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Re: Do C++ and Java professionals use UML??

 
 
Robert Klemme
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      07-30-2012
To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-pvc-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-5bm-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-5ky-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-z1h-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-nwi-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-10ae-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: Robert Klemme <(E-Mail Removed)>

On 07/26/2012 06:16 PM, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
> On Thu, 26 Jul 2012 11:35:01 +0200, Robert Klemme
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> On 23.07.2012 22:53, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
>>> On Mon, 23 Jul 2012 21:11:29 +0200, Robert Klemme
>>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:


>>> Why would one use this class? [If I am a newbie, I may not
>>> know.]


>
> I think it the most important thing. If one does not know why
> one would use a class, why even bother?


IMHO the class documentation is reference material which should provide the
basic facts so I can decide myself whether the class is appropriate for the use
case at hand or not. Learning to judge that is part of the process of learning
to program. That should not be piggybacked on reference documentation.

> I have seen this botched in intro classes where recursion is
> introduced. All too often the example used is factorial which is much
> more quickly and clearly solved using iteration. The student gets the
> impression that it is overly complicated and never bothers with it.


Yeah, but the cases where recursion makes the code simpler are typically more
complex algorithms (backtracking for example). I suspect all methods which can
be converted into a loop via tail recursion optimization are as simple as
factorial.

>> Often class documentation in the Java stdlib does contain usage
>> examples. But for fundamental classes like String there are so many
>> potential use cases that you cannot really cover them all in the class doc.

>
> One example of the method in use is a problem?


Many methods do not make much sense alone (for example, Map's containsKey()).
Then the question is where should the example be placed etc.

I think we have a quite different expectation towards JavaDoc. For me it's
reference material, so I expect to get formal information (allowed arguments,
semantics) while you seem to be more concerned with providing information that
helps learn the language and std library. I think that information is better
covered in a tutorial or other type of document (maybe even a book) and it
would get in your way when working with the library. Because then the
introductory information easily gets in your way and you need to look longer
for the important information.

>> I am not sure though whether I agree that the situation is as bad as
>> your list makes it sound. For example, java.util.* is pretty well
>> documented IMHO.

>
> One effect that I have noticed with things like this is that a
> newbie struggles. Someone who already knows does not see a problem.
> He is already past it. so it rarely gets addressed.


But if it were such a big issue for a large number of people learning Java I am
pretty sure it would be addressed. So I conclude the situation cannot be as
bad as you observe it.

Kind regards

robert

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Gene Wirchenko
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-30-2012
To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-pvc-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-5bm-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-5ky-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-z1h-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-nwi-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-10ae-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: Gene Wirchenko <(E-Mail Removed)>

On Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:21:17 +0200, Robert Klemme
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On 07/26/2012 06:16 PM, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
>> On Thu, 26 Jul 2012 11:35:01 +0200, Robert Klemme
>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>> On 23.07.2012 22:53, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
>>>> On Mon, 23 Jul 2012 21:11:29 +0200, Robert Klemme
>>>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>>>> Why would one use this class? [If I am a newbie, I may not
>>>> know.]

>
>>
>> I think it the most important thing. If one does not know why
>> one would use a class, why even bother?

>
>IMHO the class documentation is reference material which should provide
>the basic facts so I can decide myself whether the class is appropriate
>for the use case at hand or not. Learning to judge that is part of the
>process of learning to program. That should not be piggybacked on
>reference documentation.


That is the reference documentation! Maybe the class is better
is certain circumstances than the usual implementation. e.g. "If you want ...,
then this class may be useful."

>> I have seen this botched in intro classes where recursion is
>> introduced. All too often the example used is factorial which is much
>> more quickly and clearly solved using iteration. The student gets the
>> impression that it is overly complicated and never bothers with it.

>
>Yeah, but the cases where recursion makes the code simpler are typically
>more complex algorithms (backtracking for example). I suspect all
>methods which can be converted into a loop via tail recursion
>optimization are as simple as factorial.


My solution to that is that they should not introduce recursion
until they have a situation that would really benefit from it.

>>> Often class documentation in the Java stdlib does contain usage
>>> examples. But for fundamental classes like String there are so many
>>> potential use cases that you cannot really cover them all in the class doc.

>>
>> One example of the method in use is a problem?

>
>Many methods do not make much sense alone (for example, Map's
>containsKey()). Then the question is where should the example be placed
>etc.


For clarity. I would not mind a short example that uses several
methods in concert.

>I think we have a quite different expectation towards JavaDoc. For me
>it's reference material, so I expect to get formal information (allowed
>arguments, semantics) while you seem to be more concerned with providing
>information that helps learn the language and std library. I think that
>information is better covered in a tutorial or other type of document
>(maybe even a book) and it would get in your way when working with the
>library. Because then the introductory information easily gets in your
>way and you need to look longer for the important information.


Yes. Where is the learning reference for what these classes do?
If one does not already know the class, JavaDoc is not too useful.

>>> I am not sure though whether I agree that the situation is as bad as
>>> your list makes it sound. For example, java.util.* is pretty well
>>> documented IMHO.

>>
>> One effect that I have noticed with things like this is that a
>> newbie struggles. Someone who already knows does not see a problem.
>> He is already past it. so it rarely gets addressed.

>
>But if it were such a big issue for a large number of people learning
>Java I am pretty sure it would be addressed. So I conclude the
>situation cannot be as bad as you observe it.


It is and it isn't. Why do you think that there is such a big
market for intro texts for a language? It is interesting to me though that,
IME, the next step (mid-level) has little, and this is true in many languages;
Java is not special in this regard.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

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Robert Klemme
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2012
To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-dpk-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-rf4-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-pvc-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-5bm-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-5ky-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-z1h-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: Robert Klemme <(E-Mail Removed)>

On 27.07.2012 18:16, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:21:17 +0200, Robert Klemme
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> On 07/26/2012 06:16 PM, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
>>> On Thu, 26 Jul 2012 11:35:01 +0200, Robert Klemme
>>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>>
>>>> On 23.07.2012 22:53, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
>>>>> On Mon, 23 Jul 2012 21:11:29 +0200, Robert Klemme
>>>>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:


>>> I think it the most important thing. If one does not know why
>>> one would use a class, why even bother?

>>
>> IMHO the class documentation is reference material which should provide
>> the basic facts so I can decide myself whether the class is appropriate
>> for the use case at hand or not. Learning to judge that is part of the
>> process of learning to program. That should not be piggybacked on
>> reference documentation.

>
> That is the reference documentation! Maybe the class is better
> is certain circumstances than the usual implementation. e.g. "If you
> want ..., then this class may be useful."


But there are so many situations that you cannot expect writers of reference
documentation to only cover a reasonable subset (and what is reasonable lies in
the eye of the beholder of course). Class JavaDoc is reference material and
should cover the formal aspects plus an informative example at times. And
that's what we find in stdlib JavaDoc
- sometimes better, sometimes worse.

> Yes. Where is the learning reference for what these classes do?


Tutorials, books, Usenet, websites....

> If one does not already know the class, JavaDoc is not too useful.


I disagree: there are so many classes that you typically know many and have a
pretty good idea which one to use but need to look up the details from time to
time (i.e. for classes you do not use on a regular basis or for usage which
deviates from what you regularly do with the class).

>>> One effect that I have noticed with things like this is that a
>>> newbie struggles. Someone who already knows does not see a problem.
>>> He is already past it. so it rarely gets addressed.

>>
>> But if it were such a big issue for a large number of people learning
>> Java I am pretty sure it would be addressed. So I conclude the
>> situation cannot be as bad as you observe it.

>
> It is and it isn't. Why do you think that there is such a big
> market for intro texts for a language? It is interesting to me though
> that, IME, the next step (mid-level) has little, and this is true in
> many languages; Java is not special in this regard.


I think Sun / Oracle is doing a pretty job at providing information: there is
free reference documentation for the library's API - this is mandatory. There
are tutorials for various aspects - this is kind of them to provide for free.
And then people can earn a living by giving courses and write books - and of
course they are also free to give their knowledge away for nothing (Usenet, web
sites...) but then since it does not cost a dime users have to live with some
quirks. Actually Sun / Oracle was not forced to give away java, javac etc. for
nothing, were they? But they did it (probably with some speculation about
furthering proliferation of the language) and I think they did it OK. I think
you are expecting unreasonably too much. Of course you can always ask for more
for a lower price - but there's no guarantee that you get it or that many
people agree it's a good idea.

Kind regards

robert


--
remember.guy do |as, often| as.you_can - without end
http://blog.rubybestpractices.com/

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Gene Wirchenko
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2012
To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-dpk-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-rf4-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-pvc-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-5bm-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-5ky-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Gene Wirchenko" <gene.wirchenko@1:261/38.remove-z1h-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: Gene Wirchenko <(E-Mail Removed)>

On Fri, 27 Jul 2012 21:02:52 +0200, Robert Klemme
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On 27.07.2012 18:16, Gene Wirchenko wrote:


[snip]

>> If one does not already know the class, JavaDoc is not too useful.

>
>I disagree: there are so many classes that you typically know many and
>have a pretty good idea which one to use but need to look up the details
>from time to time (i.e. for classes you do not use on a regular basis or
>for usage which deviates from what you regularly do with the class).


Non sequitur.

Note that conditional "If one does not already know the class".
That is rather different from already having "a pretty good idea" about it.

Getting started can be the hardest part, and JavaDoc does not
help much there. Once I get started, the rest is often quite a bit easier.
Without that start though, one can be spinning one's wheels to little avail.

[snip]

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

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markspace
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2012
To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "markspace" <markspace@1:261/38.remove-dpk-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "markspace" <markspace@1:261/38.remove-rf4-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "markspace" <markspace@1:261/38.remove-pvc-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "markspace" <markspace@1:261/38.remove-5bm-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "markspace" <markspace@1:261/38.remove-5ky-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: "markspace" <markspace@1:261/38.remove-z1h-this>

To: Gene Wirchenko
From: markspace <-@.>

On 7/27/2012 9:16 AM, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
>
> Yes. Where is the learning reference for what these classes do?



Just to elaborate a bit on what Robert is saying, the Java Tutorials on
Oracle's site provide an excellent "How-To" guide on many subjects.

Java is also open source, and the source for many classes is easy to read. If
you really need to burrow down into behavior, read the source.
This is bordering on the intermediate-advanced level of programmer,
however.


> If one does not already know the class, JavaDoc is not too useful.



I also disagree here and agree with Robert. If you do not know *Java* well,
the Java docs are not too useful. Once you learn the language fairly well,
picking useful information out of the Java docs is quick, accurate and easy.

I taught myself Java, and I went through an early phase of "the Java docs are
useless." They kind of are, when you are first learning. Once you "grok"
Java, they're great. I can now often pick details of classes right off the
better than some folks on this list who I believe to have more experience in
Java than I do. There's a learning curve, but it's very manageable.


> It is and it isn't. Why do you think that there is such a big
> market for intro texts for a language? It is interesting to me though
> that, IME, the next step (mid-level) has little, and this is true in
> many languages; Java is not special in this regard.



It's true of many languages because it's true, period. There's a lot of domain
specific best practice, design patterns, etc. that would be totally
inappropriate for the core language reference to address.

In other words, welcome to the real world, kid.

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David Lamb
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2012
To: Robert Klemme
From: "David Lamb" <david.lamb@1:261/38.remove-dpk-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "David Lamb" <david.lamb@1:261/38.remove-rf4-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "David Lamb" <david.lamb@1:261/38.remove-pvc-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "David Lamb" <david.lamb@1:261/38.remove-5bm-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "David Lamb" <david.lamb@1:261/38.remove-5ky-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "David Lamb" <david.lamb@1:261/38.remove-z1h-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: David Lamb <(E-Mail Removed)>

On 27/07/2012 7:21 AM, Robert Klemme wrote:
> On 07/26/2012 06:16 PM, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
>> I have seen this botched in intro classes where recursion is
>> introduced. All too often the example used is factorial which is much
>> more quickly and clearly solved using iteration. The student gets the
>> impression that it is overly complicated and never bothers with it.

>
> Yeah, but the cases where recursion makes the code simpler are typically
> more complex algorithms (backtracking for example). I suspect all
> methods which can be converted into a loop via tail recursion
> optimization are as simple as factorial.


I taught introductory programming for several years in several languages. You
don't need to get as complex as backtracking. The natural places to teach
recursion to introductory students are with binary tree search and quicksort,
both of which can be taught in the first or second 1-semester course.

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Robert Klemme
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      07-31-2012
To: David Lamb
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-dpk-this>

To: David Lamb
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-rf4-this>

To: David Lamb
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-pvc-this>

To: David Lamb
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-5bm-this>

To: David Lamb
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-5ky-this>

To: David Lamb
From: "Robert Klemme" <robert.klemme@1:261/38.remove-z1h-this>

To: David Lamb
From: Robert Klemme <(E-Mail Removed)>

On 27.07.2012 23:11, David Lamb wrote:

> I taught introductory programming for several years in several
> languages. You don't need to get as complex as backtracking. The natural
> places to teach recursion to introductory students are with binary tree
> search and quicksort, both of which can be taught in the first or second
> 1-semester course.


Right. Although I'd consider Quicksort too complex as an introduction to
recursion as the algorithms workings are not so easy to grasp and would
distract from the concept of recursion. Tree search seems to be the most
appropriate to me. Still, introducing recursion as a concept in programming
does not belong into class reference documentation. This is something for a
tutorial or other introductory material.

Kind regards

robert

--
remember.guy do |as, often| as.you_can - without end
http://blog.rubybestpractices.com/

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Eric Sosman
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2012
To: Robert Klemme
From: "Eric Sosman" <eric.sosman@1:261/38.remove-x1c-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Eric Sosman" <eric.sosman@1:261/38.remove-dpk-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Eric Sosman" <eric.sosman@1:261/38.remove-rf4-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Eric Sosman" <eric.sosman@1:261/38.remove-pvc-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Eric Sosman" <eric.sosman@1:261/38.remove-5bm-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: "Eric Sosman" <eric.sosman@1:261/38.remove-5ky-this>

To: Robert Klemme
From: Eric Sosman <(E-Mail Removed)>

On 7/28/2012 12:36 PM, Robert Klemme wrote:
> On 27.07.2012 23:11, David Lamb wrote:
>
>> I taught introductory programming for several years in several
>> languages. You don't need to get as complex as backtracking. The natural
>> places to teach recursion to introductory students are with binary tree
>> search and quicksort, both of which can be taught in the first or second
>> 1-semester course.

>
> Right. Although I'd consider Quicksort too complex as an introduction
> to recursion as the algorithms workings are not so easy to grasp and
> would distract from the concept of recursion. Tree search seems to be
> the most appropriate to me. Still, introducing recursion as a concept
> in programming does not belong into class reference documentation. This
> is something for a tutorial or other introductory material.


Tree *traversal* is a good recursion example, but I can't
think of a good a priori reason to *search* recursively in an ordinary ordered
tree. Maybe in a different sort of tree where you sometimes pursue multiple
branches instead of choosing just one ... But that seems more complicated than
Quicksort.

--
Eric Sosman
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)d

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