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Re: [vox] ISO: Good programming language to teach an 8yr old
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Re: [vox] ISO: Good programming language to teach an 8yr old

On Fri, Mar 19, 2004 at 03:29:35PM -0800, Ken Herron wrote:
> I'm not a parent, and I don't know this kid, but do you actually know 
> that he'd like to  write a game or use turtle graphics?

I'm not 100% sure.  But, of course, as with all kids, games were the first
thing he went for when I gave him an account on this Linux kiosk.

> If you asked him, sure, he might say he wants to write a game. But if he 
> writes some typical beginner-tutorial game like "hangman", he'll probably 
> decide the game is lame about five seconds after he's done.

That's fine.  Even for me, sometimes writing the game is more fun (to me)
than the game itself.

I've had an incredibly fun time writing Tux Paint, for example, but I don't
USE it every day.  (Of course, I'm specifically not my own audience...
but still.)

> Trying to 
> write a "real" game, even one like Frozen Bubble, might end with him 
> quitting in frustration.

I was writing games (or trying to) that weren't much more than Frozen Bubble
or little graphical adventure games when I wasn't much older than him.
He's got quite a headstart for his age, too...  He knows more about computers
than I did when I was his age...  I just happened to know BASIC, instead of
the ins and outs of a Windows box admin interface. ;^)

> As for turtle graphics, I suspect the modern 
> male child would learn how to draw a star, then a boobie, then get bored 
> with it.

Turtle graphics can be kind of fun to teach geometry, but I can't imagine it
being used for too much else. :^/

> Maybe you could start him out with mysql and show him how to make a 
> database of his classmates or his action figures or something. That leads 
> pretty quickly into writing utilities and web front-ends.

Hehehe...  We can do MySQL, sure!  :^)  Then he can move on to Oracle and
work for a big 3-letter-acronym company near here. ;^)  Hehehehehehe

Honestly, though, yeah that could be cool.  Here's a database, and here's
why it's interesting.  (I've ALMOST figured out that last part myself, even!)


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