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Questions on Fall2002 M3 Milestone

What are you guys expecting for scenarios?
Could a TA post an example of a good scenario?

M3 says provide an Internal group timeline with dates and milestones (in a workspace)? What do you mean by workspace? Is there any particular format you are looking for?

Great. Dont answer questions before the assignment is due.

That's our fault for naming the pages wrong. No one noticed it because, when we took the class, the Milestones were all called P1, P2, ... , P7. I'm very sorry about that, but if it was a major issue prior to the night before, perhaps you should have spoken up sooner about it? Chris Verges

Why were the criteria for M3 changed without any warning?
My group has been using a printout of the criteria taken prior
To Sept 25th and it does not mention a Test Plan. While I can
understand how hard it is to nail the desired criteria on
pass one, I don’t understand why there wasn’t a post on
the newsgroup or an announcement in class mentioning this
change. Basically we are being punished for having started early.

While I’m at it let me give you some honest feedback on this
class. These are simply my opinions and I mean no disrespect.

Milestones:
Milestones are generally vague. This is another
discussion in itself. However I know at least one question on
the newsgroup and coweb that hasn’t been answered – The
question regarding group timeline with dates and
milestones (in a workspace). This question was posted over
24 hours and the assignment is due in 6 hours. How do you justify
not answering it?

Midterm: The midterm grade was not balanced. Since class policy
does not allow a curve the proposed solution is to have an optional
exam that will replace a portion of your midterm grade.
I don’t see how this helps. If the second grade replaced 50% of
the midterm grade and had a balanced class average of 75% then
the new class average would be 69% (D average). Most students
will be forced to take the second test as the highest grade was
a low B. You could make the second exam easier thus raising the
class average but now all the A students are screwed. Assume I
made the highest grade in the class, 84. Now I have to
make a 96 in the second exam just to break even.
Which of course isn’t possible in a subjective test that’s quizzes
your knowledge on the makers of Simula who recently passed away.

Squeak:
We are expected to comment the hell out of our code however most
of squeak source remains undocumented. This is rather sad
considering the makers of Squeak’s are all about good process.

This class is about teamwork and we all know how hard working
in groups can be when you have to collaborate squeak code. I’m sure
you would love to disagree but most teams seem to either have one
student coding everything or students taking turns coding. Thus beating
the very purpose of this class.

Majority of the students in this class don’t like working in Squeak.
Go ahead take an anonymous poll. Several students are pissed they
took the class this semester simply cause there’s talks about the
class being taught in C++ next semester. So why are we using Squeak?
The only reason that comes to mind is that the creators of this class
have invested a lot of time on Squeak and are now forcing students
to work on it for personal reasons. The biggest advantage Squeak has
going for it, is the ability to modify the VM code, core classes, etc .
Aside from that, the ability to rotate your workspace or draw a line
through desktop space that doesn’t belong to your window doesn’t
really impress me. How many students in this class have modified
the core? Are the projects in this class complex enough to persuade a
student to modify an undocumented piece of code in the core at the
cost of making sure his change sets remain flawless?

How many times have you lost code in Squeak? Squeak, in my
opinion, is a work in progress. I congratulate the makers of Squeak
on a fine project. However, forcing students to use an unsatisfactory
tool when better alternates exist is simply unethical.. For all the
Microsoft and C bashing that takes place in this class you need to
take a long hard look at Squeak. My answer to Squeak is C#, Java and
C++, in that order. This “students need to be exposed to a different
way of thinking” argument fails to convince me. Most Tech classes
place emphasis on independence from the language and concentrate on
the concepts anyway. We don’t need a core class that uses a less than
optimal tool to promote diverse thinking.

Unorganized Grading:
In my first milestone I profusely commented my code. However I lost
points in the comments section cause I didn’t add class comments. I
had no clue this feature existed. For those who don’t know about this
feature – you can add class comments by clicking on the ‘?’ between
the ‘Instance’ and ‘Class’ buttons in your system browser This would
only be fair if all other students were graded consistently. However,
my teammates – whose milestones graded by different TAs – weren’t
penalized for the same omission. This adds credibility to the general
opinion that your project grade in this class depends on the TA you
are assigned.

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