The University of Sussex

Why novices will find learning Prolog hard

Josie Taylor

This paper discusses the belief that logic programming languages, including Prolog, are easy to learn because of the relationship purported to hold between predicate logic and natural language. By reference to the literature, it is pointed out that logically unsophisticated beginners are prone to confuse natural language meaning with logical form, which leads them into errors of judgement regarding truth or validity. Encouraging novice programmers to view logic programming in terms of its natural language equivalents is undesirable because it may mislead them into complacency, and an over-reliance on natural language interpretation which they do not have the sophistication to constrain.

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