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steve donovan wrote:

Interactivity is a big, big plus, because it allows for an almost
conversational mode of language learning.  Whether all people learn
PLs better in conversational mode I don't know, but it certainly works
for a lot of people.

I'm sure some of you may remember reading "Starting FORTH" by Leo
Brodie. It's a classic example of learnnig to program using a
conversational style text...

Whenever I demonstrate programming the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT (sorry, the
capitalization is mandatory) using pbLua running on the NXT, people
are amazed at how interactive and iterative the process is.

Try this, see what happens, add that, change a setting.

They ask about the IDE, and where is the compiler. The fact that
my typical development environment is an editor and a terminal
emulator is baffling to them.

So yes, Lua is a great first language.

The problem is the incredible inertia involved in getting it into
a high school or university curriculum. I've got a lot of interest
in pbLua from engineering schools that use the LEGO MINDSTORMS
in first year classes, but they almost all use Robot-C because
the course description says it's an introductory programming
course that uses C with robotics....