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Alice - allowing novice programmers to build interactive 3D virtual worlds A follow up to a previous blog entry, “Best language for beginning programmers?”. I was looking at research being done at the Carnegie Mellon University Human-Computer Interaction Institute. One of the research projects in the Learning Technologies area is Alice. From the research project home page, Alice is described as a " The focus of the Alice project is now to provide the best possible first exposure to programming for students ranging from middle schoolers to college students. Rather th...
MVC (Model View Controller) - thank you Trygve M. H. Reenskaug The Rails framework and Rails applications are great examples of the use of the Model View Controller (MVC) architecture.  MVC was first created by Trygve Mikkjel Heyerdahl Reenskaug, a Norwegian computer scientist.  Reenskaug created the first MVC implementation and  document as a visiting scientist at Xerox PARC between the summer of 1978 and summer of 1979. You can read about the history (did you know that MVC was first called Model-View-Editor) of MVC and download the original documents a...

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Concurrent Programming Über Alles With more processor cores to leverage, we can’t defer all the work to the operating system, virtual machine, and threading API(s). In order to take full advantage of these architectures, we will have to re-engineer our software development efforts to take full advantage of the growing ubiquity of parallel processing power in every server, desktop, and device. OpenMP gives us an simple, portable, scalable API that supports multi-platform shared-memory parallel programming for C++ and Fortran. ...
Yukihiro Matsumoto, chief designer of the Ruby Language, will present at the CodeGear Code Camp, June 5th, Tokyo Japan The chief designer of the Ruby programming language, Yukihiro Matsumoto “Matz“, is scheduled to present at the 5th CodeGear Code Camp.  The Code Camp will take place on June 5, 2007 at the Cerulian Tower Tokyu Hotel in Tokyo Japan. Matsumoto-san will join David I and Shelby Sanders (CodeGear R&D) during the general session talk titled “Preview of the CodeGear Ruby Environment for Software Development“ at 10:45am. Shelby Sanders will give an additional talk titled “Efficient Web Developmen...
Grady Booch, ACM SIGCSE 2007 Invited Talk - "Readn', Writ'n, 'Rithmetic... & Cod'n" Grady Booch's recent ACM SIGCSE 2007 (SIGCSE = Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education) invited talk was titled, "Readn', Writ'n, 'Rithmetic...and Code'n". I love the title.  It almost sounds like a country and western song title (if so, shouldn't the "'Rithmetic", in the title, actually be "'Rithmetic'n"?). The abstract can be found at http://www.cs.potsdam.edu/sigcse07/Speakers.shtml#booch. The PowerPoint slide deck containing the presentation can be found at http://www.booch.c...

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Frameworks for Ruby, is Rails all you need? If you are using the Ruby programming language, what framework are you using with it?  If you are using Ruby and doing web application development, you are probably using the Rails framework. Last week, I had the great pleasure to spend some time with Michael Slinn.  We talked about Ruby and Rails.  Michael is involved in SDForum's upcoming Second Annual Silicon Valley Ruby Conference, April 21-22.  During the conversation about Ruby and Rails, I made the statement that (in just about every c...
John Backus, leader of the IBM team that created Fortran... My first programming language in college was a Fortran program to list prime numbers.  I was a freshman (Fall 1969) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I was an Aeronautical Engineering major for one quarter before I changed my major to Computer Science.  Last week, on Saturday March 17th, John W. Backus passed away at the age of 82.  I had the pleasure of meeting John Backus at IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose California back in the days of Turbo Pascal 5.5 (with objects).  I was giving a ...
Real World Programming - new paradigm?  new programming language? In my ongoing conversations with Charlie Calvert over the past decade, I've been continuing to bring up the subject of simplifying programming, simplifying programming languages, simplifying programming paradigms.  With all of the platforms, operating environments, programming languages, component libraries, class libraries, and tools, I still thirst and strive to make programming even simpler.  OOP as a programming paradigm has lasted the longest in our modern programming era.  With objects mod...
OpenMP - open specifications for multi-processing for the C++ and Fortran languages Multi-processing has been around for years.  Special purpose languages (Occam, Linda, SISAL)  have been created to take advantage of shared memory and parallel processing architectures in advanced computing systems.  With the arrival of the IBM/Sony/Toshiba Cell Processor (to appear in the Sony PlayStation 3), Sun's multi-core UltraSPARC T1 processor, and Intel's Core Duo Processors on Unix/Windows NT servers, desktop PCs, and Macintoshes, we can also use general purpose languages and available ...

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Best language for beginning programmers? An August 11, 2005 posting on Slashdot led me to a question and long thread on the "ask Slashdot" forum. A teacher at Hong Kong International School asked the following question: "Does anyone out there have suggestions as to what would be a better language to start students with? Ideally one that might be more 'enticing' as well?" Once people find out I work for Borland, I am often asked the same question, especially by parents with younger students. This is probably one of the most frequently a...

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