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Comment Re:Raise a glass to you, RMS (Score 3, Informative) 290

BSD wasn't a free software OS for a long time. It included significant parts of licensed AT&T code and you could not get BSD without also having a Unix license. Even for those programs implemented originally as part of BSD you still needed a license to get access to the source code and sys admins would have it locked up tight. Even a CS student at a university might need special permission and a project to get access. Things opened up tremendously after AT&T code was scrubbed out, but that was after GNU started.

Comment Re:When they want to. And ONLY when they want to. (Score 1) 299

Let's rephrase it. How early should kids learn entrepreneurial skills and how to form a business? It's a stupid question but the core of it is the same, because there are parents and "well meaning" bystanders who think that programming is the ultimate key to a great job or a great citizenry, just like some people worship at the altar of business. They don't understand that there are basics to learn first and that every student will want to do their own thing as a career. (I also worry these are programming parents who want to form this little darlings into clones of themselves)

If someone does want their child to grow up to be a great programmer then let them take math classes (even the ones they hate!); give them piano classes or other music background (with a teacher and not self taught!); let them do puzzles; give them legos (a basic kit not the stuff that builds only one thing); and make them think and do their homework.

Comment Re:My Experience (Score 1) 299

A good BASIC may have support for structured programming, but it is never enforced. Most BASIC users at a young age are self taught without discipline. In university when I was a proctor for first programming class, we had to spend a lot of time getting rid of bad habits and misunderstood concepts from students who said they already knew how to program.

Even today I see upper division students or even graduates bitch that the theoretical side is useless. There's a disturbing trend to label something that is not fun or not directly used on a job to be useless. But these topics train the brain and teach skills, even if the details are forgotten later. You can definitely spot some programmers who avoided learning about theory as their code can show it. Maybe they never need to actually analyze a sort routine on the job because they can just call a function for that, you will see their own code with abysmal performance. Lack of this knowledge severely limits the career potentials of the studnets. The trend of learning the minimum amount necessary is ridiculous and it's bizarre that people still promote this.

Comment Re:logic (Score 1) 299

The whole premise is broken I think. Yes logic first, and math, and reading, and whatever. Programing comes LAST!

The problem here is the assumption that schools have become training centers for the workforce, funneling students into very tight niches without a broad base of skills. Some of this is fear from parents that their children will be unemployable, also fear from parents that "computers are hard!". However much of this push to make schools into employee training centers comes from industry.

Remember we managed to create all of computing today almost entirely with people who learned to program as adults! The computer itself, the internet, the operating systems, the compilers, the search engines, and so forth - all designed by people who learned to program as adults. Sure, here and there are a few outliers who learned some rudimentary skills early on but often those had those bad habits unlearned.

And besides, most of this "programing" many want to do in schools isn't real programming, it's super simplified, or a markup language like HTML, or some product promoted by a corporation.

Comment Re:"Mission Accomplished" (Score 1) 665

Maybe not total idiots, but definitely wrong in those contexts. A single "reboot me now!" key would have been a disaster. I've had these disasters even with the power button when put on a keyboard (whoops, shutting down now, no cancel button). Sure you can change the behavior but usually you make the mistake once before you're prompted to figure out how to change it (and it wasn't so easy to find in Windows 8).

Comment Re:Redundant keys (Score 1) 665

I really dislike most European keyboard layouts, they're just clumsy for so many special keys. Ie, a German keyboard can't type either / or \ without a modifier key, so I found that typing commands lines with paths to be very cumbersome that way (unix or dos).

On the other hand, if you want to do touch typing in European languages then you need put those common accented characters where they can be typed easily instead of relying on the AltGr kludge, so the special keys are the ones that got replaces (right pinky and shifted numbers).

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