What's Really Important/feedback please

Ken Norris pixelbird at interisland.net
Fri Nov 14 23:03:06 EST 2003

Hi Judy,

This thing almost got lost in a barrage of repeats in the digest version.
Don't be surprised if mine is the only Re for awhile.
> Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 13:30:10 -0800 (PST)
> From: Judy Perry <jperryl at ecs.fullerton.edu>
> Subject: What's Really Important/feedback please

> I'm finishing up a program in instructional design and technology and
> would like for my final project to be a new Rev interface ala Hypercard's
> that will make the program more accessible to new/novice programmers
> (think: elementary school teachers and/or children).
> My questions to you, especially any of you who are not "real" (that is,
> formally educated in the discipline) programmers:
> 1.  What do you think should be presented in terms of programming
> concepts?
A) Establish design goals via outline and diagrams, i.e., What do you want
to do? How do you uexpect to get there? What do you want it to look like?
Write it down, draw pictures. IMHO, this is the most critical startup
procedure for building anything.

B) Set about examining the main structure and elements of the IDE you will
use (in this case Rev), i.e., what each one is and what it's used for.
Menus, tool palette, inspector, etc.

C) HyperCard is OK, but, IMHO, isn't necessarily the most beneficial example
for Rev. The background metaphor could mess up the more important mental
discipline of dimensional structures of groups, which a pretty big advantage
in Rev.

D) Go through the basic objects available and how they work, i.e., buttons,
fields, graphics. O' course you know they'll inhale it like a slurpee. Be
careful they don't cough. The ability to make their own buttons to do stuff,
like they're used to on the internet, will launch them into orbit

E) I'm personally a freak about teaching the hierarchy as soon as they're
ready, too. Much of the stuff we seem do these days has nothing in the
objects but custom properties. I use the stack script as a general
repository for all the handlers, so I have fewer places to go to locate and
deal with editing script changes. It's really quite normal.

F) Now that I'm past the formal junk, just let them watch you build a little
stack from scratch which allows you to list URLs and listen to streaming hip
hop on the internet (assuming you're connected), or watch several live
streaming QT channels in a couple of windows. You ought to be able to do
that in about 20 minutes, expalining some of the principles and objects, and
what you're doing as you go. Or whatever you think will show them how easy,
but do fun stuff they'll like. USE Rev's features, but keep it simple and
quick, i.e., 3 chord rock 'n' roll.

Ken N.

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