Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Humble pie in academia
I like your even-handed evaluation of your own effort. (02)
Had, unfortunately, no chance to visit the computer bookstore on the way
to college this aft. There wer road construction detours that threw my
off my path and timing. Hope you will be able to get those chapters on
the web so I can bring them to the attention of the college staff and/or
I did have a chance this evening to talk with the UNIX instructor about
our textbooks and I showed him some of the stuff that is wrong with our
Java text (Lambert & Osborne, "Fundamentals of Java," Thomson Course
Technology) in terms of writing and production. Textbooks are not
designed for students; they are designed for sales and the route to that
is appeal to teachers. Come Spring, textbook salespersons descend on
teachers like a swarm of locusts, all exhorting from their publisher's
sript the merits of their wares. Teachers are not in any position to
evaluate the books properly because exams are in the offing, etc. So it
is some superficial characteristics that sell books. (04)
It is well to bear in mind that textbooks are simply notes written by
another teacher. Better be it to have a couple of sets of notes on the
Internet for students to download on their PC-pads. Open-source stuff
that any teacher can offer improvements on (open sourse). Students can
maintain a copy and use another copy to cut down to personal notes.
Result: better texts, beter studying. (05)
The conversation about Ruby, etc. brings back the question, What would
be the best (in terms of ease of learning, maintaining personal
knowledge and skill, and utility) for citizens in general. (06)
Eric Armstrong wrote: (08)
>Eric Armstrong wrote:
>>The full title is The JBuilder 2 Tutorial.
>If you look it up on Amazon, you'll find an "average" rating.
>It gets excellent marks from rank beginners -- the people
>it was designed for. It gets below average marks from
>the real experts, who wanted many more details on arcane
>aspects of JBuilder, since the book is billed as the "bible".
>Hardly their fault, or mine. I pleaded with the publisher not
>to title it as a "bible". But in the end, the decision was theirs.
>In point of the fact, the book was targeted at the outside as
>a step-by-step tutorial that would double as a reference
>manual by including tables of detailed information.
>Unfortunately, though, the result has been a reputation of
>average proportions, rather than the stellar evaluation it
>gets from the folks it was actually designed for.