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RE: You must read this (20 May 99)

I spent several years supporting and teaching people occam in my Inmos

Basically, the TDS was before its time - I could never get people to
understand that removing the errors one by one saved time, as many of
the errors were a consequence of the first one.

Also, they believed they knew better than the compiler, and would turn
off all the error checking.

An amusing tale - I was running an occam course, and realised that they
were all US military (or contractors thereto). I asked them "I thought
you were all supposed to be programming in ADA?"

"Nah" came the reply "ADA is too European a language!"

- but there they were, working in a proprietary British language! They
did not see the irony of it.

One of the problems was that people were plunged into parallel
programming in most of the books and courses, rather than getting the
syntax of a new language correct first (in the tutorial book I wrote
that went with the CSA shrinkwrap kit, I got people through normal
sequential syntax before introducing the parallel stuff, and it seemed
to work better)

Tony Gore

Aspen Enterprises Limited
Aspen House, Burton Row, Brent Knoll, Somerset TA9 4BW.  UK
email  tony@xxxxxxxxxxxx (alternative if problems
tel +44-1278-761001  FAX +44-1278-760006  GSM +44-468-598570
URL: www.aspen.uk.com

-----Original Message-----
From: B.M. Cook [mailto:b.m.cook@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 1999 8:37 AM
To: P.H.Welch@xxxxxxxxx
Cc: ccrj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; occam-com@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: You must read this (20 May 99)

Dear All,

> If ever they wrote an occam program, it was over 14 years ago and
> they gave up on it " ... cos the compiler kept rejecting my code".

Maybe the education is/was in the wrong place.  Those error messages
pretty cryptic - until you understood them.  Perhaps compilers should
have a
(default) mode where they give verbose, precise and detailed
explanations of
why things like "usage check error" matter. (This worked well with a
FORTRAN compiler many years ago.)



| Barry M Cook, BSc, PhD, CEng, MBCS         Department of Computer
Science, |
| Chartered Information Systems Engineer.    Keele University,
|                                            Keele,
| Phone: +44 1782 583411                     Staffordshire,
| FAX:   +44 1782 713082                     ST5 5BG,
| email: barry@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx                UK.