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Re: [seul-edu] [Fwd: Re: Language to teach 10 year olds]

> > Take a look at the K12 program for our product MetaCard
> > (http://www.metacard.com/pi6.html).  It's scripting-language based GUI
> > IDE.  The language itself is a superset of the HyperTalk language used
> > in HyperCard, and is *far* easier to learn than Logo, BASIC, Tcl,
> > Python, or pretty much any other language you can name.  And unlike
> > most of those, it's a fully integrated graphical environment so you
> > don't have to teach kids how to create buttons and fields by writing
> > scripts (do any of the people proposing Tcl and Python for kids have
> > any clue that learning or doing things in those languages is twice as
> > much work as in a tool that does layout graphically?)
> >

I personally *loath* any visual programming language, and much more the 
the graphical languages, some of them with a good reputation, why ? Because
they don't teach programming and using them help to destroy the programmer 
( like Visual-*),
programming is based on two basic principles:
- abstraction of real world items
- acknowledge of repetitive 'patterns' or 'schemes' of such abstractions

Graphical languages certainly provide another way of abstraction as valid 
as the mathematical/pure programming,
but you have no clue of reducing the number cases of repetitive patterns 
in  graphical languages.

Programming is sometimes like climbing a pyramid, once you've filled a 
level you have to start the next upper level,
graphical languages have a limited number of resources, so the number 
of  pyramid levels is very limited.

For example, in a university project of mine, I ended producing 
documentation this way:
tcl programm generated python code that generated TeX code that was 
compiled into Postscript.
A Windows guy would have used Word.  I gained a lot of advantage because 
each level encapsulated
certain common problems and patterns within that level. The idea of 
encapsulation of problems is not
easy to use in graphical languages, you tend to see at the same level.