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On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 8:27 AM, Tony Finch <> wrote:
> I think a first language needs quite a lot of batteries included, so that
> the teacher can provide fun motivating exercises. Graphics, sound,
> networking, hooks into the OS and/or apps (like AppleScript), etc.
> As a bare programming language I think Lua is great for teaching, but it
> needs a load of addons to provide a fun environment. What I would like is
> something a bit like BBC BASIC on the Master (i.e. with a full-screen
> editor as well as old-school line-by-line input).

There is always the more specialized embeddings of Lua like Löve2D
( if you want better visuals, I think something
like this would do just fine for a first semester "Introduction to
Programming" course. It would probably be enough to do the computer
graphics examples of SICP, for example.

Diego Nehab also built a nice game where you control prospecting
robots under the ocean, each robot has a few sensors to probe the
ocean floor, and you can set prospecting probes to tap oil and
increase your score. It was used at PUC-Rio in a very introductory
course on computer programming
(, which now uses real
robots with pbLua. :-)

Last year Roberto taught an "Introduction to Lua" course at PUC-Rio
that I think had some complete programming newbies, as it was not
intended solely for CS students. He can give his two cents on that
when he reads this thread.

> Tony.
> --
> f.anthony.n.finch  <>

Fabio Mascarenhas, Lablua