[Edu-sig] Re: easy for beginners, even children

David Handy david at handysoftware.com
Mon Apr 12 09:06:08 EDT 2004

On Sun, 11 Apr 2004, Daniel Ajoy wrote:

> Logo is another.
> Python:
> >>> qweqweqwe
> Traceback (most recent call last):
>   File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
> NameError: name 'qweqweqwe' is not defined
> Logo:
> ? qweqweqwe
> I don't know how  to qweqweqwe
> >Case insensitivity.
> make "UPPERCASE "whatever
> show :uppercase
> whatever
> >One based indexing.
> make "mylist [one two three]
> show item 1 :mylist
> one
> make "myarray {one two three}
> show item 2 :myarray
> two
> >Its numerics look like you are using a calculator.
> show 1+2*3
> 7
> Daniel

Yeah, Logo was designed for teaching. I'm still not motivated to use it 
for teaching my beginners.

I think this syntax

   make "myarray {one two three}

is more confusing for beginners than

   myarray = ['one', 'two', 'three']

I'm still willing to teach my beginners about case-sensitivity and
zero-based indexing, since they get Python in return.

I wish someone would do a controlled study of Logo and Python as first
programming languages. It would be interesting to see which approach was
more successful in helping people get started actually programming, as
opposed to having a one-time experience and never touching it again.

Logo has been around longer than Python and it's the most well-known
programming language. It's had plenty of time to prove itself. But I've
not yet met anyone who said "yeah, Logo was great, after learning it I
went on to..." write a game, do a project on their own, or anything.

In contrast, I think (and hope) the number of successful programmers who
started with Python will grow.

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