VisualAggression (Re: Some claims about Erlang (was Re: Erlang use in Italy))

Tue Apr 12 12:16:13 CEST 2005

The problem with students is that they WANT to be commodity building blocks. Nowadays people don't go to university because they are seeking knowledge, but because they want to be taught which buttons to press. (Usually accompanied by calling themselves "pragmatic".) I have been teaching molecular biology and bioinformatics for years and have just given it up, just because of this attitude. Java and VisualBashit are poorly designed but adorned with lots of trashy baubles -- imagine a Citroen 2CV with huge spoilers, holographic rallye stripes and a horn playing Beethoven's 5th symphony --, and that is what attracts people. Logic? Structure? Oh Lord! "We are pragmatic, we want to work with our hands, theory is not for us." People have even told me that they "could not understand" recursion and lambda, so it had to be no good.

So the gist of this is: If your audience are dummies, because they *want to be* dummies, you have to provide them with "XXX for dummies". Maybe we should seriously consider producing something like VisualErlang, or at least an EBuilder, as an addition to the existing Erlang "ecosystem"? I do not have any clear ideas how this could work, but it might be worthwhile.

-- Ruediger Marcus

> > "Who is teaching Erlang? All students take the
> > degree learning C, C++
> > and Java. This is what companies require"
> The C/C++/Java guy is not in the audience for stealing
> a march on the competition. He will change his tune
> only when the big companies tells him to (ask him
> about C# and you might catch him looking over his
> shoulder to see if Microsoft heard his comment). His
> students will likely be the interchangeable commodity
> building blocks that parts of the industry desire. Bah
> humbug.
> Best,
> Thomas

Chevalier Dr Dr Ruediger Marcus Flaig
   Institute for Immunology
   University of Heidelberg
   INF 305, D-69121 Heidelberg

"Drain you of your sanity,
Face the Thing That Should Not Be."

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