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Experiences with Eclipse in CS education [message #512651] Fri, 05 February 2010 14:16 Go to next message
Francisco Gortázar is currently offline Francisco Gortázar
Messages: 19
Registered: July 2009
Location: Spain
Junior Member
Hi all,

I have seen your project and it sounds really interesting to us. Me and another colleague have participated in the development of an Eclipse distribution for education (EclipseGavab: http://www.gavab.es/eclipsegavab/). Our primary intention was to provide the students one IDE for every language, so that they could learn the IDE once, and then focus on the different languages and paradigms they have to learn. We wanted also to provide the environment with the necessary tools (compilers, vms and interpreters), so no further installation was needed.

Up to now, we have been using the environment for four years, and have asked students to fill a questionaire each year about their overall impression with respect to EclipseGavab. It seems that they are comfortable with the environment, and specifically they have said that they like to use a real environment.

More concretelly, we have focused on these aspects when developing EclipseGavab:

* All-in-one bundle: languages and tools together in a single environment (although this is only the case for Windows for now)
* Collaborative programming: we've included Subversive, Mylyn and ECF. We are also investigating including Saros (https://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/w/SE/DPP) for next releases

One thing we haven't had time yet to improve is ease of use (like what you're doing with the JavaLite approach), but we'd like to. So we are wondering if we could join efforts in this sense.

Currently, we provide support for Java, Haskell, Pascal (yes, Pascal), Ruby and PascalFC. Obviously, different universities and colleges, may need a different set of tools, so I wonder if you have thought about providing different "flavours" or packages (instead of one single package). What if, for instance, one would like to use ML instead of Haskell or Lisp instead of Scheme? I, as a professor, would like to choose the tools that best suit for me.

In the sense of collaborative programming tools, have you thought of something, for instance, like on-line remote assistance for students? The shared editing capabilites of ECF project may help in this sense.

Ok, this post is already too long, I'm looking forward for any news on these topics and any other from the IDE4EDU project related to teaching CS.

kind regards,
Patxi.


Re: Experiences with Eclipse in CS education [message #515707 is a reply to message #512651] Fri, 19 February 2010 15:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Beaton is currently offline Wayne Beaton
Messages: 496
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
I am very sorry for my late response.

We are definitely keen to accept your input into the project. We have
thought of many of the same things that you're thinking of. We decided
to start small and work up to some of the larger items you've mentioned.
Right now, we're pretty constrained resource-wise, so we've been
focusing our attention where we could do the most good. I'm definitely
interested in support for other languages and collaboration and remote
assistance.

I'm also interested in providing different "flavours" of the IDE for
different students. I'd also like to consider simply making it easier
for students to add support for various languages to their existing
environment (rather than have to download a completely new environment).
Ultimately, it's about making the environment easier for students and
progressively introducing them to more advanced concepts.

The project itself has very much become an environment "for students, by
students" as most of the work has been done by current students as part
of various programmes we've connected to at the University level.


I look forward to your input into the project. Have you any thoughts on
how you might want to start?

Wayne

Francisco Gortázar wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I have seen your project and it sounds really interesting to us. Me and
> another colleague have participated in the development of an Eclipse
> distribution for education (EclipseGavab:
> http://www.gavab.es/eclipsegavab/). Our primary intention was to provide
> the students one IDE for every language, so that they could learn the
> IDE once, and then focus on the different languages and paradigms they
> have to learn. We wanted also to provide the environment with the
> necessary tools (compilers, vms and interpreters), so no further
> installation was needed.
>
> Up to now, we have been using the environment for four years, and have
> asked students to fill a questionaire each year about their overall
> impression with respect to EclipseGavab. It seems that they are
> comfortable with the environment, and specifically they have said that
> they like to use a real environment.
>
> More concretelly, we have focused on these aspects when developing
> EclipseGavab:
>
> * All-in-one bundle: languages and tools together in a single
> environment (although this is only the case for Windows for now)
> * Collaborative programming: we've included Subversive, Mylyn and ECF.
> We are also investigating including Saros
> (https://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/w/SE/DPP) for next releases
>
> One thing we haven't had time yet to improve is ease of use (like what
> you're doing with the JavaLite approach), but we'd like to. So we are
> wondering if we could join efforts in this sense.
> Currently, we provide support for Java, Haskell, Pascal (yes, Pascal),
> Ruby and PascalFC. Obviously, different universities and colleges, may
> need a different set of tools, so I wonder if you have thought about
> providing different "flavours" or packages (instead of one single
> package). What if, for instance, one would like to use ML instead of
> Haskell or Lisp instead of Scheme? I, as a professor, would like to
> choose the tools that best suit for me.
> In the sense of collaborative programming tools, have you thought of
> something, for instance, like on-line remote assistance for students?
> The shared editing capabilites of ECF project may help in this sense.
>
> Ok, this post is already too long, I'm looking forward for any news on
> these topics and any other from the IDE4EDU project related to teaching CS.
>
> kind regards,
> Patxi.
Re: Experiences with Eclipse in CS education [message #516702 is a reply to message #515707] Wed, 24 February 2010 15:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Francisco Gortázar is currently offline Francisco Gortázar
Messages: 19
Registered: July 2009
Location: Spain
Junior Member
Wayne,

I'm interested in the project in different ways. You have sketched some ideas on the wiki page, and there are lot more that would be great to see implemented within IDE4EDU project.

It seems to me that at the moment you are focused mainly on students that are learning programming. What I see is that post-secondary students have many different skills. A first year student expect different things from an IDE than a last-year student. What I mean is that it could be interesting to develop IDE4EDU in more than one way. First year students may benefit from simplifying the UI, which is a bit hard for them (I use Eclipse for first and second year students). And fourth year students may benefit from having Subversive-Mylyn-Bugzilla integration in a software engineering related subject.

I think that, although the Eclipse for first-year students is a challenge, and requires a lot of effort, IDE4EDU could be providing other flavours with less effort. I have taught students to use ECF for collaborative editing, so that they can ask me questions about their code on-line from within the ide. I did the same with svn and currently they commit their works to an svn server. So shipping an IDE4EDU package with jdt, subversive and ecf could be useful, and don't require much effort. As you say, instead of providing huge packages, it could be great if a professor could define its own profile for his subject, and provide this profile to his students so that they could end up with the environment the professor designed.

Anyway, this is just a suggestion. I'd like to collaborate on the project. I'll probably continue on developing the Eclipse distribution we are currently using in my university, but with the idea of joining efforts so we can end up with a single Eclipse IDE for education. I'm also time-constrained, but each year I lead several students on a project they have to develop, and I usually focus the projects on Eclipse-related technologies. I'll try to promote the project within my students.

Do you think it worth exploring some of these ideas?

As I write, some things come to my mind. Have you talked to UI guys to tackle together the problem of simplifying the ui? I'm thinking of e4, and could be the right moment to suggest this kind of things for e4. It comes to my mind that plug-in developers may indicate mandatory versus optional menu options/views. It could be useful even for non students (when I connec remotely via vnc from my laptop large menus are not easy to manage with). So having a simplified view of a perspective could be something interesting also for others, and worth including in Eclipse UI.

I'm not sure if we should be having this conversation on the mailing list.

Patxi


Re: Experiences with Eclipse in CS education [message #516767 is a reply to message #516702] Wed, 24 February 2010 22:45 Go to previous message
Wayne Beaton is currently offline Wayne Beaton
Messages: 496
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
We've had to set a rather specific focus due to resource constraints.
That's why we're looking exclusively at the first year student as a
target. We've been thinking about some of the ideas that you've
mentioned. Frankly, I'd love to get them done.

I envision an IDE with a relatively small footprint that the student can
start with and then grow with time. Using p2 technology, we should be
able to incrementally add functionality as we need it. Increase what the
student can do with the environment as they get more sophisticated.

We've had some discussion about how we might have the IDE be smart
enough to determine how advanced the student is and adjust the available
behaviour based on that. Of course, resources being what they are, we
haven't had time to spend on that. So, our focus is that of getting a
version of Eclipse out there without the 'sharp corners' to help the
beginner get acquainted.

I'd love to have your involvement. If we're not doing the right sorts of
things, please let us know. I'd love to have your involvement in
developing a better vision for the project as we move forward. I'd love
to help you and your students participate in the project. Together, I
suspect that we can do some great things.

We have put some energy into Scheme support. Further, the new ELF
project--which will be providing a Prolog development environment--shows
great promise.

I'm excited by the prospect of collaborating with you.

You can communicate via this forum/newsgroup, or via the mailing list.
Whichever is easiest for you.

Wayne

Francisco Gortázar wrote:
> Wayne,
>
> I'm interested in the project in different ways. You have sketched some
> ideas on the wiki page, and there are lot more that would be great to
> see implemented within IDE4EDU project.
> It seems to me that at the moment you are focused mainly on students
> that are learning programming. What I see is that post-secondary
> students have many different skills. A first year student expect
> different things from an IDE than a last-year student. What I mean is
> that it could be interesting to develop IDE4EDU in more than one way.
> First year students may benefit from simplifying the UI, which is a bit
> hard for them (I use Eclipse for first and second year students). And
> fourth year students may benefit from having Subversive-Mylyn-Bugzilla
> integration in a software engineering related subject.
>
> I think that, although the Eclipse for first-year students is a
> challenge, and requires a lot of effort, IDE4EDU could be providing
> other flavours with less effort. I have taught students to use ECF for
> collaborative editing, so that they can ask me questions about their
> code on-line from within the ide. I did the same with svn and currently
> they commit their works to an svn server. So shipping an IDE4EDU package
> with jdt, subversive and ecf could be useful, and don't require much
> effort. As you say, instead of providing huge packages, it could be
> great if a professor could define its own profile for his subject, and
> provide this profile to his students so that they could end up with the
> environment the professor designed.
> Anyway, this is just a suggestion. I'd like to collaborate on the
> project. I'll probably continue on developing the Eclipse distribution
> we are currently using in my university, but with the idea of joining
> efforts so we can end up with a single Eclipse IDE for education. I'm
> also time-constrained, but each year I lead several students on a
> project they have to develop, and I usually focus the projects on
> Eclipse-related technologies. I'll try to promote the project within my
> students.
> Do you think it worth exploring some of these ideas?
> As I write, some things come to my mind. Have you talked to UI guys to
> tackle together the problem of simplifying the ui? I'm thinking of e4,
> and could be the right moment to suggest this kind of things for e4. It
> comes to my mind that plug-in developers may indicate mandatory versus
> optional menu options/views. It could be useful even for non students
> (when I connec remotely via vnc from my laptop large menus are not easy
> to manage with). So having a simplified view of a perspective could be
> something interesting also for others, and worth including in Eclipse UI.
>
> I'm not sure if we should be having this conversation on the mailing list.
>
> Patxi
Re: Experiences with Eclipse in CS education [message #570141 is a reply to message #515707] Wed, 24 February 2010 15:44 Go to previous message
Francisco Gortázar is currently offline Francisco Gortázar
Messages: 19
Registered: July 2009
Location: Spain
Junior Member
Wayne,

I'm interested in the project in different ways. You have sketched some ideas on the wiki page, and there are lot more that would be great to see implemented within IDE4EDU project.

It seems to me that at the moment you are focused mainly on students that are learning programming. What I see is that post-secondary students have many different skills. A first year student expect different things from an IDE than a last-year student. What I mean is that it could be interesting to develop IDE4EDU in more than one way. First year students may benefit from simplifying the UI, which is a bit hard for them (I use Eclipse for first and second year students). And fourth year students may benefit from having Subversive-Mylyn-Bugzilla integration in a software engineering related subject.

I think that, although the Eclipse for first-year students is a challenge, and requires a lot of effort, IDE4EDU could be providing other flavours with less effort. I have taught students to use ECF for collaborative editing, so that they can ask me questions about their code on-line from within the ide. I did the same with svn and currently they commit their works to an svn server. So shipping an IDE4EDU package with jdt, subversive and ecf could be useful, and don't require much effort. As you say, instead of providing huge packages, it could be great if a professor could define its own profile for his subject, and provide this profile to his students so that they could end up with the environment the professor designed.

Anyway, this is just a suggestion. I'd like to collaborate on the project. I'll probably continue on developing the Eclipse distribution we are currently using in my university, but with the idea of joining efforts so we can end up with a single Eclipse IDE for education. I'm also time-constrained, but each year I lead several students on a project they have to develop, and I usually focus the projects on Eclipse-related technologies. I'll try to promote the project within my students.

Do you think it worth exploring some of these ideas?

As I write, some things come to my mind. Have you talked to UI guys to tackle together the problem of simplifying the ui? I'm thinking of e4, and could be the right moment to suggest this kind of things for e4. It comes to my mind that plug-in developers may indicate mandatory versus optional menu options/views. It could be useful even for non students (when I connec remotely via vnc from my laptop large menus are not easy to manage with). So having a simplified view of a perspective could be something interesting also for others, and worth including in Eclipse UI.

I'm not sure if we should be having this conversation on the mailing list.

Patxi
--
http://www.gavab.es/eclipsegavab
http://sidelab.wordpress.com


Re: Experiences with Eclipse in CS education [message #570167 is a reply to message #570141] Wed, 24 February 2010 22:45 Go to previous message
Wayne Beaton is currently offline Wayne Beaton
Messages: 496
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
We've had to set a rather specific focus due to resource constraints.
That's why we're looking exclusively at the first year student as a
target. We've been thinking about some of the ideas that you've
mentioned. Frankly, I'd love to get them done.

I envision an IDE with a relatively small footprint that the student can
start with and then grow with time. Using p2 technology, we should be
able to incrementally add functionality as we need it. Increase what the
student can do with the environment as they get more sophisticated.

We've had some discussion about how we might have the IDE be smart
enough to determine how advanced the student is and adjust the available
behaviour based on that. Of course, resources being what they are, we
haven't had time to spend on that. So, our focus is that of getting a
version of Eclipse out there without the 'sharp corners' to help the
beginner get acquainted.

I'd love to have your involvement. If we're not doing the right sorts of
things, please let us know. I'd love to have your involvement in
developing a better vision for the project as we move forward. I'd love
to help you and your students participate in the project. Together, I
suspect that we can do some great things.

We have put some energy into Scheme support. Further, the new ELF
project--which will be providing a Prolog development environment--shows
great promise.

I'm excited by the prospect of collaborating with you.

You can communicate via this forum/newsgroup, or via the mailing list.
Whichever is easiest for you.

Wayne

Francisco Gortázar wrote:
> Wayne,
>
> I'm interested in the project in different ways. You have sketched some
> ideas on the wiki page, and there are lot more that would be great to
> see implemented within IDE4EDU project.
> It seems to me that at the moment you are focused mainly on students
> that are learning programming. What I see is that post-secondary
> students have many different skills. A first year student expect
> different things from an IDE than a last-year student. What I mean is
> that it could be interesting to develop IDE4EDU in more than one way.
> First year students may benefit from simplifying the UI, which is a bit
> hard for them (I use Eclipse for first and second year students). And
> fourth year students may benefit from having Subversive-Mylyn-Bugzilla
> integration in a software engineering related subject.
>
> I think that, although the Eclipse for first-year students is a
> challenge, and requires a lot of effort, IDE4EDU could be providing
> other flavours with less effort. I have taught students to use ECF for
> collaborative editing, so that they can ask me questions about their
> code on-line from within the ide. I did the same with svn and currently
> they commit their works to an svn server. So shipping an IDE4EDU package
> with jdt, subversive and ecf could be useful, and don't require much
> effort. As you say, instead of providing huge packages, it could be
> great if a professor could define its own profile for his subject, and
> provide this profile to his students so that they could end up with the
> environment the professor designed.
> Anyway, this is just a suggestion. I'd like to collaborate on the
> project. I'll probably continue on developing the Eclipse distribution
> we are currently using in my university, but with the idea of joining
> efforts so we can end up with a single Eclipse IDE for education. I'm
> also time-constrained, but each year I lead several students on a
> project they have to develop, and I usually focus the projects on
> Eclipse-related technologies. I'll try to promote the project within my
> students.
> Do you think it worth exploring some of these ideas?
> As I write, some things come to my mind. Have you talked to UI guys to
> tackle together the problem of simplifying the ui? I'm thinking of e4,
> and could be the right moment to suggest this kind of things for e4. It
> comes to my mind that plug-in developers may indicate mandatory versus
> optional menu options/views. It could be useful even for non students
> (when I connec remotely via vnc from my laptop large menus are not easy
> to manage with). So having a simplified view of a perspective could be
> something interesting also for others, and worth including in Eclipse UI.
>
> I'm not sure if we should be having this conversation on the mailing list.
>
> Patxi
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