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Re: Where is Emacs Lisp taught ?

From: Garreau, Alexandre
Subject: Re: Where is Emacs Lisp taught ?
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2018 00:24:49 +0200
User-agent: Gnus (5.13), GNU Emacs 25.1.1 (i686-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.22.11) of 2017-09-15, modified by Debian

On 2018-10-24 at 18:02, Emanuel Berg wrote:
> Jean-Christophe Helary wrote:
>> I'm trying to gather information about Emacs
>> Lisp and specifically about where it is taught
>> (bootcamps/universities, etc.)
>> Has anybody information on that?
> I don't think that Emacs Lisp in particular is
> thought anywhere, but Lisp is thought at
> universities around the world, sometimes as
> part of courses in "functional programming",
> where other languages might be included as
> well, e.g. Haskell and Erlang (perhaps
> sometimes SML).

Until then I heard they teached scheme from college 2nd year in the
capital of the region (racket I guess, unless it’s mit-scheme), and
everywhere else afaik it’s OCaml in France (maybe nationalism?).

> And I think it is better to teach CL than Elisp, in all honesty...

I am not sure.  Elisp is often to be considered a bad language, but it
has the somewhat rare and paradoxal double advantage (peculiar to lisp,
but more extreme here) of both having a simple and naive implementation,
and yet being quite high level and extremely close to I/O.  It also is
quite much used (I bet its usage proportion is comparable to CL and
scheme united).

Those are obvious advantages when learning programming, and are main
reasons why so far I saw stupidities such as using javascript, (damn)
VisualBasic, or python, taught to students for learning programming:
easy GUI, very imperative style, ability to do more or less functional

But in reality, what is important is not GUI, but easy access to I/O (so
to easily develop concrete software that will solve concrete problems so
to better discover how programming is useful), and usage potential:
elisp, unlike scheme so far, has many interesting and powerful libraries
for interacting with the internet, files, keyboard, screen, and these
are extremely easy to use, compared to SDL C programming, VB GUI
programming, GTK interface usage, or even shellscripts sometimes.

I believe, especially in first year, what is important is give to
students what will make them want to pursue their studies, and, if they
fail or stop them, to keep programming stuff.  So they need an
environment regularly giving them interesting practical problems, and
making them easy to solve.  In this respect, unless using some bad
language such as python or javascript, differently bad languages such as
elisp and bash are going to be way more useful and simple to learn and
not to forgot.

I’d like to see some course introduce “emacs macros”, then some lisp
config, then progressively teach people how to program without them even
knowing it, like I saw it happened to some people before (like first
Gosling Emacs user, beside Gosling himself, iirc).  It would be cool.
We need more programming literacy in general population.

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