Teaching kids about computers...

Roy J. Tellason rtellason at verizon.net
Mon Nov 26 11:41:16 CST 2007

On Friday 23 November 2007 22:40, M H Stein wrote:
> --------------Original Messages:
> Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 12:58:17 -0500
> From: "Roy J. Tellason" <rtellason at verizon.net>
> Subject: Re: Teaching kids about computers...
> On Thursday 22 November 2007 18:48, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> > Good point.  There is the concept of "depth" of understanding.  Many
> > people who regard themselves as programming professionals would be
> > lost without an operating system.    Some would be lost without an
> > assembler.  And, sad to say, some would be lost without some sort of
> > Java facility.
> This reminds me of folks I used to run into back in the day that considered
> themselves "programmers" -- in dbase!
> > For some, that's not sufficient.  Understanding how a disk drive
> > works or what goes on over a TCP/IP connection is essential to them.
> Some of us actually enjoy that sort of thing and some just want to be able
> to use the end result,  or maybe tweak it a bit.
> ------------Reply:
> Well, you've just insulted several thousand professional dBase programmers,
> myself included, with your elitist snobbery. I would guess that a competent
> dBase programmer would probably have the average small database program
> completed and delivered in the time it would take just to lay out, code and
> debug the necessary file- and screen-handling routines in most of the other
> comparable languages of the day, at least until you'd built up a decent and
> relevant library.

I would tend to assume that having those libraries on hand ahead of time would 
be a prerequisite to trying to do that sort of an application.  I know that 
when I worked on some of that stuff I spent an awful lot of time trying to 
get that part right.

> Tools are developed to make a job easier and do it better; in my opinion
> taking advantage of those tools and doing things "the easy way" makes you
> more professional, not less.

No argument there.  My comment wasn't directed at the "professionals" you 
refer to above,  but to some of the folks that tended to use 
the "conversational" aspects of that software to get things done.  A fair 
amount of it that I encountered was truly awful.

Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and
ablest -- form of life in this section of space,  a critter that can
be killed but can't be tamed.  --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James 
M Dakin

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