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Re: which blend caters to TaL computer programming? . . .

On Tue, 13 Mar 2018 10:04:14 -0400
Albretch Mueller <lbrtchx@gmail.com> wrote:

>  I have a group of kids that are very good in Math and they want to
> learn some actual programming
>  My approach is to introduce them to the basics of coding using ANSI
> C, C++ and java (so they learn what pointers are about, how patterns
> are coded in different languages, ...)
>  Is there a blend with those ANSI C, C++ and java as well as eclipse
> installed, so that they can use it from a DVD Debian live version?

I'm not aware of one, but then again I don't work in those areas. If I
had to do it, I'd make my own live DVD with those explicitly installed.

I think some of the random noise in the replies is due to your
juxtaposition of 'basics of coding' with 'pointers', and 'in different
languages'. 'Basics' to me is the business of learning how to translate
a real-world problem into a procedural language rather than the
technicalities of the language. I don't know how other people learn,
but my biggest problem with a new language is getting the concepts of
the syntax right and trying to forget the punctuation of the last
language I used... switching between similar but not identical
languages doesn't seem to me the way to go.

Still, let me add some noise of my own: I learned the basic concepts on
Fortran IV (on punched cards) which was certainly not optimal. The BBC,
in their drive to teach the country how to program, started children on
Logo and moved to BBC BASIC, which had eliminated most of the problems
of early BASICs such as Applesoft. As it happens, my first trial C
program used recursion with pointers, and worked first time, but I'd
encountered recursion in BBC BASIC (does the Towers of Hanoi have any
other purpose?) and had done some machine coding on the DG Nova which
involved considerable use of indirection.  

I might suggest other lines of approach, such as Lazarus (I learned the
outlines of OO on Borland Delphi) which mixes coding with visual
application building, or the use of Arduino hardware which is cheap and
very much real-world, and is supported well on Debian. Python is the
preferred language there, which can be OO if you like. In my youth we
were pretty impressed with being able to draw ASCII penguins on fanfold
paper (you guessed, my first Fortran program), but I think today's
children want to see more in the way of results than a few lines of


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