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Summarizing the named-let debate
I'm not saying that these claims of pedagogical difficulty are
false, just that I don't yet understand the details of the
problem. Could one of the educators (George? Kent?) please
explain further just what the problem is? It just seems that
exploiting the close correspondence above should work well to
make the idea clear.
I teach Stanford masters and phd students and have the same problems
George and Dan do. To the uninitiated, "named let" is a confusing and
unnatural extension of LET. They ask, "what's that funny identifier
doing there, and why should such a simple syntactic modification change
the meaning so much?"
Overloading LET is a surprise, it makes students unsure of what they
understand. If we are suddenly allowed to change the meaning of LET,
then we also should be able to change LAMBDA and IF as well.
I advocate (and will use in future classes) LABEL+LET because the
form both introduces a LABEL (am I being reactionary?) and does a LET.
I dislike NAMED-LET because the let expression is not being named,
some procedure is being named.