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- Subject: Re: OFF TOPIC -- Starter programming language for a brilliant child
- From: Greg Lewin <greg.lewin@...>
- Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 15:36:09 +0000
On 26 March 2013 14:13, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 12:24 AM, Dirk Laurie <email@example.com> wrote:
>> 2013/3/25 marbux <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
>>> The reason I am asking is that about a week ago I met an 8-year-old
>>> girl named Hunter whose obvious brilliance very simply rocked me on my
>>> heels. (I'm going on 67 years old and this was the first time I'd had
>>> such an experience.) She has no computer. So with her mother's
>>> permission I am buying her a used laptop. I'd like to equip the laptop
>>> with that programming language's interpreter and its tutorials. (I'm
>>> also going to bring her to the attention of some people I know who
>>> work with gifted children.)
>> Just one of word from advice from a contemporary: don't choose
>> something you yourself do not know well. You will be an honorary
>> grandfather-cum-guru and don't want to be forced into confessing
>> ignorance too soon.
> Yeah ... exactly ;-)
> Really, there are so many "programming for kids" resources that you
> almost need a buyers' guide. Scratch, which is Python-based, seems to
> be popular now. For that matter, if you build the laptop with Fedora,
> you can get the whole One Laptop Per Child Sugar desktop, which
> includes Scratch and e Toys, a dialect of Smalltalk/Squeak. There's
> also an openSUSE educational LiveDVD called Edu-Li-F-E that covers
> pre-school through grad school. (Yes, really - every open source game
> and professional grade math package, most of the desktops, a LAMP
> stack, Linux Terminal Server, ...).
> Twitter: http://twitter.com/znmeb; Computational Journalism Publishers Workbench
> I am not an IP address! I am a free man!
I also want to mention Python as a language with a particularly clear
structure which lends itself to any new programmer, and pretty neat
design, though a snag there is the 2.x / 3.x dichotomy. (and it's on
Also my all-time long-term object-of-delight (pun intended) language:
Smalltalk, the Squeak version being the most fun of all of them IMO -
it is highly visual and the direct manipulation and scripting of
objects in the 'Morphic' interface is hardly matched anywhere else.
I think its inclusion on the OLPC (disguised as EToys) is a bit of a
clue as to its possible usefulness to children. - also Alan Kay's long
term interest in education of children does show in Squeak.