Good brush up for people like me that thought with a little mixed in ignorance Lambda expressions are a newish programming thing. I think one of the true testiments that your a geek is if during Lecture 1a you have an itch that hmm should I download March CTP
of Orcas to define my own GoodEnough...
Anyways fascinating lectures thus far only as far as lecture 3. The material is a little dense but fun. Suprisingly approachable.
Good call, these are great lectures. I've watched the first 5 or 6 lectures a couple of years ago when MIT first put up the OpenCourseWare site, but because I can't apply a lot of the concepts to my "real job code", and because I started to get lost (I couldn't
get a decent interpreter installed to actually try this stuff out), I never finished. Now I get to try to put it into practice. F# looks simply perfect for this. C# perhaps, but that remains to be seen.
Seriously, I've contemplated going through every sample in the Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs in turn and try to make C# and F# versions. Perhaps I'll be ambitious enough to try if I can ever I get this Orcas May CTP VPC image decompressed
Ooooh Lambda expressions are old. Really old. They get just popular right now, because of the Microsoft's effort to add them to their languages.
When I took computer science at Berkeley (around 1998) the first course was taught in Scheme, so I had my introduction to Lambda expressions then. I think their approach to teaching was right, because I think its important to understand concepts behind programming
first. You can always learn the syntax of a new language.
Of course I already understood the basics of programming before I started--which you're supposed to in order to enter the first course, there's an entry exam--otherwise you take a lower level introductory course taught in C++. The entry exam is basically just
being able to write a recursive algorithm. After the Scheme course, you take one in Java, then in assembly.
But even before I studied computer science, I always wanted the ability to do something like a lambda expression. It just makes programming more flexible and natural from the perspective of abstract logic.
I really think though, if they're not already, the nix geeks at universities have to take seriously some of the projects at Microsoft that have germinated from Microsoft research, because I think they're based on important concepts. I didn't do a degree in
computer science, so I don't know that they don't already for certain, but I think they need serious courses on user interfaces. I think it would also be important to offer courses on the history of programming languages and the history of UIs.
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