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Re: [K12OSN] a prospective client - k12ltsp and logo

> 	The real reson why kids, or grownups, should not start with
> assembler is not that you can't write good code in it, but that you have
> to be pretty darn good programmer with understanding of hardware to be
> able to do this.

I've actually found that it is writing in assembler that enables you to
have an understanding of the hardware.  It is _very_ hard for people to go
from programming in the abstract to learning the nuts and bolts of how
computer memory operates.  However the other direction is not so hard.  If
you have no basis for programming at all, I think it's much better to
start with learning how the computer itself operates, then working up to
how good programmers put this into practice.  That's the approach I'm
working on in my book that I'm writing (well, it's kind of stagnating
right now) -



> 	Basic can be an excellent tool to teach, but the expectations are
> so much higher now then they were in the dark ages when the computer
> memory was measured in KB, not GB that simple languages can be tought only
> to adults. Object oriented programming has been around in many forms for
> decades, but only in the last 5 years the computing power on the desktop
> became good enough to actually teach kids. This is great. Make sure you
> teach them problem solving as well, otherwise I'll keep interviewing
> "programmers" that can't figure out the solution to even simplest business
> problems. julius
> On Sun, 10 Nov 2002, Steve Wright wrote:
> > Steve Langasek wrote:
> >
> > >On Sat, Nov 09, 2002 at 08:55:24AM -0800, Jonathan Bartlett wrote:
> > >
> > >>Honestly, why not start them in assembler?  Kids will usually learn
> > >>anything, it's us who have to start off slowly.
> > >>
> > >
> > >Because most people I know who started out in assembly are terrible
> > >programmers... :)  Better to teach them basic concepts in programming
> > >first, so they have a chance to accomplish something in a higher-level
> > >language and can therefore recognize why most things are horrible to code
> > >in assembly...
> > >
> >
> > Exactly.  Programming these days is more about concepts than raw coding.
> >
> > Kids need to understand about objects and message-passing.  Logo is a
> > good introduction to procedures, as it is abundantly clear that little
> > can be done without using procedures, and it basically forces the
> > programmer to break down their code into the smallest workable components.
> >
> > Then, stepping up to Java 'formalizes' this process with the
> > introduction of classes and clearer (than Logo) formal descriptions of
> > what goes where.
> >
> > This is in great contrast to the old days of 'BASIC' where you ended up
> > with a single monlithic code that was incredibly complex and impossible
> > to re-use.  These days, there is no place in the professional
> > programming world for this type of coding style and teaching it to kids
> > does more to paralyse than it does to enable. (I spend hours warping my
> > mind around new concepts, after the poisoning it got from basic +
> > assembler.  8-)
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