TITLE: Scripting, CS1, and Language Theory AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 30, 2008 12:40 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Yesterday, I wrote a bit about scripting languages. It seems odd to have to talk about the value of scripting languages in 2008, as Ronald Loui does in his recent IEEE Computer article, but despite their omnipresence in industry, the academic world largely continues to prefer traditional systems languages. Some of us would like to see this change. First, let's consider the case of novice programmers. Most scripting languages lack some of the features of systems languages that are considered important for learners, such as static typing. Yet these "safer" languages also get in the way of learning, as Loui writes, by imposing "enterprise-sized correctness" on the beginner.