Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Apr 2007 16:35 UTC, submitted by ShlomiFish
General Development "What makes programming languages are suitable or unsuitable as introductory languages? Which languages are better learnt first and at which order? And why what the masses think is the most suitable introductory programming language is not in fact that. This paper examines several approaches to which programming language is the best, and afterwards gives several useful relations for which languages should come first. Finally it gives a final verdict, defends it and then gives some other good food for thought."
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by mtn-_- on Wed 11th Apr 2007 21:37 UTC
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At our university we started with Eiffel. I programmed C/C++, Java, Basic, PHP and Perl for more than 9 years before. Imagine me as being some kind of arrogant against this new language. I was pissed because I _had_ to learn Eiffel.
Why no curly braces? Why "%N" instead of "\n"? These were my first impressions... but soon they changed.
As we continued using Eiffel and studied it in deep and compared it to other languages I more and more came to the conclusion that Eiffel is the way to go.
Eiffel made me a better programmer in an overall manner.
This is because it is clean OO. It has proper multiple inheritance. And it has many many fundamental principles just implemented in a sound way.
"Uniform access" for example just to mention one.

Software Engineering without Design By Contract is just not the same. Of course you can write in a comment that you expect a non empty string. But Eiffel enforces you by checking such statements at runtime and it integrates it nicely into the documentation, where it belongs! Otherwise one simply happens to read the documentation and uses the function in a wrong way.

So it is a pity that the author did not consider Eiffel. Most likely because the author did not think of it. But now everyone should... :-)

Edited 2007-04-11 21:39

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