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Chipp Walters chipp at
Fri Aug 12 05:57:08 EDT 2011

Hi Judy,

You undoubtably have more experience and understanding than most of us with
regard to what interests your students and what they are ultimately capable
of. I assume it's imperative to keep things as simple as possible as
students can get overwhelmed quickly.

That said, I believe an ultra simple database, using one card for each
record might be a good idea. It could be a recipe book, christmas card list,
address book, music collection, shopping list, or some other simple project.

I would probably start off with everyone creating a single 'master' card,
with a prev and next button, and a plus button (for add new card/record).
Let them import graphics to this master card and when done, they can then
start to populate their list. You can teach them to save their stack next,
perhaps a save button, or a closeCard handler which saves the stack every
time a card is changed.

They can continue to add buttons to their master card (and thus all the
cards) by adding a Delete button, and later a Home button, and for those
more advanced, perhaps a Print Card button. They can use transitions for the
next/prev buttons to show the cards sliding left and right or up and down. I
wouldn't be too concerned with interface design, and just let them
experiment. Add the card number in the upper right. Have the card speak it's
title when opened. The fun is in playing around, not sticking to a specific
UIX philosophy.

Then, add a Home card. From here you can search the cards for a specific
piece of data. Perhaps it has a "report" card which can sum up the other
cards as in "show me a list of all the recipes (cards) which require eggs."
Clicking on a list item takes you directly to the recipe card.

IMHO, this does not take too much programming, and is extensible (print
feature, import, export, etc.) for those more advanced, yet fairly easy to
understand and implement for those less advanced.

One thing I remember taking my first CS class in college was how hard it was
to grasp procedural program flow. Even with Basic and Fortran, it was
difficult, but then we were punching our commands onto Hollerith cards;-)

Because of this, I'd stay away from too much program logic at first-- just
some basics like:

go next card
go prev card
go card "home" with visual effect dissolve
create new card
delete card
save this stack
find "egg"

Then, once you're to the Home card, you can start adding conditional logic
and repeat loops-- if you want.

put empty into theFoundList
repeat with x=2 to the number of cards
  go card x
  if "egg" is in field "recipe" then
     put the short name of card x & return into theFoundList
  end if
end repeat
delete the last character of theFoundList
go to card "home"
put theFoundList into field "searchResults"

Then the next exercise would be to script the "searchResults" list field to
go to a card when clicked on.


Chipp Walters
CEO, Shafer Walters Group, Inc.

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