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True story. I was looking for a system that would help 7-year olds teach themselves programming. Hey it's 2018, right? After looking through what's available, the two major issues that I have with the current tools are: 1) Many of them require the Internet (too dangerous for self learning) 2) most, if not all, of them are drag and drop. I wanted a non-distracting environment where the kids practice reading and writing while learning to program. The sensation of causing an action simply by typing a word is priceless.
I mean I would've really liked this book back in 1990 or before, but not sure this one will have a market.
I don't know. I collect old computer equipment and it's becoming a big thing now to write old style computer games running on new equipment. The 8-bit guy on Youtube has a lot of cool videos showing his RPG running on old and new equipment.
When you are dead, you won't even know that you are dead. It's a pain only felt by others.
This thing that we do, is not for everyone. Society is "trying" to make it accessible to everyone, which is great in theory, but in practice, only a very small amount will continue the journey, and it will NOT be from learning how to program using a Commodore Turd Emulator.
Perhaps the author's point is that because these older environments are much more limited in what they can do, you're forced to focus on the "common fundamentals" without all the other "distractions" (as he puts it)...
All of that said--and while I've learned on the C64 myself and might see his point--I have to think a Raspberry Pi might still be a better starting point, if only (as you suggested) in terms of relevance.
Yeah, those are good points. Every web browser is almost like it's own OS.
But you could even set out the rule that the reader could use FireFox, Chrome or Edge and then say, "ok, hit F12" (dev tools)
Works in all 3 of those browsers.
After that, there's a lot you could teach directly from the console.
The problem with that approach is, can you really make a "complete program" you can package and share with someone and use elsewhere ? You could with the author's original approach. How would that work with a browser? That would be clumsy at best.
he problem with that approach is, can you really make a "complete program" you can package and share with someone and use elsewhere ?
I think so. I think it is even easier actually if you think about SPA (single page apps).
The code to do that is only 271 lines long.
I'm not saying that is a completely introductory article -- because there are some slightly advanced topics -- but I think you could get the interested party there very quickly.
Well, I think the author wants his child to simply learn the basic imperative programming, at first.
And I agree, maybe because I ancient enough to start programming in 1984 on a ZX Spectrum in basic and then fallen in love with Assembler up to today; I still remember very well how satisfying it was to literally conquer & dominate a routine, to move an 8x8 pixels little shape in a rudimentary maze, respecting walls and obstacles!
Back to the book, it could be a good solution to start the hard way, especially if it contributes to create a special father-son link.
I have a child 6 years old, and he's fond of games so much, too.
Being my wife a primary teacher involved in [try to] teaching coding, too, we approached some tools, Scratch in primis, and we took some experiment with our son; but I found that these tools are somehow too... funny: just like the platform overloads young children, creating more distractions than focus.
My very personal experience is that less may be more at these ages, in terms of the challenge the child is asked to solve, even if you carefully follow them side by side.
However, we are in Italy, so we have nothing professionally helping in teaching coding, just the good will and deep personal motivation.
Hey Voracy I am Italian too and I had the same impression about Scratch and similar environments when some friends asked me to help their young sons experiment some coding.
I would be very interested if you could share yours and your wife's experience and some suggestions - next Monday a friend will visit with his young son to chat a bit since the boy seems interested in programming.
Thanks in advance.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but not in practice. - Anonymous
A computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are, in short, a perfect match. - B. Bryson
I still remember very well how satisfying it was to literally conquer & dominate a routine, to move an 8x8 pixels little shape in a rudimentary maze, respecting walls and obstacles!
Great memory. I understand what you are saying. I had a Coleco Adam[^] and would faithfully type BASIC programs from Family Computing magazine in...and ultimately hit some bug I couldn't figure out.
Since computing wasn't everywhere we knew we were part of something mysterious and fascinating and everything was simpler and more difficult then. All of us who were fortunate enough to experience it often want to get back to it.