GNA Internet Course on Literate Programming

Here is a link to the virtual courseware for a GNA OOP course to get an impression of this kind of self-paced course. It also contains HTML samples.

The following is a preliminary specification for a course to be held in the virtual teaching equipment of Globewide Network Academy [GNA] -- affiliated to the Usenet University project. Curricular matters are discussed in an own GNA working group.

This announcement was posted to the GNA discussion group alt.uu.future in September 1993. If you are interested in either attending this course as a student, or want to help as a consultant, please send a statement of your interests to You will receive a standard reply message; after that but probably not before summer 1994, you will receive further details and a questionnaire.

Course Name:
Introduction to Literate Programming
This class is to serve as an introduction to the philosophy and techniques of "literate programming" [LitProg], an approach to structured documentation and sotfware engineering using the popular, freely available (La)TeX formatter. The courseware still has to be developed - many excellent manuals and User's guides (as well as a book by D.E. Knuth, author of the first LitProg tool for Pascal) exist for the various LitProg tools and may serve as a starting point. The LitProg community is a very active, enthusiastic group of programmers, supported by a newsgroup, a mailing list, FAQs, a World Wide Web library of documents, and archives for all the free tools available (for various languages and environments).
Knowledge of at least one programming language. (Which one still has to be discussed). Basic knowledge of (La)TeX (or which formatter?) not required, but taught during preliminary sessions.
  • Hardware: anything goes (almost), from workstation to PC, Unix to MS-DOS. (A pocket calculator won't do, though).
  • Software: (La)TeX [free, from CTAN] and one [free] LitProg tool, probable one of the simplest like NOWEB or NUWEB (this still has to be discussed).
  • Format:
    Consultant/self-paced. The text for this class will be based on texts, sample programs and (maybe) exercises which be made available via anonymous ftp. There will be a consultant's room in the GNA virtual campus which will be staffed by a consultant in one to two hour shifts. Students with questions can telnet to the virtual campus and ask questions of the staff there.
    Date and Length:
    Summer or fall '94 - depending on how much net response is there and how fast the courseware can be prepared. Approx. 10 weeks.
    The course material has to be written. People willing to join the list of consultants for this course may contact me anytime.
    Enrollment limit:
    5-10 students per consultant.
    Students must agree to work for Globewide Network Academy in some capacity. This may include agreeing to serve as a consultant next term, donating computing resources which belong to them, helping with programming, etc. Addendum: some students could apply their fresh knowledge to prepare a literate programming document for the GNA C++ Course: Here are some sample files showing how another GNA course on C++ could profit from this idea. In fact, this approach may be chosen for any future programming course.
    comp.programming.literate (gatewayed to LitProg mailing list), alt.uu.future. See also WWW information at the DESY server
    Donald E. Knuth, "Literate Programming", CLSI (Center for the Study of Language and Information) Lecture Notes Number 27, Leland Stanford Junior University, 1992. ISBN 0-937073-81-4, Price: $32 (in April 92)
    More information:
  • Registration
  • Literate Programming Library
  • Other GNA course specifications on WWW
  • Example: WWW support for a class on Programming Languages
  • Example: WWW support for the upcoming GNA Internet course

  • Copyright (C) 1993-94 by Globewide Network Academy [GNA], Inc. Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

    You may make and distribute verbatim copies of this text provided the GNA copyright notice appears on all such copies.

    Last updated March 27, 1994