Tools That Teach Mustn't OverreachBy Peter Coffee | Posted 2006-10-09 Email Print
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Opinion: Developers must divide their attention between languages and environments.This week's sold-out Eclipse Summit Europe, in Esslingen, Germany, will include a presentation on the Topcased project, an effort driven by the French National Center for Aeronautical and Space Technology Research to construct "an open-source CASE environment [to] perpetuate the methods and tools for critical embedded system development."
The goals of Topcased include "high-quality open-source model editors supporting an integrated development process from system specification to product architecture and implementation," which sounds like a pretty good ideabut some eyebrows may rise when a reader encounters the additional goal, "Rely on the long-term structure of the academic world to ensure project continuity."
I'm not saying that every contact between academia and industry is necessarily a collision, but these two communities are certainly known for having differing definitions of success.
Personally, I'm much more interested in the kind of innovation that I see from Genuitec, with its continual efforts to deliver open-ended Java development capability in the interesting and cost-effective MyEclipse subscription model. I'm interested in new offerings like TeamCity, introduced this month by JetBrains to provide a flexible but comprehensive foundation for team development efforts.
I don't dismiss the well-informed comments of someone like Sun VP/Fellow James Gosling when he expresses concern that students learning programming aren't getting training that's either effective or relevant to their future work. On the other hand, I've never seen anyone learn programming without a good reasonthat is, without a problem they really wanted to solve that a cleverly written program would solve.
I like to think of programming environments as workshops that enable learning, not as classrooms that impose it.
Tell me what your favorite tools have let you learn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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