What's Really Important/feedback please

Judy Perry jperryl at ecs.fullerton.edu
Sat Nov 15 11:10:58 CST 2003


Ken,

Thank you for the feedback, but I can see that as usual I have been less
clear than is required.

This isn't really for demonstration to live, target audiences.  When
completed (to the extent that I'm able to do so), imagine that it will be
a whole, new look'n'feel to the IDE such that, should it (and by
extension, the engine itself) fall into some complete newbie's hands (even
more newbie than me!) that person should be able to find it at least
minimally useful (I think Norman's criteria), just as when Hypercard got
shipped free to all those Mac owners, more than a handful of them were
able to eventually roll their own stacks (this is what I meant by the
Hypercard reference).

Of such necessity, there must be constraint in what is offered -- even the
HC tutorial I think didn't spend alot of time talking about rolling your
own XCMDs.  There needs to be *just enough* coverage of the basics with
reusable code snippets to get them going on their own (and, judging from
the experiences of my fellow classmates in using Director without any
instruction, many if not most of them will be unlikely to ever use
Director again and, if they do, will only use it to do things slightly
more complex than they would do in a PowerPoint presentation; such is the
complexity of Director.)

Now, one could probably argue that Rev can be highly complex, too.  But
this is not the face one wishes to present to people who have never been
exposed to any sort of programming at all -- they'll run screaming for
their PowerPoint software.  The psychology of novice programmers has been
well examined in the professional literature.  Much of this praises the
use of natural-language syntax and visual objects of interest (with the
requisite warning that, at some point, of course, they'll all need to grow
up and program like real adults in octal or some such thing), and alot of
it up through around 1995 that I've found praises the HC model.

But how to help that model grow up for prime time deployment in education
(by which I mean, how to get teachers to embrace it)?

Regards,

Judy




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