[Haifux] Student complaints.

Eli Billauer eli at billauer.co.il
Mon Jan 26 22:51:10 MSK 2009

Hello again.

Now we're talking!

To begin with, I see that students mention problems with transporting 
files to Windows. I suppose that they use Microsoft's compiler, and run 
into problems with the back and forth?

Which brings me to turn to all Linux evangelists out there: You've maybe 
missed it, but this is the moment you've been all waiting for: Someone 
has forced CS students to use Linux in the labs. They will end up either 
hating it and stick to Windows, or adopt it on their own computers, 
solving most of their annoying problems. And it looks like it's going to 
depend on, well, us.

There may be a need to make a LiveCD for CS students, which would 
basically be the original Ubuntu disc + utilities for developing if 
necessary. This could allow students to use the same environment at 
home, without installing Linux on their hard disks. As this is an 
recurring process (the disc will need to be upgraded as Ubuntu gets 
upgraded) I can't see how it's done well by volunteers. But once someone 
has done it the first time, I suppose it will be pretty easy to repeat it.

As for Eclipse: Dear Haifuxers, is any of use using it? Personally, I 
don't like IDEs, and I believe I have a few people with me on this 
mailing list.

If the policy would be to guide students to work with more down-to-earth 
tools (XEmacs/vim, make, gcc, ddd etc) I suppose we have quite some 
material handy, and I suppose it won't be difficult to find someone to 
speak about these. I believe it's an educational choice, partly because 
the programmer gets a better feel of the tools, as opposed to IDEs which 
generally attempt to hocus-pocus.

As for MS Office, there's always OpenOffice, which I don't use 
personally. If the real problem is compatibility between MS and 
OpenOffice, it's time to remind everyone that OpenOffice exists for 
Windows as well. Or use the LiveCD solution.

As for the other issues, I can only ask one question: Do you have one 
Linux geek in the lab's support team? To me it seems like these problems 
require a few hours each to solve, which is peanuts in terms of 
employment, but too much to ask someone to volunteer for.

Other views?


Web: http://www.billauer.co.il

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