Alice, the Turtle of the Modern Age
Many of us grew up with LOGO, the kid-friendly programming language that guided a little turtle around a screen. Yes, it was simplistic. Yes, it taught only the very basics of programming concepts, but it also inspired an entire generation of programmers. The applications you run every day were written by people who steered a digital turtle around a screen in third grade.
Alice is a project from Carnegie Mellon University that allows new programmers to use a drag-and-drop interface to create 3-D scenes and perform programmatic results without typing any code. The Alice Project has evolved through the years, and it's currently on version 3. The code is freely downloadable and is available for Linux, Mac and Windows.
(Image from http://www.alice.org)
Although the LOGO programming language allowed for some lengthy instructions for the turtle, it was limited. Alice, on the other hand, uses the animation environment to teach amazingly complex programming concepts. By utilizing an environment where syntax is dragged as opposed to typed, it takes "typos" out of the equation. It's hard to describe just how complex the programming can be with Alice, so I urge you to download it or at least visit the Alice Project at http://www.alice.org.
For doing its part in producing the next generation of programmers, while (at least in my mind) continuing the legacy of a small digital turtle from my youth, Alice gets this month's Editors' Choice Award.
- The Tiny Internet Project, Part I
- SUSECON 2016: Where Technology Reigns Supreme
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Bitcoin on Amazon! Sort of...
- Android Browser Security--What You Haven't Been Told
- Free Today: September Issue of Linux Journal (Retail value: $5.99)
- Securing the Programmer
- The Many Paths to a Solution
- Linux Swap Space
Pick up any e-commerce web or mobile app today, and you’ll be holding a mashup of interconnected applications and services from a variety of different providers. For instance, when you connect to Amazon’s e-commerce app, cookies, tags and pixels that are monitored by solutions like Exact Target, BazaarVoice, Bing, Shopzilla, Liveramp and Google Tag Manager track every action you take. You’re presented with special offers and coupons based on your viewing and buying patterns. If you find something you want for your birthday, a third party manages your wish list, which you can share through multiple social- media outlets or email to a friend. When you select something to buy, you find yourself presented with similar items as kind suggestions. And when you finally check out, you’re offered the ability to pay with promo codes, gifts cards, PayPal or a variety of credit cards.Get the Guide