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Proramming Language for a Nine Year Old

 
 
Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 07:26 am
My son is really into web sites that allow him to build things and set up virtual worlds. I'm impressed watching him hunt around for code scripts that will animate various objects and I think he'd enjoy learning an object oriented language. I cut my teeth on Fortran, Basic and C and I'm not up on the latest. Should I try Flash? Java? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,120 • Replies: 14
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engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 06:04 am
@engineer,
Bump. Any ideas?
sozobe
 
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Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 07:52 am
@engineer,
My kid (8) has been learning Java and is fascinated with it. I've been looking for more resources for her, too.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 11:59 am
PHP hands down. Because:

1) It's the most popular language on the net. This means that it has the most open-source software to look at, the most tutorials and code examples, libraries....

2) It's a very easy language and made for web scripting (which is what you say he is doing).

But if you want to know what is a good strategic language to learn, I'd say Python because things like Google App engine are game-changing platforms. Ruby on Rails is also a language whose popularity has exploded recently and is aimed at very easy rapid web application development.

But PHP is still king when it comes to the learning curve online.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 12:01 pm
@engineer,
I may have misunderstood, is he only looking to animate things in a browser? Because that would restrict it to client-side scripting like flash, java or JavaScript.

Out of those, I'd pick JavaScript.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 12:15 pm
@engineer,
I will put in a vote for Java/Swing based on the terms "virtual worlds" and "object oriented". (Does this term imply a graphical simulation?) However, this option would present a bit of a steep learning curve before he could do "cool" stuff-- a proficient mentor would help.

You can do neat stuff in Flash. This would probably be easier to get started, but there is not as much room grow.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
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Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 12:16 pm
@sozobe,
Sozlet coding in Java. That's cool.
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engineer
 
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Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 06:33 am
Thanks guys. I'll probably start on Java to see how he likes it. I'm sure that will lead to more if he takes to it.
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engineer
 
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Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 01:45 pm
Been hunting around on the Internet and found Phrogram. Has anyone heard of it before?
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 08:53 am
Oh, I'm late, but I've got to throw in my suggestion which is Python. My son (9) has taken to it like a fish. He has an XO laptop that comes with Pippy -- a simple console designed for kids that includes sample programs and a split screen interface where he can type in the program at the top, run it and see the results in the bottom. Unfortunately, being the innate geek that he is, he opted for using the command line interface on my mac instead. Oh well. But in terms of infrastructure required to learn programming and simplicity of language, I vote for Python.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:00 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Been hunting around on the Internet and found Phrogram. Has anyone heard of it before?


Never heard of that, but my sister was looking into Python tools for kids and found Rurple. I haven't checked it out myself as my kid prefers the command line, but it looks promising.

http://rur-ple.sourceforge.net/en/rur.htm
http://www.techscreencast.com/language/python/rurple-and-easygui-by-python-kids/63
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 06:09 pm
@FreeDuck,
Thanks, I'll check that out as well.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 07:16 am
@FreeDuck,
I've been playing with Python and it looks great! I installed in on my son's computer (along with Pygame) and he was writing easy programs within a few minutes. Hopefully he can stay interested. We'll see. Thanks for the tip.
FreeDuck
 
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Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 08:47 am
@engineer,
Very cool. That was the same thing that happened with my son and it was very gratifying. I saw his eyes light up and say "it works!". He was so excited.

Oh wow, just checked out Pygame. I hadn't seen that before. Now I have to thank you for the tip as my son is going to love that.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 08:55 am
@FreeDuck,
(taking notes)
0 Replies
 
 

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