richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Sun Jun 19 14:16:09 EDT 2016
On 19.06.2016 19:56, FlexibleLearning.com wrote:
> To me the terms "control" and "object" are synonymous.
They may be synonymous to you; but all they do is cause confusion in the
"tiny minds" of 9 - 14 year old children who haven't heard about Piaget's
Formal Operational Stage, nor reached it.
You are, after all, an extremely experienced programmer who, probably,
doesn't even murmur
'object' or 'control' under one's breath while choosing a button any
more (if you ever did), as you have
internalised all that to such an extent that those terms are neither
here nor there. I know
that I have.
The other problem has nothing, as such, to do with naming conventions
by Livecode developers or other computer people, but to do with people's
perceptions of what they see on their WIMP GUI on a computer VDU.
A quick, impromptu survey involving 3 children (9 - 11 years old, my father
(83 years old) and myself [don't quote this one in your next academic paper]
tells me that folk will see a difference between 2 classes of 'things':
1. Stacks & Cards (I mean, let's face facts, stacks are essentially
invisible (or, maybe, as files
in one's directory) and only visualised through their cards).
2. Things that sit on cards (buttons, images, fields, et al).
AND, to that 'stack of cards' metaphor. How many teachers are bothering
to pull out
a pack of playing cards to illustrate this to kids who are in the
Concrete Operational Stage
and can't 'see' a Livecode as a pile of cards to save their lives?
A child, on Friday, said this, when I made him a second card: "Oh, a
The 'stack of cards' metaphor has become so entrenched in our brains
after years of bashing away at
Hypercard, SERF, HyperNext, HyperStudio (ooh, look [
http://www.mackiev.com/hyperstudio/select.html ] they have just released
the ability to export to HTML5), Supercard, Metacard,
Runtime Revolution - Livecode, blah, blah, that we assume it is
automatic in new users, when, in fact,
it may not necessarily be useful or relevant anymore. Especially, if,
unlike people like Bill Atkinson,
we don't come from a culture where we stack our pancakes up into one big
pile and "stuff our mushes", nor play cards on a regular basis.
My Granny, from Carnoustie via Dundee, used to impose a horribly boring
card game on my sister
and I every time she came to visit, called "Sevens", and whenever she
was in danger of losing
announce, "Ach, I've got a hand like a sweaty foot." Which put me off
cards almost completely.
Now; it does seem sensible to call things that sit on cards (buttons,
images, fields, et al) 'objects',
because, frankly, not all of them CONTROL things: surely, only things
that contain scripts CONTROL things?
To illustrate how daft calling things on cards 'controls' is, imagine
calling the black (or white) blotches
on a Frisian cow "organs", when they are so obviously different from
things such as mouths, eyes, ears
Now, undoubtedly, SOME objects may become controls (by being gifted
scripts), but that's beside
the point when one shows a bunch of learners (whether they are either 9
or 83 years old,
or anywhere in between) a collections of things (buttons, images,
fields, et al) on a card, as they have
not yet become controls as they have not had scripts written into their
I wonder if it might not be a good idea to get a load of 9 year old
native speakers to sit down in front
of a VDU displaying a Livecode 'page' containing a load of 'objects' and
ask those children what they
would call them as a group of things.
Certainly, what ever "those things" are called, the apparent conflict in
the Dictionary between the "Obj"
words and the "Controls" mentioned in the Menus does cause confusion
in young minds (and it may in
others for all I know).
So, for learning purposes at least, I would say "B*gger the official
terms", what is needed is a coherent
set of terms for end-users.
More information about the Use-livecode