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Stanford CS101 Adopts JavaScript 255

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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