Ruby for Kids?

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Kerry Stevenson, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. I am wondering if there is a Ruby resource (book, web pages, whatever)
    that would be suitable to teach a child who has never programmed
    anything before. The pickaxe book, while a terrific resource, seems to
    assume at least some basic knowledge of programming and language
    Kerry Stevenson, Dec 12, 2006
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  2. Kerry Stevenson

    Sebastian Guest

    "Learn To Progam"[1] from the Pragmatic Programmers might be a good
    fit. While not specifically a Ruby book per se, it uses Ruby examples
    to teach programming basics.


    Sebastian, Dec 12, 2006
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  3. How young are we talking here? I'm sure we've covered this adequately,
    but for elementary school "kids" I'd recommend Logo over Ruby. But once
    we are talking early teens, Ruby is probably a good choice, and "Learn
    To Program" is probably not going to tax them too badly. I think I could
    have handled "Learn To Program" at 13. Of course, I was earning my
    living as a programmer when I was 19, so I may have been atypical. :)
    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Dec 12, 2006
  4. Kerry Stevenson

    Mike Guest

    IMHO, even if i'ts suggested to start playing with web pages, it's still
    better for children to get used to a general-purpose and OOP language,
    not a specialised one like PHP. Ruby (or even Java) can easily serve as
    a toy tool for web-page-playing but later it'll be the solid a nd
    "proper" ground for a deeper study of programing.

    Mike Shock
    Mike, Dec 12, 2006
  5. Kerry Stevenson

    James Britt Guest

    Be careful: Many locales have laws against just this sort of child abuse.

    James Britt

    "A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is
    not worth knowing."
    - A. Perlis
    James Britt, Dec 12, 2006
  6. Keith Nicholas, Dec 12, 2006
  7. Kerry Stevenson

    Bil Kleb Guest

    Bil Kleb, Dec 12, 2006
  8. I had a flick through Chris Pine's book and I do like it. (Girlfriend & Dad have
    expressed interests in programming - they didn't see that Christmas
    present coming)

    I have one thing to say though - you could be setting their expectations
    artificially high. Some of the pleasure I get from writing Ruby is because
    my background is in the commercial languages. I can appreciate what
    Ruby gives me.
    Richard Conroy, Dec 12, 2006
  9. Kerry Stevenson

    gga Guest

    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky ha escrito:
    For what it is worth, I'd recommend just Ruby and "Learn to Program" as
    excellent from the excerpts I just read.
    As a background: I learned programming as a kid and I *DID* try Logo
    which I found extremely frustrating and limiting (this was in primary
    school, age 8 or so) compared to BASIC, which I had already learned on
    my own. The kidslanguage someone else suggested is BASIC, done
    Microsoft style, which is WAY too verbose compared to ruby.

    Now, one of the most boring things about programming books is that they
    have exercises and those exercises are usually plainly boring.

    To keep a kid interesting in programming.... one sure thing will do it:
    games. The cooler, the better.

    My suggestion:

    Download SDL/OpenGL for ruby. I'm sure you'll be able to find some
    games for them somewhere. Do NOT show the game to your kid. Now, I'll
    tell what to do with it. But I'll tell you why first...

    The way I learned how to code was by typing in code taken from
    magazines which contained games written in BASIC (there, I just dated
    myself :), as you could not buy software in my time where I lived, but
    you could buy magazines that had code in them.
    You can obviously not do that now, but you CAN download some games, go
    through their source code and introduce some bugs in them. Then give
    them to your kid to fix the code.
    Not only will he learn how to debug code (and learn how to program in
    the process), but he'll love it, as in the end he'll have a working
    game to entertain himself with.

    As for web stuff... ruby can do it and WAY better than PHP. Your kid
    won't miss it.
    gga, Dec 13, 2006
  10. The only language that ever changed the way I thought about programming
    was LISP 1.5.
    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Dec 14, 2006
  11. I'm pretty sure -- I was there. :) But seriously, I started out as a
    macro assembly language programmer, then learned FORTRAN. APL certainly
    would have changed the way I thought about programming had I been in a
    position to learn and use it. But I wasn't, and the next language I
    learned was Lisp 1.5. After that, there wasn't a whole heck of a lot
    new. FORTH maybe, except that I pretty much view FORTH as a convoluted
    macro assembler. :)

    The two languages I wish I had learned were APL and Smalltalk. I suppose
    I could still learn Smalltalk, but Ruby seems a lot easier to use -- the
    Squeak environment, for example, is hopelessly complicated, not to
    mention visually garish. And APL seems to have vanished from the planet.
    The kind of people who used to use APL, finance geeks, now use R, which
    I *do* know.
    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Dec 15, 2006
  12. J and K seem to be the current children of APL

    Martin DeMello, Dec 15, 2006
  13. Scheme came after Lisp 1.5.
    Simen Edvardsen, Dec 16, 2006
  14. Congratulations, Han Dao!
    Which library do you use? Ruby/SDL, RUDL or another one?


    Luciano Ramalho, Dec 16, 2006
  15. Kerry Stevenson

    znmeb Guest

    And I think roughly the same time as the move to integrate the other Lisp
    dialects into what became Common Lisp. Curiously enough, there was a brief and
    little-known "Lisp 2", with essentially Lisp 1.5 semantics but an Algol-like
    (BNF) syntax. Lisp 2 went absolutely nowhere; by that time, the Algol family
    was perfectly capable of handling Lisp-like data structures and semantics on
    its own. :)
    znmeb, Dec 16, 2006
  16. Cool, keep it up and you become really dangerous when you are 20 :)
    what kind of game are you making?
    Simon Strandgaard, Dec 21, 2006
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