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Re: What is a lightweight language

Dan Sugalski wrote:

> Don't dismiss or discount psychological hurdles. Bad, *bad* idea. They're 
> by far the biggest problem--the technical issues almost always pale in 
> comparison.

I suspect I have spent at least as much time as you have thinking
about the psychology -- both perceived and observed -- of students
learning to program for the first time.  We also developed a
comprehensive programming environment -- DrScheme -- designed
specifically to addresses the care of beginners.

So, yeah, I'd say we have the psychology angle held down okay.

I think Joe Marshall's objection is strange, and hopefully isolated.
Maybe at MIT, they specialize in scaring their students by throwing
big words like "continuation" (more than two syllables) at them.  Most
of the rest of us get by without resorting to this.  As a result, our
students learn Scheme the *exact same way* they learn any other
language: a little bit at a time.

I don't see why something called a "continuation" should inspire any
more fear in someone who doesn't know them (*and* -- and this is key
here -- hasn't been told to be scared of them) any more than the
existence of a feature called "globbing" (which sounds like something
that hides under your bed and only comes out at night) should.