With the new university year begining, we used JLM again to introduce programming to our students who never got anywere near to programming. That's exactly the task we wrote JLM for, even if we then reused the mecanism for other modules, such as the recusion teaching.

The tool is always as effective, we are rather happy with it. It's a pitty that we didn't find the time to write a paper presenting it to the SIGCSE conference. The deadline was 09/11, I was in Seattle, Gérald had other things to do, and well we missed the deadline.

This year, like every year, some students were very fast with the introductionary exercises. That's not very surprising since we select the ones who should take this class from their previous cursus. Every student comming from a classe préparatoire must take this introductionary course. The ones coming from other horizon must take an introductionary course in maths. But some of the prépa students already know how to program. Some specific prépa actually teach computer science, and some students learned alone at home.

That is why, each year, we get scared with Gérald that students are very fast with JLM and that we need to add new exercises to the framework. I guess that in definitive, the ones finishing that fast do not needed this course afterall, and that's fine if they go home earlier. But every year, we add exercises anyway.

This year, Gérald created a JLM world allowing to write simple exercises about integer arrays. I created a new JLM world allowing to run very short exercises in the spirit of javabat by Nick Parlente. I also wrote a little dummy perl script parsing a page of Nick's web site, and writing the exercise in the JLM formalism. Then, you simply have to provide manually an implementation of the exercise which is used to compute the correct answers to compare to the ones returned by the students. At the end of the week, we should then have about 200 more exercises in JLM.

Now, we need to mail Nick to thank him for the exercises, check that he's ok with us reusing them in JLM (or drop them) and present JLM to him. I guess that he could be interested by our tool also.

We have tons of other ideas for JLM, such as hint support, supervisor mode or lessons to teach operating systems and network, but we kinda lack the time to work on it, unfortunately.