#20 optionally add more interactive support for beginners

open
nobody
5
2007-01-31
2007-01-25
Anonymous
No

for beginners to programming, it would be useful if there was a way to add statements/instructions using some sort of menu (i.e. dropdown), so that it can afterwards be customized (parametrized), if something like this was offered together with some sort of explanatory tooltip, this could easily simplify the learning curve for people who are new to programming - in particular, because it will help getting familiar with the supported command set.

Discussion

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  • drblast
    drblast
    2007-01-29

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    Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm fairly opposed to this sort of thing, for the same reason we don't provide downloadable code for the tutorials.

    There's a certain amount of learning that takes place by looking things up and typing them in directly. I've found that when I use a great IDE like Eclipse that has drop down lists of commands and context-sensitive help, it takes me a great deal longer to learn the language, because it's so easy to use the tools as a crutch.

    The goal here is to keep the language simple enough so that the documentation fits easily on two or three printed pages.

     
  • drblast
    drblast
    2007-01-29

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    actually, to be honest you are having valid concerns - on the other hand, there`s in fact still some use for a corresponding list of supported instructions - to become familiar with the instruction set. For example, I have personally programmed in a number of different programming languages, and also BASIC dialects - however, when I first started using kidbasic, I still had to look up the *exact* command set regardless - in the docs.

    While, I personally would not really require any sort of hand-holding syntax-aware auto-completion support, I would surely have appreciated some sort of embedded listing that contains the supported instructions, including their parameters - simply because that would have meant that I could have gotten started more easily and more quickly.

    So, I do definitely see a use for embedding some form of instruction set listing in the programming environment itself.

     
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  • drblast
    drblast
    2007-01-31

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    Fair enough. I'll try putting in some sort of drop down menu with all of the commands in it.

     
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    actually, if implemented statically (i.e. by embedding a QT HTML/RTF view control, to render doc.html), it would be useful to also provide a logical grouping, based on the various categories of statement TYPES (i.e. input, output, graphics, control flow etc)

     
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    WRT the idea of embedding a HTML/RTF view: a buddy of mine uses the same approach to display interactive help: he basically displays a 400x50px wide HTML view in his app, which renders a HTML page with anchors for all relevant sections-thus, you can easily jump between different topics (or instructions) by simply jumping to a different anchor.

     
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    isn't this exactly the sort of thing where the proposal to use XML would come in handy?

     
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    use XML?
    for what?
    the help??
    It's already HTML, you can use it the way it is already!

     
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    it might make sense to consider providing logically categorized access to the instructions/keywords in kidbasic, i.e. classified into groups such as:

    - maths
    - graphics
    - parsing/text manipulation
    - file I/O
    - console I/O
    - control flow
    ...

     
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