[Edu-sig] Visual Programming in Python?
jpsandys at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 19 21:15:47 CEST 2006
> So this isn't Logo, but it's probably where we're headed with
> the turtle stuff:
> t1 = Turtle()
> I can imagine a big commercial company contributing a colorful
> professional grade edition to the education community, via GNU
> or whatever. Making the syntax consistently Pythonic would be
> an attractive feature (implement bindings for both Python *and*
> traditional Logo why not?).
Thank you, Kirby, for expressing this. While PyLogo is an
interesting and valuable experiment, I don't think that it will
contribute to introductory Python programming education. I love
Logo syntax and enjoy teaching Logo to Middle school students.
I wouldn't use PyLogo when teaching Python.
What I would like to see in a turtle environment comes from
StarLogo ( http://education.mit.edu/starlogo/ ). StarLogo has
multiple turtles, the turtles can inherit methods to make new
turtle classes, and the background also has methods for its cells,
implementing Conway's Life only takes several lines. The Santa
Fe Institute uses StarLogo to teach non-programmers sophisticated
behavior and business simulations.
I think that creating a StarPython, with Python syntax, would be
a more valuable effort that forcing Python to resemble Logo.
Python would be easier to teach if it had clearer error messages.
Most Logo error messages lead the programmer to the solution for
the bug. I would like to see an IDE that had Doctest and maybe
profile as a button in the menu bar.
Another advanced Logo is Elica ( http://www.elica.net/ ). Elica
has 3D geometry, a nice object browser and abandons the Logo like
Ask and Tell object syntax for Python like dot notation. Elica
architecture allows linking other programs. I imagine a close
integration of Python and Elica ( Pelican ? ) but this is beyond
my programming abilities.
Kirby, where is your final Shuttleworth report? Did you get
anything out of it? I liked your XP idea of piloting many ideas.
Do you think they will create a successful curriculum in 3 years?
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