On 22/07/2005, at 3:55 PM, Kev Jackson wrote:

> At the same time there were many other languages, but you're right, at 
> some point, people all just decided C++/Java are mainstream everything 
> else is niche.  I remember talking to professors at Uni ('96) and they 
> hated C++ and really liked SmallTalk, they also focused on functional 
> languages - but for anything OO they thought that C++ was ugly and 
> should be left well alone.  Soon after that (next term), we all 
> started being told by the professors that Java was the thing to learn 
> because of it's clean OO design - I can only assume they actually 
> meant clean(er) design than C++.  It was intersting, in the space of a 
> summer SmallTalk seemed to disappear except in Lnaguage Design classes 
> (where it was mentioned breifly) - mainstream programming classes were 
> C/Java (and SML for functional work)

Had a very similar experience at uni in the 90s as well. They dropped 
C/C++ because it was too complex and started to use ada of all things. 
Then they quickly switched to java when it came along. Don't know why 
because the stuff they were leveling at C/C++ can also be said, for the 
most part, about java from a learning perspective. Just for the record 
this was the University of Canberra, but the was occurring at other 
universities at the time;  ANU was using Modula-2.

Anyway, it doesn't seem to matter what you learn in one subject you 
have to learn another language when you do a new subject the next 
semester so I've learnt java badly three or four times now as well as 
C/C++ and a couple of other languages. The end result is that no 
language has been used to it's full potential and you are distracted 
from what you are meant to be learning by battling the language. This 
may have been the thing the switch to java was meant to fix - it 
didn't.

Jeff.