That's very interesting; but one of the problems is that recording Applescript is restricted to
one platform; and the most expensive one at that.

When I was working out how to start an EFL school in Bulgaria that was rather different from those already in place I thought "Aah, a row of Macs with Richmond's stacks." and the result was a row of second-hand IBM-compats running Linux with Richmond's stacks, because the price difference
was huge and not justifiable.

Just "for fun": here's an entertaining exercise based on the Lenovo, 64-bit, 2 GB RAM, 80 GB hard Disk box I bought yesterday for 80 leva (about $50 US), 2 years old, ex-Munich city council:

MacMini (lowset specs, refurbished) on

$419 . . . forget it!

Probably un-updatable in 2-3 years.

I have 7 G3 iMacs sitting in my garage in Scotland (ex-University of St. Andrews, fully functional on Mac OS 10.4 - can run off standalones from LC 6.something for Mac PCC): tell me how to get them to Bulgaria without spending money that makes the whole exercise pointless. In 2 years time, once my 2 boys have finished their undergraduate degrees and I am finally financially "free" (hum, wonder what the chance of that it?) I'm going to buy a second-hand camper and spend 3 months trotting through Europe as my wife and I have not had more than a 3 day holiday for about 12 years: in Scotland I may well load up the G3s and bring them back here: while the fact that they are ancient in computing terms they are all "cherry red" and will do what I need in my school.

But, I digress . . .

I have, in my school, several 8 year old (meaning 10 year olds as they have been with me for 8 years)
boxes that run Xubuntu 14.04 as smooth as a hot knife through butter.

One of the ways I help kids "get ahead" with Livecode is throw them a stack demonstrating some functionality, and set them a task which involves building a new stack to do something that almost reduplicates that functionality; they can then open up my stack, pull it to pieces, and "steal-and-modify" (this is a programming technique first used in a highly effective way by William Shakespeare) my code
to both achieve their ends and learn at the same time.

Another thing that is quite instructive is to download some daft game from the internet written in who-knows-what and get the kids, first, to consider its functionality, and secondly, how they might
possibly achieve that functionality in Livecode.

Livecode is very nearly "a man for all seasons" in that it can be used on all sorts of levels and in all sorts of directions: whether as a largely visual progging environment, or a largely code-based progging environment. That is its great strength and should neither be overlokked or poo-poo-ed.


On 16.10.2016 08:06, Kay C Lan wrote:
On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 2:39 AM, Richmond <> wrote:

I would argue that you can do all of that within Livecode, thereby avoiding
a hiatus as you get kids to transfer.

And surely that's exactly the same argument as those who questions the
relevance of playing with a toy language like LiveCode when you could
just start with a real language like C, C++ etc.

There is no question that you can teach a child to read by using the
King James Bible; millions of people learned to read that way because
for decades, if not centuries the family Bible was the only book a
family possessed. I wonder for how many the family Bible was the only
book they ever read? I wonder how many developed a love of reading and
for how many it was nothing but a chore?

I dare say, at the time, some would say that Dr Seuss books were not
books at all but just a collection of nonsensical words with no point
or value. But for how many children did these toy words build an
understanding of real words and a love for reading? My wife is an avid
reader (and educator) who was extremely concerned when two of our
children struggled to learn to read - one with extreme lysdexia (I
seffur to). The dyslexic was 'cured' with comics and the other was
'cured' by J.K. Rowling.

The great thing about programming languages and IDE's is that they're
like books, they come in all sorts of sizes and flavours and suit a
wide variety of preferences, talents and learning styles. I'm not a
big reader but I love Dr Seuss books, maybe there's a correlation with
why I love LC ;-) No language/IDE will suit everyone at every age at
every learning stage, but few people would not be able to find a
language/IDE that gels with their way of learning/thinking right now.

With all the discussion between 'point and click' vs scripting/typing
there is one other method that has been skipped that, as with all such
things, was touted to be the next great thing in programming:
recording. AppleScript/Automator is the only example I can think of
but I assume there are others. Automator I guess being an
acknowledgement that 'recording' quickly hit the wall and it was
obvious that it's only value was with automating repeatable processes.
Still, I learnt an enormous amount about AppleScript as a language by
recording a process and inspecting the resulting script. In fact, this
is true more so today as I use AppleScript so infrequently that
whenever I crack it open I usually record some process just to give me
a head start and a refresher on the syntax.

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