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

Gregor Lingl glingl at aon.at
Tue Apr 13 18:06:00 EDT 2004

>Gregor Lingl wrote:
>>Having taught Logo for years I now prefer to use Python as a
>>teaching language and - indeed  - I think that it easier to
>>understand and to use (by the students) as soon as problems (tasks)
>>to be solved get a bit more advanced. 
>I do think Python has a nicer syntax than Logo.
>What kind of more advanced tasks?
Short answer: I mean tasks involving lists and recursion. Logo (in its
original form) lacks a simple looping construct and (or because it) claims
that recursive thinking is the natural way of handling the (naturally 
datatype list. While this is certainly true it forms a steep hurdle for
the beginner trying to advance from funny turtle graphics programs to
something different.

Using a declarative style (in contrast to functional style) of programming
and making heavy use of  assignment with "make makes Logo code
look really ugly. I think most people would agree that Logo code of
moderate complex problems is hard to read (and understand). (Harder
than lisp) One reason for this is imo that the reader must know
the number of arguments of every function used in order to separate
(mentally) consecutive function calls. I admit, that more recent Logo
versions have means to organize code in a more readable way.
Nevertheless Logo is far from "executable pseudo code".

Would be interesting to explain in more detail, but unfortunately
I haven't got more time at the moment


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