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Students, PB, and OO

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  • Students, PB, and OO

    Hello everyone,

    This is in response to the many OO debates I have read in the last while. I put this in a new thread as it actually relates to the last postings in Stephane Fonteyne thread named “Wish list for all versions of PB” but this topic has really nothing to do with the original thread title.

    As a member of the young-and-still-stupid programming group, I thought I would offer any insight I can give to you people, and to PowerBASIC.

    At this point in my education, I have completed three years of a five-year degree program. The fifth year comes from extra co-operative education work terms that take some extra time as well as your summer breaks. The program I’m in is offered by a local University-College (www.ucfv.bc.ca) and it is a degree in computer information systems (ie: an attempt to teach you everything.) This University-College is well known for turning out students who actually know something due to small class sizes (35) and lots of hands on training.

    From day one, we have been taught C++ programming as well as the OO approach that comes with it. Let me emphasise to you the lack of problem solving and procedural thinking skills that these students possess. As for these skill myself, what I have I do not possess from school, I self taught QuickBASIC 4.5 from age 14 onward. I learned C++ in my first year of University. Three years latter I finally stumbled across PB after a very bad run in with VJ++. Let me say that I’m now in heaven!

    Back to my main point. The percentage of programmers like my self is very small compared to the number of programmers coming out of school with only OO experience. Very soon there will not be any self-taught procedural programmers because the tools readily available will all be for OO languages. This is just the trend that will follow Kev Peel’s comment about Assembler programmers becoming rarer and rarer.

    Thus as you can see, many (not all) OO programmers get a huge smack in the face when they open up PB and can literally do nothing! They don’t know where to start even after reading the whole help file. This is not because they are not good programmers, it is just that their programming skills only come from an OO approach. Even my business partner, who has had the same schooling I have, is lost when he tries to put a PB program’s logic together. What these students can do (I don’t mean this is all they can do) is write the little code snippets that would go inside any small function of an object (and/or a callback function.) What they are missing is how to logically arrange and design a program without objects, as simple as this might sound to a procedural programmer.

    Again, I love PB just the way it is. Procedural thinking is my native language and while programming in OO, I actually just do a procedural to OO translation as I go. ***BUT***, if PB is going to make it in the long run (which I sure hope it does) it is going to have to develop OO into it. Of course, please do not take out or hinder the ability to program procedurally in PB when you add the OO to it The best of both worlds would be about perfect of course

    On another related note, I want to add (actually re-add an older course) an elective to my University-College’s CIS program that will teach procedural programming. Of course I will be pushing for PowerBASIC, as it allows for Assembler, BASIC, and C style coding to be used all at the same time. Does any one have any advice (insight) on offering a course such as this in a modern University-College? Do any exist? Also how much, if any, support would PowerBASIC have for such a course (if PowerBASIC was used)? For example, a good course material package and/or university rates for the purchase of PowerBASIC licences for the computer labs.

    Colin Schmidt,
    [email protected]

    -------------
    Colin Schmidt & James Duffy, Praxis Enterprises, Canada

  • #2
    Colin,

    PowerBASIC is taught at a number of universities and colleges. In fact, if you take a BASIC programming course at Harward, they use PowerBASIC 2.1 for DOS.

    Most of the schools that use PowerBASIC to teach BASIC programming use the "Learning BASIC" book that we sell. Each book comes with a copy of the 2.1 compiler for DOS. University bookstores carry the books which the students buy when taking the class.

    --Dave


    ------------------
    PowerBASIC Support
    mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
    Home of the BASIC Gurus
    www.basicguru.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello,

      How about a similar package (I know it would cost more) for PB/DLL 6? The reason for this is that I would like to tie low level procedural programming together with low level Windows programming. Both of which are not taught in other courses (locally anyway.) It would be an elective for third year so we would be able to put a fair amount into it without loosing everyone. Also, the more “new” material the course covers, the greater the chance of having it approved. With the amount of material though, the course would be meant as good starter only. No one is going to be a “good” low-level Windows programmer after taking this course. What they will have though is an understanding of how everything works together and how to tackle new problems. Thus the emphasis of the course would actually be problems solving using low level programming while using a modern OS.

      Feedback on these ideas is more than welcome.

      Thanks,
      Colin Schmidt

      ------------------
      Colin Schmidt & James Duffy, Praxis Enterprises, Canada

      Comment


      • #4
        Colin,

        We don't have any such package for PB/DLL or PB/CC. Just the one "Learning Basic" book at the moment.

        You could create your own course materials and then buy 20 or 30 licenses for PB/DLL for your students.

        --Dave


        ------------------
        PowerBASIC Support
        mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>
        Home of the BASIC Gurus
        www.basicguru.com

        Comment

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