On Feb 11, 2007, at 7:56 AM, SonOfLilit wrote:

> Hello fellow Rubyists,
>
> I've just come back from a trip home* and was surprised to find my  
> sister
> very enthusiastic about programming and wanting to continue our  
> lessons.

...

> I guess I should state my intentions first, so here they are:
> * I want it to always stay interesting and intellectually  
> stimulating for
> her. I want her to want to discover new things and be able to (this  
> also
> speaks of documentation. QBASIC, my first language, had the best
> documentation-in-IDE I've ever used, since it was so small and F1  
> would get
> you to what you wanted, always, with examples. But QBASIC had an  
> advantage
> that what I teach will not have: it didn't need to interact with  
> the outside
> world)
> * I want her to be able to continue on her own as quick as possible
> * I want her to emphasize on abstraction as a means of solving  
> problems
> * I want her to be able to interact with the outside world

I think Logo is great as a first computer language. There are some  
Logos available today that let one do some really neat stuff. They  
usually have really good documentation written by people who really  
understand the needs of beginning programmers. Google "Brian Harvey  
+Logo".

I also think Ruby with turtle graphics added would be good way to  
start. We recently did a Ruby Quiz where the problem was to add  
turtle graphics to Ruby. I've found that with this add-on it's easy  
to translate Logo code into Ruby. If you would like to try it, I'll  
send you the complete Ruby turtle graphics kit with a bunch of Logo  
programs I've translated into Ruby (direct to your e-mail address --  
its too much to post here).

One advantage of Ruby with turtle graphics is that after the initial  
lessons with the turtle, you can go off into more advanced  
programming in any direction you want. The main disadvantage is that,  
compared to Logo, there is relatively little in documentation/ 
tutorials for entry-level programmers.

Regards, Morton