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Re: [K12OSN] Kids and programming

On 11 Nov 2002, Joshua Schmidlkofer wrote:

> "There's More Than One Way to Do It."   I don't want
> to start a war either - especially on this touchy subjects 

heh -- Why be shy?  These are matters of opinion, and there 
is of course no 'one true answer'

We all know, but stubbornly refuse, to 'Design first, code 
later' -- it is so much easier to just start typing.  So let's 
choose a language to make that easy.

I suggest that the 'right' tool is a simple tool, which is
probably interpreted (to avoid having to figure out
compilation); one which permits easy insertion of debugging
'print's' is about all one needs.

And it has to be able to catch the student right off, to lure
them into real results, really fast.  Before the first session 
is done.

So, I submit: Either shell or command line PHP are each fine
and sufficient for first 'desk tracing' walkthroughs, and THEN
running the code.  And sufficiently powerful (each probably
being Turing complete), that it takes a long time to outgrow

Read the first 6 examples at:
[which I threw together in four hours (along with the 
presentation tool it is running in)], and tell me that you 
cannot keep one chapter ahead of your students using any 
'Intro to Programming' text for examples you choose.

We presented another outline a year earlier:

Can't do that with perl or python -- they look too wierd, or 
carry too high a penalty for typo's


For a set of contrary resources: One of our local LUG's
members has compiled more Open License resources than one
could fairly cover in a year:

# Non-Programmers Tutorial For Python
# How to Think Like a Computer Scientist [Python Edition]
# How to Think Like a Computer Scientist [Java Edition]
# Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide
# and all the FSF books

-- Russ Herrold

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