[Haifux] Student complaints.

Orna Agmon Ben-Yehuda ladypine at gmail.com
Tue Jan 27 00:34:49 MSK 2009

Hi Yossi,

Regarding the portable document editing, I suggest introducing the students
to latex at an early stage. In addition to being portable, it is also a
handy (and sometimes mandatory) tool for writing papers.

>From the other angle, I believe CS staff should be a model regarding open
standards, by publishing documents (either slides or exercises) in
open,portable formats such as pdf or simple text.

Ii suggest also to make the students aware of decent distributed version
control tools (I'm aiming at a talk about hg in Haifux, somewhere down the

Another tool with appeal on Linux is valgrind, which can make the students
prefer working on Linux, because of the time saving they get.

And of course, I side with Eli regarding using a flexible tool chain, such
that everyone may mix and match. An editor can be anything which can
syntax-highlight and indent properly (nano/pico do not count, neither does
textpad), and from my experience, in a mixed environment, users who are used
to Windows prefer to stay with their Windows editor. However, an editor is
just a typewriter when you actually use the unix tool chain after it.
Specifically, the power of the gcc warning switches combined with -Werror
and a decent makefile can save a lot of student time, and also has the
potential of having students prefer Linux.

To sum it up - students need to be made aware of anchor applications on
Linux which actually save lots of time, because time is the point which
hurts the students who filled the feedback. Those applications will pull
them to Linux, instead of being forced into it and hating it. Students who
prefer not to use Linux should be able to do so partially (=at home),
without incompatibility problems, by using an interchangeable tool chain and
open fiie formats.


2009/1/26 Yossi Gil <yossi.gil at gmail.com>

> Folks, here is the list of the unedited gripe list of students. As you will
> see, some of the problems are educational (MS WORD is sexy), other are
> organizational (not enough quota), while others are technical (Eclipse
> crashes). I am asking for your help mainly in dealing with the
> psychological  issues... Make it easier and more exciting for the students
> to work with Linux.
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