Linked by Kroc Camen on Mon 21st Jun 2010 19:49 UTC
General Development "For three years [my] son Ben, and I have engaged in a quixotic but determined quest: We've searched for a simple and straightforward way to get the introductory programming language BASIC to run on either my Mac or my PC. Why on Earth would we want to do that, in an era of glossy animation-rendering engines, game-design ogres and sophisticated avatar worlds? Because if you want to give young students a grounding in how computers actually work, there's still nothing better than a little experience at line-by-line programming." Looking beyond the immediate fear-inducing acronym BASIC, this article delves deeply into what it means to simply be in control--via a basic understanding of under the hood--of your own computer, and how our whiz-bang world of technology today is failing to bestow this understanding on this generation of would-be hackers.
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You have to start somewhere
by error32 on Mon 21st Jun 2010 21:05 UTC
error32
Member since:
2008-12-10

When I was a little kid my father wrote a small BASIC program that would do multiplications. When I saw how simple that was I knew I wanted to learn how to write computer programs, and now years later I am very happy that I saw that little BASIC program. Of course I have moved on to proper languages now (C of course), but I think BASIC is just fine to get kids into programming.

Reply Score: 5

RE: You have to start somewhere
by Carrot007 on Mon 21st Jun 2010 21:51 in reply to "You have to start somewhere"
Carrot007 Member since:
2008-02-04

> C of course?

Pah.

Kids.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: You have to start somewhere
by ebasconp on Tue 22nd Jun 2010 01:04 in reply to "You have to start somewhere"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

I think BASIC is just fine to get kids into programming.


I completely agree with you.

When I try to explain their first program to people that is learning Java... Their Hello World program looks like:

package MyPackage;

public class MyHelloWorld {
public static void main(String... args) {
System.out.println("Hello world");
}
}

How can I explain them the meaning of package, public, MyPackage, class, MyHelloWorld, static, void, main, String, ..., args, curly braces, System and out when the real thing is just executed by the println method and they do not know anything about the rest?

I disagree with people that thinks that starting with some
OOP language is good. The beginner needs to know more basic things like programming logics, what a variable is, what a subroutine is, how the loops works, the if-then clauses, etc... The constructions on top of this are... constructions on top of this. You should not build a skyscraper with no foundations.

Reply Parent Score: 11

AnyoneEB Member since:
2008-10-26

If that is your only issue with introducing new programmers to Java as their first language, then look into J0 ( http://www.cs.cornell.edu/Projects/j0/ ) which exists to solve that problem by not requiring all of that for simple Java programs.

Reply Parent Score: 1