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davorg (18)

davorg
  dave@dave.org.uk
http://dave.org.uk/
Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Thursday November 15, 2001
04:16 AM

Scenes From a Training Course

[ #1256 ]

This beginners training course is proving to be very interesting. Here are a couple of scenes from yesterday's class. Our protaganists are davorg. (the trainer, our hero) and Visual Basic Programmer[1].

Scene One: [davorg is standing at the front of the class and is explaining a slide that introduces the comparison operators (==, !=, etc.)]

VBP: Excuse me, but why do you use two equals signs to test for equality?

d: Because Perl needs to differentiate between assignment (=) and comparision (==). Many other languages (C, Pascal and Java for example) do the same thing. How does VB do it?

VBP: VB just uses the single equals for both.

d: OK. So how does it know if you're doing an assignment or a comparison?

VBP: Well, if you're in an if statement then it must be comparision.

d: But that stops you from doing an assignment within a conditional expression.

VBP: True, but why would you want to do that?

[At this point other members of the class with experience in C and Java chime in with examples of why it's useful to have an assignment in a conditional expression, but VBP remains unconvinced.]

Scene 2: [After the course has finished. davorg is talking to VBP in order to get more understanding of his programming experience.]

VBP: Have you looked at C# at all?

d: No, I haven't, but I know people who have and say it's quite a nice looking language. Not sure that I'd use it though, as I don't like the idea of paying for a programming language.

VBP: Oh, I see. Personally, I'm far happier using a language with proper support.

[Exit davorg, stage right, stifling major giggles.]

Note to self: Take another look at VB's syntax before the next class on Monday.

[1] I didn't mention it before, but after the first day this person told me that Perl looked like a pretty good language but that he was used to something more powerful like VB.

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  • Actually assignment not being an expression was the one thing I couldn't stand about C#. It's really quite frustrating to have to live in languages without that feature.
    • I like languages enforcing style on me. It's easier to get to the point where I can be an expert in that language, because I don't have to worry about thinking for myself or coming up with a style that works for me. When the language can tell me what is best, I feel safer and smarter and thus happier.
  • That's all I can say. Proper support? I guess if you like paying $100/hr over the phone, waiting on hold and what-not. Open source rules in that book, hands down and always will rule. It's nearly impossible to have a closed-book be supported well by a limited few people who have the "keys".

    But ya know ... 20 Million VBP can't be wrong! *laugh*

    Jason