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Language tutorials (was: Logo)

Too many ideas inside one message...
>I've got no idea how to use autoconf etc. The info on all this is all 
>over the net and I haven't had time to track it all down yet. I think 
>tutorials are in order but well written tutorials. If there are any 
>computing lecturers out there who are used to writing course 
>material then they could probably come up with something that
>makes more sense than the stuff out there right now.

Unfortunately I don't know how to do any of that stuff myself... I 
haven't really used makefiles with a lot of success (I just edit other 
peoples'), and all the libraries, shared libraries... aye.  I could still 
use a good tutorial on these things.
>A lot of the tutorials are ok but they miss the little details that are
>important to people who don't really know as much as the 
>authors. I find myself reading these things, understanding most of
>it and then having to spend a lot of time trying to work out simple
>little things that should've been in the tutorial to start with. Anyone
>used to teaching programming would probably not miss out on
>these little details. At the end of the day I think it's about
>assuming nothing of the reader.

I think in an interactive teaching environment you really can 
assume a lot about the learner.  If you over-assume you can fill in 
the pieces one-on-one or by backtracking.  This is why I think 
distance learning isn't such a hot idea.

As far as tutorials I think it would be nice to have something more 
nonlinear.  The main tutorial goes through the ideas as though 
there are no problems, no interesting side-thoughts.  Then you link 
to help for all the problems, where to go to learn more about a 
particular aspect, etc.  That way the tutorial doesn't become 
unwieldy, but everything remains covered.

Ian Bicking <bickiia@earlham.edu>