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Which syntax to teach ?
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Date: 2007-10-24 (23:10)
From: Jon Harrop <jon@f...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Which syntax to teach ?
On Wednesday 24 October 2007 12:36:13 David Teller wrote:
>    Hello list,
>  In a few months, I'll start teaching OCaml for the second consecutive
> year. I'll solve a number of my problems by installing Linux on the
> workstations, although I'm pretty sure that will cause no end of
> complaints from the students when they need to continue their work at
> home.

They could use FTP and a remote shell to access your Linux box from their 
Windows box.

>  Right now, however, that's not the issue. I'm just wondering if I
> should prepare my lectures and exercises using the Original syntax or
> the Revised syntax. The latest looks clearer and possibly easier to
> teach but requires additional command-line arguments to ocamlc and I'm
> not sure I'll be able to find an editor that will display that syntax
> nicely.
>  Any suggestions or experiences ?

I would suggest the ordinary syntax simply because it is vastly more common.

I'd also suggest giving them some working programs at the beginning of the 
course (e.g. the ray tracer and the GUI sudoku solver) and telling them that 
they'll be able to understand them by the end of the course. I found this 
kind of motivation sorely lacking on many of my courses (e.g. Greens 

Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd.