Coursera Programming Languages Course

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136 Replies - 61631 Views - Last Post: 30 March 2013 - 02:47 AM

#76 rgfirefly24  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

I had problems stemming from those as well. My problem was that if I setup number_before_reaching_sum to output correctly, then my what_month would not. I eventually took the easy way out, but will probably pay for it in peer grade. Oh well, at least it got me a 100% on the auto-grade side.
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#77 .Aaron  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:52 PM

According to the results from my submission there's apparently something wrong with my number_before_reaching_sum as well, so I need to go back and figure out what it was at some point. Only thing I had problem with.




On a side note, please tell me people seriously don't pronounce "char" like in charizard....

This post has been edited by .Aaron: 25 January 2013 - 11:53 PM

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#78 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:09 AM

Dunno. How's that pronounced?
I've always pronounced the char primitive the same way I pronounce the verb which means "to carbonize". Mostly, this is because the first syllable of "character" does not stand on its own for me as an English word - the vowel doesn't work - so you end up with "car" (which is already taken: it means the head of a list).
However, I recognize that this is a holy war, so it's possible that we must now be at daggers drawn.

Moving on to this week's material, I'm finding myself unconvinced. We have this fantastic type checker, that does all this fantastic stuff for us, but it can't figure out that
fun sum_triples (x,y,z) = x+y+z


cound be a function of (real*real*real) => real???

I think it rolled on the first curve, honestly. And that this doesn't come up as a weakness suggests that either Dan G. thinks we're all a little slow and won't notice this (and he's going to whip this out in a future lecture) or else he thinks this is both reasonable and unremarkable.

Either way, I continue to think that Coursera is a failing experiment: in a real class with actual students in the room, he'd have been nailed to the wall on that one.
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#79 Ra88  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:07 PM

The concepts are excellent - recursive programming with no for loops whatsoever, immutable variables, difficult to emulate in other languages but the home work assignemts are badly written. If you understand a date like 1-17-83 to be older than 1-2-98 and you have to write a function to determine which is the "older" date you would write it to return true when 1983+1+17 < 1998+1+2. They really mean which is the greater/newest date - the 1998 date which is the opposite of what you'd write working in the real world. They can't write homework assignments to describe what they intend you to write. Good luck on your first assignment if you're a normal and rational human being! I'll study Ruby, F#, and Clojure on my own thank you. The lectures are excellent though.
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#80 Ra88  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

Also, you're going to hate Emacs and SML at first if you're used to C-centric languages and a real IDE or even a great editor like Notepad++. After a time you'll come to see the old-school elegance in functional programming like SML but the homework instructions mean the opposite of what the professors mean. If I were write specifications they way tey do I'd be fired. If you think like they do I wouldn't hire you.
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#81 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:09 AM

Hey,

Sorry to start this thread and disappear. I've been unbelievably busy for the past couple of weeks. Back to normality now!

It's interesting to read other people's code in the peer review. I made moderate use of let bindings, both for helper functions and named variables for the sake of clarity. What I've noticed is that none of the three I'm peer reviewing have, and their code looks cleaner than mine. Their methods are so small that they are easier to read than mine. The problem is, I don't know if I would think so if I wasn't intimately familiar with the assignment.

Anyone think assignment 2 looks easier than assignment 1?
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#82 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

It is easier, at least for me.
Figuring out what the hell he wants is the hardest part so far - it seems to me that the list of restrictions on the assignment indicate that he's doing a poor job of elucidating the concepts he's trying to teach. If he'd really made them clear, and they were really better concepts, then you'd think he wouldn't have to prohibit the "worse" constructions.
But once I figured out what he was looking for - once I teased out the positive requirements from the sea of restrictions - it was pretty simple stuff.

Quote

It's interesting to read other people's code in the peer review. I made moderate use of let bindings, both for helper functions and named variables for the sake of clarity. What I've noticed is that none of the three I'm peer reviewing have, and their code looks cleaner than mine.


I actually did some extra reviews, it was so interesting. And what I've seen so far is that sometimes using a let expression clarifies the code, and sometimes it obscures it - no surprise there. When it clarifies, the let expression is a way to provide semantics to a "magic number" or a "magic list" or a "magic function" - instead of looking up a number in a list of numbers, I now look up the days-in-month in a list of months, and this is easier to understand.

It bothered me a little that he discourages this sort of usage, in short functions. This seems to encourage the worst side of FP "style" - the style which assumes that god has a kitten on the rack, and every time you press a key, he applies the electrodes. (or alternatively, that the maintenance programmer is the enemy, and it's very important to keep our secrets from him)
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#83 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

Quote

It's interesting to read other people's code in the peer review. I made moderate use of let bindings, both for helper functions and named variables for the sake of clarity. What I've noticed is that none of the three I'm peer reviewing have, and their code looks cleaner than mine. Their methods are so small that they are easier to read than mine. The problem is, I don't know if I would think so if I wasn't intimately familiar with the assignment.


I'm with you on that. On the majority of the problems, my solutions were the same as the three I reviewed, but for two or three of them I introduced helper functions that weren't necessary, and it ended up complicating the flow of the code. Each function was made to be elegant. I need to be aware of that this time around. I rushed through the homework. I guess I should of took note of where it said "the solution is roughly 80 lines".

Quote

Anyone think assignment 2 looks easier than assignment 1?


I just got done the lecture on case expressions, but from a quick overview of the spec, it doesn't look hard.

This post has been edited by blackcompe: 29 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

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#84 .Aaron  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:40 PM

View Postcfoley, on 29 January 2013 - 06:09 AM, said:

Anyone think assignment 2 looks easier than assignment 1?


Yep, it was easier. Got a full score this time aside from the first submission were I stupidly forgot to take out a comment about don't use "#"....

To any one who's moved on to the next week, hows week 3? I'm glad to see they moved the due date for that assignment to the following Monday. Being able to work on it over the weekend should help some people.
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#85 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:23 PM

Well this is aggravating. I submitted Assignment two, but the submission for the peer evaluation didn't go through, so now I can't see the reference solutions or do any evaluations. Has this happened to anyone else? Not that I'm expecting any great surprises, but I'd like to see what the preferred solutions look like - and also, what other participants are coming up with.
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#86 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:26 PM

What time did you submit it? It was due at 7pm.
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#87 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:27 PM

Same time I submitted the assignment, so last week some time.
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#88 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:36 PM

Not sure. I'm able to view the peer assessment.
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#89 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:42 PM

Yeah, it's telling me I didn't submit it. I've seen other students complaining of similar problems on the forums as well - I suppose there's some glitches in the system.
Kind of funny, I suppose - all of these CS courses on a platform that can't even keep its pants on. I wonder if coursera's going to try to recruit top students to fix their software...
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#90 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:45 PM

Hmm.... I always take a screenshot for situations like this. I don't know. You may have to bite the bullet on this one. Raise the issue with staff, so they can check if they received a submission from you.
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