Saturday, November 17, 2012
I just finished a phenomenal course with Coursera on functional programming in Scala.
I found it excellently done, and generally very clear. This does not mean it was easy. Bringing a beginner's mind to my entire world of programming highlighted just how completely saturated my mind has become with the object-oriented paradigm.
But the video lectures were well done if algorithmically dense. It required me to wrap my mind about recursion as a typically good thing (as opposed to Java of where it is often a bad thing).
Each set of video lectures came with a set of unit tests, and some partially filled out code examples that you then completed and automatically submitted and they were auto magically graded.
But the main thing I wanted to blog about was not the course (though I would recommend the course), but rather the toolset that was provided as a bundled package. Rather than using these scala-IDE plug-in within an existing Eclipse environment, they package the entire thing as one download. The end result was a far more stable environment than what I had blogged about earlier. This does not mean that I am ecstatically happy with the toolset. It is far more stable than it was, and it still has some serious lapses.
In addition, I have noticed that there is a great deal of activity around the toolset and my hope is that this activity is an indicator that there will be drastic improvements in the overall coding experience.