
    put "Cars are cool"
end if

Yes, Turing supports case, though I never much cared to use it.

Cinjection wrote:
Also some of the things just strike me as wierd....like the assignment operator
code:

cat := "cool"

Again i don't think := is the best way to teach programmers to work properly. It's a bunch of these little things, ya know. Like no end of line character. Most languages use it and its not hard to put a ; at the end to practice good programming. So i ask, is Turing really a good language to teach in schools?

Well if it makes you feel better you can add semicolons to the end of each statement (yes, Turing will accept this), but why should it be necessary for a language?

Oh, and no, Turing isn't a good language to teach in schools.
[Gandalf]




PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:21 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

The thing you have to keep in mind is that most of the people this is being taught to have no idea about programming, so even this is hard for them. They need a language that is similar to english, but allows some programming environment so that the student can get used to it. There, as I am sure someone will point out, probably some better alternatives, but HoltSoft comes with a teaching package, deals for schools, and that kind of stuff. That's why I think that the people who don't know what they are talking about at school chose Turing.

Besides, then the student knows what they're up against. If they are clueless about Turing, then you know programming is just not for you.
wtd




PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:23 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

As has been said, Turing is not a terribly good teaching language, but then, neither are the languages you've mentioned also "knowing", and not for the reasons you've mentioned.

Turing has an equivalent to "switch" statements, and actually a bit more flexible.

The ":=" operator has as much precedent in "serious" languages as "=" for assignment. In fact, there's a very good argument to be made for "=" being best used for equality tests.

In the end, though, this is syntax. It's a small thing to quibble over.
Drakain Zeil




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:19 am   Post subject: (No subject)

I'm not sure why you added a second endif, but whatever.

Turing is good for teaching the basics. If you want something less basic go do java, C, C++, or PHP/sql
StarGateSG-1




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:03 am   Post subject: (No subject)

I think before you psot anymore opinion you should maybe learn the language, and ye sit shouldn't eb taught in school's but, I was peer tutoring a grade 9/10 programign and then had no clue what C++ was and didn't even understand it. this brings me to my next point, I can underatand that you know VB, but C++ at that age and understand it, I fine that hard to believe. Please feel happy to prove me worng, I just have never heard of someone at yoru age beening able to claim

Quote:

I'm experianced in both VB and C++
ZeroPaladn




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:26 am   Post subject: (No subject)

remind me again why i agree with you, stargate. i never even knew what programming was untill grade 10 Embarassed and i do NOt beleive that you know c++ off the back of your hand. not at that age. I know im flaming you but lying on a forums then dissing the programming language where you put the post is very low indeed.

EDIT

and i do beleive youve raped the TURING language there, buddy, cause your code is all bad.
Cinjection




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:19 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

It's just a bunch of these things. Like if you're going to teach OOP, why do it in Turing? It's like giving a bum the keys to a bank.To the dude who found it hard to believe i know both VB and C++, i have been programming in VB since i was 12 and i know quite a bit. As for C++, i've been doing bits and parts of it for months now. I've done classes, sturctures, all that stuff. I left off at MFC to play with Turing. At least i get to learn Java in Gr.11 and 12. My main point is that VB and Turing are both at about the same difficulty level. So why not teach the more practicle one?
wtd




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:39 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Drakain Zeil wrote:
I'm not sure why you added a second endif, but whatever.

Turing is good for teaching the basics. If you want something less basic go do java, C, C++, or PHP/sql


All of the other languages you mention are nearly as bain-dead as Turing. C++ is vaguely interesting, but it's also a mess.

How about we specify that an interactive interpreter should be a requirement of a good programming language for education?
[Gandalf]




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:23 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

wtd, what langage do you like? ruby? pascal? ocaml? I don't know...'
Problem is, all those "bain-dead" languages are what's used.

I started programming in emm, grade 5, but I am still not all that well good. Then again, from grade 5-7or 8 I barely tried going anywhere with by 1337 PWNAGE BASIC SKILLZ Laughing
Cinjection




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:26 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

C and C++ own Turing anyday. In my opinion the only language better and faster then C++ is Assemble. Obviously im not recommending that teachers teach C++ or Assemble for an beginners course, but honestly, how hard is VB?
wtd




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:32 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

[Gandalf] wrote:
wtd, what langage do you like? ruby? pascal? ocaml? I don't know...'


"The more languages you learn, the more you realize they all suck."

Wink

[Gandalf] wrote:
Problem is, all those "bain-dead" languages are what's used.


Used by whom? Lots of people, yes, but then... lots of people use Ruby, Python, O'Caml, Eiffel, Haskell, etc.

[Gandalf] wrote:
I started programming in emm, grade 5, but I am still not all that well good. Then again, from grade 5-7or 8 I barely tried going anywhere with by 1337 PWNAGE BASIC SKILLZ Laughing


Exactly!

With all due respect to the students here... you're not going to be doing anything all that "useful" during your education. Learning languages that "will help me get a job" isn't all that important when you're not immediately looking for a job.

What is important is learning concepts. And yes, this means practically applying those concepts, and testing them with real code, so you can see that it actually does what the textbooks say it will. This is why it's important to have a language that makes it easy to dive right in.
[Gandalf]




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:32 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

Its not the "hard" part that matters, its the point that VB is no better than Turing especially for learning. There is also the fact that the school board already has this in their curriculum, and have had it for a long while.

*EDIT*
Quote:
"The more languages you learn, the more you realize they all suck."

ahh, I see Smile. I guess now we know why new languages keep being created.
wtd




PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 4:23 pm   Post subject: (No subject)

[Gandalf] wrote:
Quote:
"The more languages you learn, the more you realize they all suck."

ahh, I see Smile. I guess now we know why new languages keep being created.


Yes.

Other bits of wisdom:

"It's better to be wrong, and know why, than to be right by chance."

"Don't learn what to do from those who have succeeded. As likely as not it has been a matter of luck. Learn what NOT to do from those who have failed. It's far more likely their circumstances arose from some logical progression of events."
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