[Lazarus] Graeme would love this, or not, I think

Hans-Peter Diettrich DrDiettrich1 at aol.com
Sat Oct 26 16:52:09 CEST 2013

Marco van de Voort schrieb:

>>> In this class, all this simply ate too much time, and even after students
>>> were ackward with it. And it was only 9 x 1.5 hr, then an hour is still too
>>> much.
>> Then a good ole homecomputer (C64 emulator...) would be more useful ;-)
> Same problem as with an Dos emulator for TP. Concepts too alien, install
> troubles etc.

Problems are quite different. A full DOS emulator includes a lot of low 
level stuff (running real-mode programs, disk formatting, 
networking...), that is not required for program development. A C64 or 
similar emulator can use virtual devices instead, interprets also the 
programs to run, and screen output is simple with a (fixed size) paintbox.

My experience with development systems also suggests an installation in 
a virtual machine. VM software installation is extremely simple, 
compared to an FPC/Lazarus installation and configuration, and a single 
VM can contain a fully installed and configured development system, 
ready for educational use. When somebody succeeded in breaking his 
system, a simple restore of the initial VM state allows to proceed 
normally within seconds (sandbox).

At the same time the students can learn about virtual machines 
(optional), which later also should be used in professional software 
development. A VM is insensitive to hardware replacement/upgrade, and 
allows continued use of a specific compiler version. See the persistent 
trouble with RadStudio installations, caused by upgrades of either 
Delphi or Windows - currently Win8.1 causes such trouble, and on Linux 
it will be ongoing GUI (gtk...) upgrades.

Plus a VM can be isolated perfectly from the real world, unreachable by 
NSA and other exploits and attacks (Merkel... ;-)

> I was actually flabbergasted by how little pre existing knowledge/experience
> the avg student understood of the console concept. And that was in 2005-7,
> now it will be even less.

Nowadays cloud experience is more important than DOS experience. How 
many jobs will you find later, wich require DOS experience and coding, 
compared to the many jobs for writing (mobile) GUI and cloud applications?

>>> Delphi on the other hand invited too much play.
>> This energy could be used in extra (voluntary) courses, where the 
>> interested can learn more about using Delphi.
> This energy does not exist outside mandatory classes :-)

It exists, it's only a matter of motivation. Let the students suggest 
projects of *their* interest, then teach them the useful techniques for 
their projects - learning by doing can be mere fun :-)


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