Barely competition

Richmond richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 14:25:50 CST 2011


Sorry people, a bit late to the party . . . :)

<http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/36376/baycard>

As soon as I read this:

"Unlike HyperCard, BayCard does not feature a scripting language. In 
place of a scripting language, BayCard features . . . "

I began to feel a bit funny.

I don't know how many Hypercard "alternatives", "replacements", 
"what-have-yous" I trawled
my way through when I started work at the University of St Andrews in a 
Mac OS X lab.

All of them were based on the idea that a programming suite without a 
programming
language was, in some way, "the thing".

If you want to make fancy little doodahs that are little more than 
glorified PPT presentations
this may be "the thing"; rather in the same way as a stack of laminated 
sheets of paper
with symbols of the sort found on toilet doors and adopted by the 
Olympics are for having
cnversations; limiting to the point of acute frustration.

As I don't have an Intel Mac I will not have the 'joy' of testing 
Baycard; and it seems that
one cannot test the thing without buying it; a big turnoff.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pedagogical Rant Follows
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There was also an idea trotting around in 2000 (may still be for all I 
know; honestly cannot
be bothered to find out) that these Lego-kit programming suites are a 
good way to teach kids the
basics of programming.

I disagree strongly. I don't know any building engineer who would 
suggest that would-be builders
start their apprenticeship with Lego bricks; while one can make jolly 
nice model houses out of them
one is not really going to learn much about the tensile strength of 
rolled-steel joists from them.

The underlying principles of programming involve an ability to think 
logically and sequentially,
as well as a little bit of mathematics; while one can make the 
equivalent of Lego models from
programming suites composed of clunk-click modules the limitations of 
that way of doing things
will become clear fairly quickly, and one will certainly not learn the 
underpinnings of programming.
In fact it may be fair to say that using that sort of programming TOY 
will only serve to slow down
a child insofar as the "programming model" that is presented by that 
sort of toy will block his/her
understanding of a proper one.

-------------------------------
End of Rant
-------------------------------

While Baycard may lure away some of the quick-fix, easy-peasy crowd (who 
RunRev have had an uneasy
relationship with anyway) I don't really see how it can impinge on the 
core Livecoders, both current
and future.


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