Requirements for an ideal first language

  • J. -P. Jacquot
  • J. Guyard
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1022)


Five years ago, we have introduced functional languages in the introductory computer science course at our University. This experience taught us there is still room for improvement in support languages for beginners. This is summarized in the form of six requirements for languages in such a context: conceptual neatness, consistency with common usage, language extensibility, tools for probing and profiling, enforcement of good habits, and observability of mechanisms. Our experience, observations, and requirements are discussed and justified.


Common Usage Functional Language Good Habit Teaching Computer Science Beginner Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    H. Abelson and G. Sussman. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. MacGraw Hill, 1985.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Th. Accart-Hardin and V. Donzeau-Gouge Viguié. Concepts et outils de programmation. InterÉdition, Paris, 1992.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    N. Baxter, E. Dubinsky, and G. Levin. Learning Discrete Mathematics with ISETL. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1989.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    G. Cousineau and G. Huet. The Caml primer. Technical Report 122, INRIA, Roquencourt-France, 1990.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    E.W. Dijsktra and C.S. Scholten. Predicate Calculus and Program Semantics. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1990.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    A. Ducrin. Programmation. Dunod, Paris, 1984.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    D. Norman. Things that Make us Smart. Addison-Wesley, 1993.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    S. Papert. Jaillissement de l'esprit. Flammarion, translation from Mindstorm, Children, and Powerful Ideas Basic Books Inc., New-York edition, 1981.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    L. Paulson. ML for the Working Programmer. Cambridge University Press, 1991.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    H. Poincaré. La Science et l'hypothèse. Collection Champs. Flammarion, Paris, paper-back (reprint) edition, 1902.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    J.T. Schwartz, R.B.K. Dewar, E. Dubinsky, and E. Schonberg. Programming with Sets: An Introduction to SETL. Springer-Verlag, New-York, 1986.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    P. Weiss and X. Leroy. Le langage Caml. InterÉdition, Paris, 1993.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    H. Wertz. Intelligence artificielle, application à l'analyse des programmes. Masson, Paris, 1985.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. -P. Jacquot
    • 1
  • J. Guyard
    • 1
  1. 1.Université Henri Poincaré-Nancy 1 CNRS-CRIN-INRIA-LorraineVandœuvre-lès-Nancy CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations