Programming education and smart contracts

2016-08-25 00:00:00 +0000

While looking browsing at Quora I found this posting by a professor in New Zealand on why certain programming languages are taught at universities while being suboptimal for teaching. Reminds me of this article by Edsger Dijkstra ‘On the cruelty of really teaching computing science’ I had recently read. Dijkstra A point Dijkstra raises is the problem of explaining by using solely analogies - ‘never refer to parts of programs or pieces of equipment in an anthropomorphic terminology, nor allow your students to do so’.
Avoid using the term ‘bug’, use ‘error’ instead. A bug a fault in software just happens, while an error clearly indicates what it is: wrong code, by fault of the programmer. And ‘programs wanting things, knowing things, expecting things, believing things, etc., and each time that gave rise to avoidable confusions. The analogy that underlies this personification is so shallow that it is not only misleading but also paralyzing.

One modern programming language that is easy start with but less fit for its purpose is Solidity, the most used programming languages to write smart contracts for Ethereum. Solidity is similar to Javascript, a familiar language for most programmers (including me), making it easy to get started. However, writing smart contracts is hard. Unlike when writing web-applications, there’s little tolerance for errors in your code. There are other languages that you can use to write smart contracts as well, and Daniel Ellison makes a very good case for LLL in his blog-serie The Resurrection of LLL.

To wrap up, I’m now sitting in a Seats2meet location in Amersfoort, a place where you can work as freelancer. More quiet then an Internet cafe, but a lot more inspiring then working alone at home. During lunch I met someone who has a youtube channel explaining math - in Dutch. He uses lots of like here:

after all anthropomorphic might be bad, examples are certainly not.

What I now do or should do is work on, I could sure need help besides inspiration. If you know how to write smart contracts, or want to learn, contact me!

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Upgraded Jekyll to version 3

2016-08-24 09:04:38 +0000

I hadn’t updated my homepage for quite a long time, having the idea to write a homepage. As a start I’ve upgraded from Jekyll 2 to Jekyll 3. I regenerated the page and copied plugins, settings and posts. Not much seems to be broken. Even plugins I used are working. Since it’s just a blog, I’ll leave it as is. The welcome page contains a highlighter. I’ve rewritten (probably broken) the sample ruby code to javascript

const print_hi = function(name) {console.log('Hi,', name)}
//=> prints 'Hi world' to console.

Check out the Jekyll docs for more info on how to get the most out of Jekyll. File all bugs/feature requests at Jekyll’s GitHub repo. If you have questions, you can ask them on Jekyll Talk.

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