[Haskell-cafe] To  Or Not To 
jerzy.karczmarczuk at unicaen.fr
Fri Mar 17 03:04:54 UTC 2017
/Sorry, a looong message./
Le 16/03/2017 à 23:38, Brandon Allbery a écrit :
> programs are best written for clarity; the *compiler* should be
> optimizing, not the programmer, whenever possible.
A historical anecdote...
When something called 'cybernetics' ceased to be in the Soviet Union a
bourgeois pseudo-science whose aim was to enslave the the Class of
Workers, etc., and Russians and their satellites began to manufacture
computers, they managed quite fast to master the main idea of
interesting algorithms, exquisite data structures and their processing.
They COULD have invented some nice programming languages (we are at the
end of '50-ties...), but among many other calamities, their forerunners
said that they had some wonderful teams of very competent
mathematicians, who, once instructed how to program computers, would do
Wonders, in the name of the True Proletarian Science.
It was partly true (mathematicians, Andrey Markov Jr., Andrey Ershov,
etc., not necessarily the Proletarian Science...) .
So, when the ideal personage of THE Programmer became in US a cliché in
some science-fiction books (e.g., Asimov's), in the world of the True
Proletarian Science, very decent humans wasted a horrible amont of time
producing low-level codes, and neglecting completely the domain of
compilation... They managed to put Sputnik and Gagarin above our heads,
but programming languages did not evolve... [[Although the Snobol
language invented by Ralph Griswold, was partly based on the Markov
Now, the morale of this story?...
Wait a bit.
There is a pedagogical initiative, called the International Olympiad in
Informatics. ( http://www.ioinformatics.org/index.shtml ).
The evolution of this contest, participating countries, etc., is a very
interesting story, but here I want just to tell you something different.
In Wikipedia you will read that/*it is an annual competitive programming
competition for secondary school students. It is the second largest
olympiad, after International Mathematical Olympiad *//*
*//*The contest consists of two days of computer programming and
problem-solving of algorithmic nature. To deal with problems involving
very large amounts of data, it is necessary to have not only
programmers, "but also creative coders, who can dream up what it is that
the programmers need to tell the computer to do. The hard part isn't the
programming, but the mathematics underneath it.... "
*/Nice. And now: the TRUTH.*The only languages which are permitted are
C, C++, and Java*. Sorry, recently also Pascal, the Eastern Europe
insisted upon it.
I looked through the proposed tasks. A good percentage of them were
puzzles of logical kind. But no logical languages were allowed.
Something which can be coded in 12 lines of CLP, has to be
ceeplusjavaised on 8 pages, and the Jury acknowledges the speed and
efficiency of such programs... Laugh or weep?...
Functional languages? Anybody heard of them?...
Don't blame the Soviets, please... Look up the *British Informatics
Olympiad*. The rules I found randomly for the 2000 contest stipulated:
/*"The languages available will be Turbo Pascal and Turbo C/C++." */Yes,
not just C++, but compulsory Borland dialect.
Let's see the *ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest*. Rules:
/*"... They must submit solutions as programs in C, C++, Java or Python
(although it is not guaranteed every problem is solvable in Python)."
*/(Most probably the author doesn't know what Python is...)
This is the way we teach our youth to be creative ! In such a way we
inspire them to became "creative coders". You may think whatever you
wish, but I am convinced that the best part of the responsibility for
such a calamitous picture of the CS pedagogy, falls upon those
feeble-minded "professionals" who know better what is good, what is the
"main stream" which should be promoted, and what is "wrong", which
should be severely punished. The totalitarian (or fundamentalist)
doctrines are everywhere. Let's build some more huge screening walls,
and forbid the presence of people who think otherwise, and we shall be
L'absence de virus dans ce courrier électronique a été vérifiée par le logiciel antivirus Avast.
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