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Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Humble pie in academia

Eric.    (01)

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 
students.    (03)

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)

Henry    (07)

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.
>    (09)