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Re: first programming languages, and second ones too

I don't want to get too far away from the purpose of this newsgroup, but
I wouldn't recommend C as an immediate successor to Scheme in a
SICP-based course.  The major reasons are the convoluted syntax and the
lack of reasonable response to run-time errors. I've taught courses
using C at the second and third year levels for years, and I know for a
fact that students find both of these almost insuperable. 

I am, however, in agreement with gjc that the right way to teach these
languages is by having the students work on a Scheme evaluator. That's
certainly what we had in mind. 

As for going directly to assembler: in our course, we won't be using the
approach SICP uses to assembly language. We're going to introduce a
fairly conventional hypothetical machine, and then explain its behaviour
on the register transfer level. This seems more appropriate than the
SIPC one in a course which is aimed at non-electrical engineers.

\    Vincent Manis <manis@cs.ubc.ca>      "There is no law that vulgarity and
 \   Department of Computer Science      literary excellence cannot coexist."
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