Which kid's beginners programming - Python or Forth?

Ivan Van Laningham ivanlan at pauahtun.org
Tue Jun 28 06:15:15 CEST 2005

Hi All--

Roy Smith wrote:
>   When you learn Forth, you will have learned Forth.
> About the best that can be said about that is that It'll give you a
> head-start if your next goal is to learn PostScript :-)

In which case, you should start with PostScript;-)  I learned it by
plugging a glass tty into the serial port on one of the very first
AppleWriters and typing away.  None of this fancy-shmancy '>>>'
business;-)  But what a great reward, having graphics come out the
printer when you typed 'show'.

Seriously, PostScript is a lot more fun to learn than Forth, and more
directly useful.  Since the rewards are so immediate, a kid's attention
could be gained and kept pretty easily.

But I'd still recommend Python as a first programming language.  Keep to
the standard stuff--ignore list comprehensions and so on--until he or
she has the basic control flow down pat.

Ivan Van Laningham
God N Locomotive Works
Army Signal Corps:  Cu Chi, Class of '70
Author:  Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours

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