[erlang-questions] "Erlang as a First Language" -- crazy? or just stupid?

Toby Thain toby@REDACTED
Thu Dec 24 18:40:42 CET 2009

On 24-Dec-09, at 8:11 AM, egarrulo wrote:

> 2009/12/24 Robert Raschke <rtrlists@REDACTED>
>> I understand that tools like IDEs are "nice to have", but they are  
>> not
>> programming.
>> About 80-90% of programming is thinking time. If it is not, then  
>> you are
>> experimenting, not designing and writing a system!
> I would agree if we were talking about skilled programmers. When  
> you're
> learning a new language, the amount of twiddling vs designing is  
> much more.
> Your understanding of how your program work is limited, and no  
> matter how
> long you stare at your misbehaving code, you will have a difficult  
> time
> understanding what and where it's breaking.

But this discipline is important even for proficient programmers. Why  
not develop it at the same time...

> Maybe I have this opinion
> because my first language has been C, and learning it without a  
> source level
> debugger

Mostly, I learned C without a computer to run it on. Just a copy of  
K&R. I still don't use source level debuggers, 24 years later.

> would have been much less efficient. What I've observed is that
> once people become proficient at a skill, they usually forget how  
> things can
> be difficult for a newcomer.

And if you learn by, and become accustomed to, source level  
debugging, would you not atrophy skills such as auditing code by eye  
and reasoning about it statically, and become tool reliant?

That's OK, I guess - it's just a different work style.


> OTOH, a huge IDE would be overkill, and would hamper learning.  
> That's why
> I've not recommended using Eclipse.

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