18
nmunro
3y

So, this is probably somewhat esoteric but...

While studying at university I had a "programming paradigms" module, dunno why they called it that, it was more like "introduction to functional programming".

So, it's kinda mind bending, we'd only really started to get our heads around classical object oriented programming and they throw functional programming at us.

It's worse than that though, for do they use an established language, like lisp/scheme, functional Python, or even given Haskell?

No, of course they didn't. They taught us Oz.

You probably won't have heard of it, but this language is burned into the back of my brain, along with a vague understanding of the n-queens problem we had to solve graphically (using qTk, which I dunno if someone took qt and tk and blended them, I stopped asking questions after a while).

To top it off did this language (at the time) have a stand alone interpreter? Did it buggery! It was coupled to the Mozart programming system, which is just Emacs (which has a bloody lisp built into it,so close, yet so far 😭).

It gets worse, though, oh does it get worse, for pause dear reader and consider, have you ever heard of Mozart/oz before, I'd put money on most of you had not heard of it until today.

For, you see, I believe at the time of writing, one, yes, ONE text book exists on this language. When I was doing my assignment there was merely some published conference notes and language design documents.

That's not all, I was not the only one experiencing difficulties with this language, someone in the class ended up pouring through the mailing lists and found the very tutor teaching the class struggling at first to understand the language.

I had to repeat that year. The functional programming class was one semester.

When I retook that year, it was a whole year long. However, halfway through the year, original tutor was fired and a new tutor was hired to teach the language.

He was, understandably, just as confused as we were.

There was a Starbucks and a pub equidistant from the lecture hall, though in opposite directions. From lecture to lecture we had no idea which one we'd end up in.

I have reason to believe Mozart/Oz it some sort of otherworldly abomination designed to give students the occasional nightmare flashback, long after they've left.

My room had post it notes, sheets of paper, print outs, diagrams, doodles and pens, just stuck to the wall, I looked like a raving lunatic three hours away from being institutionalised. There was string connecting one diagram to the next and images of a chess queen all over. As I attempted to solve the n-queens problem.

Madmans knowledge, I call it. I can never unlearn all that, in fact it seeps into much of the code I write. Such information was not meant for the minds of a simple country bumpkin such as myself...

Mozart/Oz... I wouldn't be the programmer I am today without it, and that's frankly terrifying...

Comments
  • 1
    jesus...
  • 2
    I don’t understand how the educational system can let someone get away with teaching a programming language that no one ever heard of...

    I get it, it's not about the language, it's the concepts... But fuck that! if you have to learn something, why not couple it with a language that can be useful in the market after you graduate?!?
  • 5
    "Oz is a multiparadigm programming language, developed in the Programming Systems Lab at Université catholique de Louvain"

    Ohshit. Catholic Programming, inspired by God himself.⛪️
  • 3
    Inspired, perhaps, but let's remember Nietzsche inspired Hitler but in absolutely no way supported him...
  • 2
    i bet this is not as worse as what i had to deal with, in my "higher school of computer science" they teach freshmen year PASCAL programming language, on paper it's for a semester, for the second one we supposed to learn C but it wasn't the case the teacher just continued with Pascal, i went to talk to him about it, it turned into a debate and i almost got expelled, he ended up saying: "you know what? i don't care about what the programme says, if you wanna learn C learn it yourself".

    apparently all he knows about computer science is Pascal programming language, we confirmed that the next year when we had projects, he mentored a group and told them: if you use Pascal you're welcome for questions, if you chose another language you're on your own, don't ask me questions.
  • 0
    @walid what an idiot
  • 0
    @tisaconundrum me?
  • 0
    @walid no the teacher.
  • 1
    @tisaconundrum you have idea
  • 0
    @walid I dunno, I've seen Pascal used to build useful things, I've yet to see a commercially available product built with Mozart/Oz.
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