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Education Programming News

Stanford CS101 Adopts JavaScript 255

Posted by Soulskill
from the think-of-the-children dept.
mikejuk writes "In case further proof were needed that JavaScript shall indeed inherit the earth, we have the news that Stanford has adopted JavaScript to teach CS101 — Introduction to Computing Principles: 'The essential ideas of computing via little phrases of JavaScript code.' You can even try it out for yourself at Stanford's course page."
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Stanford CS101 Adopts JavaScript

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  • Re:Ideal IDE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki&cox,net> on Monday July 11, 2011 @02:56PM (#36724636)

    oh god no.

    JS is a HORRIBLE language to teach newbies.

    From my point of view, JS is a horrible kludge of compromises and should be left up to coders who have a more firm grasp of object orientation, types(Yes, it's loosely typed, but beginning CS should really enforce both the ideas that data, whether it's strings, ints, etc, is just a pile of number values, but also how important it is to abstract that out) and algorithms. That being said, JS isn't a bad *language* per-se in reality, once you understand the limitations it presents, and as well, how to best wring out functionality out of it's flexibility.

  • by ToSeek (529348) on Monday July 11, 2011 @03:04PM (#36724810)
    The James Webb Space Telescope - if it's ever actually launched - will run its onboard science operations using scripts written in a tailored version of JavaScript.
  • Re:Ideal IDE (Score:4, Insightful)

    by memyselfandeye (1849868) on Monday July 11, 2011 @03:19PM (#36725062)

    It's Ok. Next year they'll be teaching Rails.

    Q) Can you tell me the difference between FIFO and LIFO?
    A) Nope, but I can open a new window on a browser using BOTH client side and server side scripting. That's because I went to Stanford. It's a totally cutting edge difficult school!

    Seriously though, I think this has to be a very introductory course for CS students with zero programming experience or a light course for non CS students. By the start of their second year, Stanford CS students will be doing Operating System Designs in C, I checked their curriculum. It's exactly the same as mine 10 years ago. Our intro was parsing text and learning loops in C, and most kids needed a crap load of help to get Borland going on their computer. I can totally understand using a scripting language that just needs a browser. It probably could have been harder for me and these guys, but most of us were/will be struggling enough in chemistry and electronics 101 to give a fart. By year 2 they'll be writing buffer outputs in ASM and building disk caches in C. Should they go on to graduate school, they'll be writing in languages their advisor has developed that many 3 other people on the planet have any familiarity with.

    I remember my first job interview. "Give me a book and a couple weeks" was the answer to "We think you'll be a good fit, but what other languages can you program in."

  • Re:whither MIX? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by idontgno (624372) on Monday July 11, 2011 @03:41PM (#36725356) Journal

    You have to separate the Real Programmers from the whiny trembling wannabees. Assembler is the equivalent of using blanks during "live-fire" training. Any high-order language is like a bunch of guys shouting "POW! POW! BANG! RATATATATAT!" at the trainees while they lackadaisically low-crawl through the not-very-muddy mud.

    If you want programmers that won't flinch when the loading ramp on the assault boat drops, you need to start them on machine code. Maybe a rational and internally-consistent architecture, like VAX; after all, this isn't special forces training. (For that, we should use architectures like Intel 80286.)

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