Tuesday, April 15, 2008

AP Computer Science Language

I've been reading Sam Kamin's "Programming Languages: An Interpreter Based Approach" from 1990, which compares programming languages through the device of writing an interpreter in Pascal for a form of the language using Lisp-based syntax.

On reading all that Pascal source code, it takes me back. I reflect that I learned Pascal as a senior in high school, to prepare for the AP Computer Science test. That was in 1990. I see that the AP tests now use Java as their language. I wonder, was there any other language between Pascal in 1990 and Java in 2008?

If I had to bet on what language would succeed Java as that used for the AP exam, I'd bet on Python.


adamo said...

"I've been reading Sam Kamin's "Programming Languages: An Interpreter Based Approach" from 1990"

Too bas that it is a hard to find book. The first time that I read it was when I read Tim Budd's "The Kamin Interpreters in C++"

rektide said...

C++ for quite a while. They had some stupid classes your HS was supposed to brain wash you with, their apstring was better than char** but dear lord what ever was wrong with string?

Java happened 2003/2004 school year.

I thought I'd read that the AB test was being phased out.

JFKBits said...

adamo: The Kamin interpreters are interesting, and the approach itself is more interesting still. I'd be happy to see an updated version of this book come out, but I'm not sure what chance there is of that happening.

JFKBits said...

rektide: Of course, I should have guessed C++. I'm chuckling about apstring. Here's what I find at skylit.com: "The question whether the AP classes are helpful in the AP curriculum has been discussed at length on the ap-compsci listserve. The Development Committee felt that standard arrays in C++ -- the Committee refers to them as "C-style arrays" -- are "unsafe." Since the comparison is with C-style strings, I can only gather that when the issue was discussed std::string was not so standard as it is now.