Hmm, yes, Wellington is probably right. Sorry I seemed so uptight. The actual question I still think is moronic. I’ve been programming only a couple years less than that guy and I had no idea what he meant.
I’m glad your professor seems to be a good one. My experience is that after someone finishes his class I have to help a lot of his students figure out how to make things work. I can’t tell you how often I’ve had something like the following (actual experiences!):
student - My program isn’t compiling. Can you help me?
me - Sure, let’s see it.
student brings a 4 by 3 inch emacs window on a 20 inch monitor to the front and points at the ten half-lines of code visible.
me - No, I mean your compiler output. What does it say is wrong?
student brings a similar-sized xterm to the front and points at a mass of compiler output all crammed inside.
me - a suggestion: make your window larger so you can see what you are doing.
student resizes window about an inch larger right and bottom.
me hits maximize button. I explain that the more you can see the easier it is to understand. you can always minimize the window whenever you don’t want to look at it.
at the top of the display it indicates some local include file is not found.
me - it looks like it can’t find the file “foobar.h”. is it in your directory?
student types “ls” and about 500 files scroll by. student is in his home directory. everything he has ever done is there. student is not sure which file he is currently editing.
at this point, I feel like finding his professor in some dark alley and beating him up…
/me puts rant away
Anyway, if, as you learn to program, you can remember how to look at things from the outside in (that is, not knowing what you know) then you’ll do OK.