Anton 'tony' Bangratz <tony / twincode.net> writes:

> AFAIK, DrScheme or Smalltalk have a clear advantage there. Knowing only the
> latter, I dare to simplify: the IDE is the VM is the IDE. Now, my personal
> preference is still Ruby.

Funny you mention Smalltalk.  I think it would make a great teaching
language too.  It has an easy and logical, but well readable syntax, a
graphical environment and it's great for teaching OO, of course.

> First reason: Because I can -- without having to specify anything -- leave the
> choice of the most important tool, the editor, to the students whose interests
> are deep enough for making that kind of choice, and show the other simple yet
> powerful alternatives (my own choice doesn't count, as I personally prefer
> vim, but wouldn't try to force anyone to make use of all the builtin goodness).

I could imagine these kids post endless stuff on their Livejournal or
MySpace and write that directly into the browser... do you really
think they care that much about editors?  Both DrScheme and Squeak
provide convenient and appropriate ways of code editing.  (Though I
have to admit that the main reason I don't use more Squeak is that I
can't easily edit it in Emacs.)

> The second reason is the ultimate blackboard, the try-and-error playground
> which is built in: irb. Readline support, even completion is available, and
> the success for the most basic things is immediately visible, which is
> invaluable for overall success and progress.

Is irb that much better than an evaluation window?  Squeak is even
more "live" than Ruby.

-- 
Christian Neukirchen  <chneukirchen / gmail.com>  http://chneukirchen.org