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a day of six (?) languages

I walked into my 9:25 class prepared to talk about various Prolog topics: arithmetic (and the difference between "=" and "is"), modifying the rulebase to remember state information, and recursion. But before I could get started on that, a student needed some help with the Ruby assignment I gave him two weeks ago.

In the 10:50 class, I planned to contrast Java classes and C++ classes, pointing out both the syntactic gotchas and the real semantic differences. Got sidetracked into explaining some Java issues that the students hadn't learned last year (the subtleties of writing a correct "equals()" method, and the difference between overriding and overloading).

The 12:15 class is in Scheme: I was planning to introduce conditionals today, but as usual, nobody had read the assigned reading so we spent the period writing Boolean-valued functions. Some students basically got it, while others are still doing the deer-in-the-headlights, no-idea-where-to-start thing, no matter how many times I have them work through the exact same step-by-step recipe. I've been teaching this course for ten years, and have never had a class this weak: I've already lopped ten chapters off the thirty I was hoping to cover in a semester, and they're not keeping up with even that reduced pace.

The 1:40 class is the two-student tutorial. Nominally about computer graphics, which we're doing in OpenGL and C++, but the two students are working on final projects, one of which is a compiler from Hammer to OpenGL. I had pointed out to the student that if he's parsing configuration files, he should consider using lex and/or yacc, so I was helping him with those languages. He's considering doing the project not in C++/lex/yacc but rather in Java/JavaCC, so he showed me some JavaCC. Meanwhile, the other student took time out from his graphics homework to tell me about the Factor language, a sort of Forth-made-practical that he's researching for a class presentation.

Anyway, I'm outa here, catching a plane tonight to a conference. Which will be mostly in English :-)

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Quelle dommage! (À propos de rien, tu me déjà manque....)