[Edu-sig] Re: Best approach to teaching OOP and graphics

John Zelle john.zelle at wartburg.edu
Sat Mar 26 13:56:16 CET 2005

Arthur wrote:
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: edu-sig-bounces+ajsiegel=optonline.net at python.org [mailto:edu-sig-
>>>bounces+ajsiegel=optonline.net at python.org] On Behalf Of urnerk at qwest.net
>>But there is no real point being made beyond that. If one chooses to
>>the convention - something like VPython provides a quite convenient way
>>one to get one's DrawableCircle to actually draw, and without the need to
>>prepare anything in the way of a drawing context - which might otherwise
>>become the most complex, obscure and least relevant portion of the code.
> Actually on a little more thought, it is just the point that Scott already
> made.  VPython provides an environment of instantaneous visual feedback.
> Visual business can be conducted from the command line.  Change the color
> attribute of the object, and the color of the circle instantaneously changes
> - not even "no compile cycle", no rerun of code of any kind.  The object
> seems in fact like an object - conveys some sense of  tangibility, as an
> object should.

I agree that graphics programming is a great, concrete way, to teach 
about objects. That is the point of my 2D graphics library. VPython is 
also a great tool. The one caveat I would make here is that many OO 
designers would say that the approach taken by VPython allowing direct 
attribute access is not good style. Objects should generally be 
manipulated through methods, not by twiddling fields. I know this is 
fairly common in Python, but maybe Vpython is not the best first example 
of object-oriented design.

> And thereby seems to exist in an environment naturally adaptable to  the
> teaching task at hand.
> Art
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John M. Zelle, Ph.D.             Wartburg College
Professor of Computer Science    Waverly, IA
john.zelle at wartburg.edu          (319) 352-8360

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