[Oberon] Reiser - Wirth book

Duke Normandin dukeofperl at ml1.net
Sun Oct 3 18:17:30 MEST 2010

On Sun, 3 Oct 2010, Bob Walkden wrote:

> > Yes I could do that, but....
> > I don't want to learn Oberon by being overwhelmed with Algebra, Calculus,
> > EBNF, and all the other garbage that is too often introduced into the
> mystical
> > realm of computer programming. IMO, there's no need for it _for most
> levels
> > of application_. Does Nitikin present Oberon from "Quantum Physics" point
> > of view, or merely in terms of the requirements of "Astrophysics"? :) Do
> you
> > see what I mean? That's why I referenced "Icon Programming for
> > Humanists", to shift away from the "stars", down to the lowly level of
> > "strings" where most of us peasants live. :D Thanks for your input.
> > --
> > Duke

> If you can overcome your prejudice you may be surprised to learn
> that the 'garbage' will help you with your strings far more than you
> might currently imagine. To put that in context, my studies were in
> languages and linguistics, so I am (or was) in the target group for
> that Icon book - a humanities student. My professional programming
> background started with COBOL and I had no formal introduction to
> the 'garbage' or any mathematics beyond the age of 15. When I
> started to learn Modula-2 in the late 1980s I found the 'garbage'
> very difficult because it was so unfamiliar. However, persistence
> paid off and I now have a postgrad qualification in garbage. The
> great benefit of it is that it provides you with not just the
> fundamentals of programming, but also the fundamentals of language -
> obviously of value if you plan on some serious text
> processing. There is a unity at the heart of these disciplines that
> you will never understand unless you make the effort to 'get to the
> next level', as they say.

Obviously you found that, _for you_, a mathematical-based presentation
of whatever programming was exactly what was needed. I _know_ that
_for me_, such an approach is counter-productive! I learned Perl and
PHP _very well_, and never needed to resort to the approach taken my
the ETH folks. Of course, my intention is not to pursue Software
Engeneering functions, which would require a thorough understanding of
the math behind programming. I won't go there!

> Wirth's book "Algorithms and data structures" deals with string
> manipulation, pattern-matching and other tasks which appear similar
> to the tasks in the Icon programming book as far as I can tell from
> quick online flick through it. You might find it useful. It was
> probably the book that helped me most when I was learning
> Modula-2. There is an Oberon version available online somewhere, I
> think.

I'll sure give "Algorithms and data structures" a good read! It's
curious that you should mention COBOL above, because I'm also fooling
around with OpenCOBOL - just to get a feel for what the guys back in
the '60s, '70s, '80s, and even today had/have to go through. :) Thanks
for your input.

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