ASM, Clancy & Harvey, and Agile (Re: vintage computers in active use)

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Fri May 27 14:33:22 CDT 2016

> On May 27, 2016, at 3:25 PM, Fred Cisin <cisin at> wrote:
> ...
> Anyway, back to, . . .
> Clancy and Harvey reworked the UC undergraduate lower division (first two years) curriculum.  They setup a three course sequence at the core, consisting of "Abstraction", "Data Structures", and "Demystification". They called a meeting of local CS departments to tell us what we should switch over to teaching.

Those first two titles sound reasonable.  The third sounds strangely touchy-feely rather than like an engineering course.

> ...
> They declared, "Nobody programs in Assembly language any more, nor ever will again."
> ...
> They had a brilliant visionary concept of CS education.

I would not put it that way.  "Brilliant" is a term of praise, as is "visionary".

Someone who claims that "nobody programs in assembly language any more nor will ever again" does not merit those adjectives.  The correct adjectives would be "ignorant" and "myopic".  Those are the correct terms because their assertion is valid only if you limit yourself to a limited class of programmers, and ignore compiler writers, diagnostics programmers, BIOS engineers, bootloader programmers, or embedded systems developers, just to name a few.

I'm surprised that such people would be working at a supposedly highly regarded outfit like Berkeley.


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