Control? Object?

Devin Asay devin_asay at byu.edu
Mon Jun 20 02:05:13 CEST 2016


This is an interesting discussion, but I’ll admit it has never been a source of confusion for me or my students. I announce on day 1: “Everything in LiveCode is an object.” And then: “Controls are objects that can be placed on cards to create a user interface.” Going forward I usually refer to objects you can place on cards as “control objects”. Then we move on, and I don’t ever remember having someone be confused about that point. Another way to think about it is that all of the thingies on the tools palette are control objects. 

My .02.

Devin


> On Jun 19, 2016, at 12:16 PM, Richmond <richmondmathewson at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> On 19.06.2016 19:56, FlexibleLearning.com wrote:
>> To me the terms "control" and "object" are synonymous.
> 
> <snip>
> 
> 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 decided
> 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 second page."
> 
> 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
> and udders.
> 
> 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 scriptEditor windows.
> 
> 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.
> 
> Richmond.
> 
> 
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Devin Asay
Learn to code with LiveCode University
https://livecode.com/store/education/



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