[Haskell-cafe] To [] Or Not To []

Richard A. O'Keefe ok at cs.otago.ac.nz
Fri Mar 17 04:44:31 UTC 2017

This department has participated in regional and international
programming contests at tertiary levels about as long as it has
been possible to do so.

One of the major problems for the organisers of such events
is ensuring that working environments for all permitted
programming languages are installed (and compatible) on the
machines the contestants will use.

These days with things like Docker it should be straightforward
to set this up once and just push it out to all the machines,
but it was not always so.

With respect to schools, the sad fact of the matter is that
school IT syllabi are often set without the input of any
really clued-up programmers.  The NZ curriculum was revised
not that long ago, and we had some input into it, as a result
of which I *think* Python is used in some classrooms.

I remember one programming contest where I was supposed to
be a local judge, but was ever so glad that nobody needed me,
as I spent the entire period *trying* to write and run
"Hello World" with Visual Age for Java, which I had never
previously seen, and never wish to see again.  Pity any
contestant who hadn't seen it...

So, if we want Haskell (or F#, or whatever) allowed,
 - it has to be taught by enough schools,
 - we have to make it easy for the organisers to install
   the same environment that the pupils will have used.

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