Rev v. Java - How to structure academic project? (kinda long)

Dar Scott dsc at swcp.com
Wed Oct 9 07:18:01 EDT 2002


On Wednesday, October 9, 2002, at 01:02 AM, Jim Witte wrote:

>   What I'm wondering is if anyone else here has any pertinent information 
> for background research into this type of programming psychology, or 
> studies done on an xTalk environment before.
>
>   I'd also like any ideas on how to formally test some of these theories.
>   One way would be to take two groups, teach one Java and another Rev
...
>   Another idea is to take a part of a class that just finished the Java 
> class here (C212), teach them some Rev, then give them a problem to solve 
> in Rev.

In such a proposal you might find competition with other languages such as 
G in LabView, Pascal in Delphi, Prograph, Visual Basic, JavaScript/HTML and 
so on.  Others have their favorites.

There might be an approach that does not require the direct experiment.  If 
you look at the lit, you might find that there are features and metrics of 
a language that contribute to productivity and other attributes of 
programming.  You might be able to count steps to set up a simple "hello 
world" application.  You might be able to count the "new" concepts to do 
that.  You might be able to keep track of the stress factors or potential 
bunny trails in the path to get there.

> Now, In Scheme, I'm probably going to get about 50 percent of it done.  In 
> C, I think I could have gotten about 70-100 percent of it done.  In Rev, I 
> think I might have been able to finish it, as well as making a nice 
> graphical representation of the network and a testing routine, almost "for 
> free"

I guess it depends on the programmer.  For an AI project, using Scheme 
would be much more productive for me than C.  However, for a neural net 
demo project I will be doing for a friend's book, I will use Revolution.

I actually like the Scheme and then Java approach, especially for CS majors.
   Perhaps Revolution would fit into a plan for non-majors.  Or as an intro 
for those CS majors with no exposure to programming and with no exposure to 
functions in math.  How about a Rev-Scheme-Java approach?  I think the 
immediate and incremental success in most Revolution tasks can contribute 
to learning.

Dar Scott




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