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Re: RFC: -Wall by default

On 05.04.2012 16:33, Robert Dewar wrote:
On 4/5/2012 8:28 AM, Michael Veksler wrote:

It is not that they can't remember. I am a TA at a moderately basic
programming course,
and student submit home assignments with horrible errors. These errors,
such as
free(*str) or *str=malloc(n) are easily be caught by -Wall. I have to
remember to
advise them to use -Wall and to fix all the warnings, which I sometimes
forget to do.

Wouldn't it be better in a "moderately basic programming course" to provide standard canned scripts that set things up nicely for students including the switches they need? Indeed for such a course wouldn't it be better to use an appropriate IDE, so they could concentrate on the task at hand and not fiddling with commands. Yes, I think it is very important for students to learn what is going on, but you can't do everything at once in a basic course.

And even in the context you give, surely it is not too much to expect
a TA to remember important advice like this?

FWIW, in our "basic programming" course students have to hand their homework to an automated testing system which forces the compiler options we think useful, including all the relevant warning switches and -Werror. Of course, there is a web page explaining the meaning of the switches and TAs help with emphasizing their importance to students. And indeed, you can't do everything in an 101 course, thus not much of this (helpful) information remains in their heads. But it's better than nothing.


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