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  1. #1
    lamborman is offline Member
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    Default Suggestion to Java developers: more accessibility

    I think next step for improving Java is trying to make sure that ALL operating systems come with some kind of a Java platform, so that Java programming is VERY accessible even to the stupidest, dumbest users who have never seen a computer before in their life.

    I think in the future compilers will be able to do so much for you, that programming will become simple enough, for EVERYONE to program well, and powerful enough for bigger and better programs.

  2. #2
    JosAH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamborman View Post
    I think in the future compilers will be able to do so much for you, that programming will become simple enough, for EVERYONE to program well, and powerful enough for bigger and better programs.
    That has been tried before in the late 50s of the previous century: there was the 'codasyl' that should enable managers and other ordinary people to read and possibly write code themselves; Cobol was built around that standard. It failed miserably: it needs clever folks to program in Cobol; managers still can't read it. Ordinary people still can't care less about it. And don't forget: anything that can be used by monkeys will only be used by monkeys.

    kind regards,

    Jos
    cenosillicaphobia: the fear for an empty beer glass

  3. #3
    lamborman is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosAH View Post
    That has been tried before in the late 50s of the previous century: there was the 'codasyl' that should enable managers and other ordinary people to read and possibly write code themselves; Cobol was built around that standard. It failed miserably: it needs clever folks to program in Cobol; managers still can't read it. Ordinary people still can't care less about it. And don't forget: anything that can be used by monkeys will only be used by monkeys.

    kind regards,

    Jos

    I don't want to insult you, honestly, but think about how weak your argument is.

    Computers back in the 50s\60s\70s, even computers 10 years ago vs Computers now. Honestly do I even need to point out the obvious.


    Languages have already come a long way. Compilers like Java already do ALOT of the work for you. Think Binary code, Assembly code vs Java, as technology improves, it's inevitable that, what now seems like advanced programing skill, will be just as accessible to normal folk as Windows and other Operating Systems make computers accessible to the ordinary(non computer interested people) today......

  4. #4
    gcalvin is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamborman View Post
    I don't want to insult you, honestly, but think about how weak your argument is.

    Computers back in the 50s\60s\70s, even computers 10 years ago vs Computers now. Honestly do I even need to point out the obvious.


    Languages have already come a long way. Compilers like Java already do ALOT of the work for you. Think Binary code, Assembly code vs Java, as technology improves, it's inevitable that, what now seems like advanced programing skill, will be just as accessible to normal folk as Windows and other Operating Systems make computers accessible to the ordinary(non computer interested people) today......
    I think you're confusing two different things. Yes, computers are easier to use now than they were 50 or 20 or 10 years ago. And yes, compilers and development tools have become more advanced as well, removing much of the drudgery for programmers. But that doesn't add up to programming being easier now than it was 50 years ago. The breadth of the field has grown so much that an individual developer knows only a tiny subset of a modern computer's capability. Java itself is limited by design (in order to be a cross-platform development environment) to a subset of what each device can do, and yet is quite tricky for bright people to learn, as evidenced by many posts in this forum. The things that are simple about programming have never been simple for everybody, and the things that are complex are becoming more complex.

    -Gary-

  5. #5
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    I don't care how awesome the language is, it wont make understanding data structures, O() notation, algorithm analysis, or good OOP techniques any easier. Without an understanding of these things, good code is impossible to write. No language will ever compensate for an ignorance of these topics.

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    quad64bit is offline Moderator
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    Oh yeah, and also, as Dijkstra pointed out in his paper back in the 80's - making CS easier for people has been to their detriment. CS students these days are comparatively clueless compared to our seniors 30-40 years back. I apologize if that offends you, but its true!

  7. #7
    JosAH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamborman View Post
    Languages have already come a long way. Compilers like Java already do ALOT of the work for you.
    That's where the discrepancy is: languages have indeed matured and computers have (more or less) matured but the demands, the wishes of the people without having the knowledge also have 'matured' (mind the quotes). People expect miracles from those machines without understanding, or even thinking, how these miracles are supposed to happen.

    Non-experts think by symptoms: if I press this, that is going to happen. Those people think in linear steps and can't imagine what several steps simultaneously can do. They also are full of assumptions. Computers are awfully bad at assumptions. Fuzzy logic, genetic programming, simulated annealing haven't made it either because nobody actually knows what these beasts do. I think the threshold is low enough as it is, there are already too many people in the ICT field who don't know what they're doing.

    kind regards,

    Jos
    cenosillicaphobia: the fear for an empty beer glass

  8. #8
    hadi is offline Member
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    so that Java programming is VERY accessible even to the stupidest, dumbest users

    There is no such thing as stupidest .

  9. #9
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is offline Crazy Cat Lady
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    And don't forget that understanding the syntax of a language isn't the only thing it takes to be a programmer. Problem solving, developing an algorithm, testing, and many other aspects all go into making a good programmer. Simply making the syntax easier won't help the "dumbest users" be good programmers.

    Sure, you don't have to be a good programmer to be a good problem solver. But there is a certain mindset required to write good programs that only comes after years of experience, working in a language. Hand a non-programmer a basic programming assignment- I would bet that most people wouldn't even be able to tell you what it's asking, let alone begin trying to think about an algorithm that solves it.

    Then there's the interest factor. How many potentially good programmers are out there, that would love to write some code, but are stopped by the fact that they might have to learn some syntax? I would argue that most people with an interest in programming are the people that don't mind learning some syntax. The rest of the people don't care enough, and they wouldn't care enough to use whatever "accessible" language you're thinking of.

    And plus, it's been done before. There are quite a few resources out there that let you write programs without writing any code. This is especially used to teach kids basic programming concepts, but some are also designed for people who might have an interest in programs, but not programming.

    See also:

    Alice.org
    YoYo Games | Make
    Lego Mindstorms NXT - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    List of educational programming languages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
    Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn from game tutorials and source code, upload your own games!

  10. #10
    toadaly is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamborman View Post
    I think in the future compilers will be able to do so much for you, that programming will become simple enough, for EVERYONE to program well, and powerful enough for bigger and better programs.
    In the future, maybe, but not in the present. If the day comes where programming can be done in plain language, and consists of basically a person stating what they want and the computer explaining to them why that's impossible and what they really need instead...well that'll be fantastic.

    ...but it won't be Java or anything we would recognize as a programming language. As simple as Java is, it's still 1000x too complex for the average person to comprehend, and still takes years for someone who's smart and dedicated to really master it.

  11. #11
    JosAH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadi View Post
    There is no such thing as stupidest .
    True, stupidity goes down, all the way to (minus?) infinity.

    kind regards,

    Jos
    cenosillicaphobia: the fear for an empty beer glass

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