[LINK] REAL Basic language for Win, Mac and Linux
cas at taz.net.au
Fri Jun 17 10:57:42 EST 2005
On Fri, Jun 17, 2005 at 10:20:22AM +1000, Con Zymaris wrote:
> > 1. it's BASIC. this is a terrible programming language to teach anyone,
> > it teaches bad habits which takes YEARS to unlearn, if ever.
> You're thinking of BASIC circa when we started out Craig ;-)
> Modern BASIC is nothing like what we knew in the 70s.
> In fact, most modern mid-tier procedural and pseudo-OO languages are
> essentially the same, whether the BASIC in VB or RealBasic or OO Pscal in
it's true that modern BASICs are much better than the old non-OO &
they are still, however, BASIC which is a mediocre and arbitrary syntax
to teach. at least the C-like languages have internally consistent
syntax for programming blocks, data structures, and so on. with BASIC,
everthing is a special case.
teaching modern BASIC isn't anywhere near as bad an idea as teaching
ancient BASIC, but is still a bad idea when you compare it to teaching
almost any other modern or near-modern language.
and that's before you take into account that both VB and RealBASIC
are "visual" languages, which inherently gets in the way of learning
about programming and fosters the cargo-culting habit of using other
people's code without understanding it at all.
> > 2. their web site says "Students simply use drag and drop to create
> > the software interface, then add code snippets and see the results
> > of their work, instantly."
> Most IT teachers need a gently sloping introductory language
> through which 95% of their students can learn to 'program' by doing
> 'interesting' things. Interesting generally means gee-wizz visual
then they're not teaching programming. they're teaching gee-whizzery.
there may be some educational value in that, but it's NOT the same thing
as teaching programming and should not be used as a substitute for it.
> Like it or hate it, that's how coding is done.
no, that's NOT how *coding* is done.
> Now, for the remaining 5% of kids, it's blue-sky time. We had a 15
> year old join us for a few months work experience. This kid was
> seriously into Python & bash, learning Ruby, competent in Java and C#.
> But he'd be one in 10,000 - an absolute rarity. Still, minds such as
> his will not be mollified by VB or RB.
there would be quite a few more like him if kids were taught programming
rather than drag & drool gee-whizzery.
craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au> (part time cyborg)
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