Family Matters

Saturday, 2007-January-27 at 14:27 1 comment

Two nieces are doing missions trips later this year with their college in Oklahoma.  If you wish to help, address your tax-deductible contributions to:

Account Name Mission Location College Address
S. Hucks Kenya ORU Missions, 7777 S. Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74171
D. Hucks Australia ORU Missions, 7777 S. Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74171

One of them has done a number of short-term missions trips to East Africa over the years, even before college.  It has been quite encouraging to see her learning to be concerned about others besides herself.  If you know someone in their late teens or early twenties, you know that it is quite common to be concerned for the well-being of others, but not when it costs them some comforts.

Second item: two high school nephews are talking about wanting to learn a little bit of computer programming.  I do not expect them to ever do it for a living, but I want them to understand the principles behind it.  My own inclination is to tell them to try something in the Pascal / C / C++ / Java group (because it is similar to the Algebra they are learning at school), or else Python.  Perl and Ruby interest me, but I could not see them trying to memorize all the variable naming rules.  REBOL seems to offer a quick move into the kinds of things that they would find interesting, but it seems a little tricky to understand.

view center-face layout [
    origin 0x0 space 0x0 across 
    style p button 60x60 [
        if not find [0x60 60x0 0x-60 -60x0] 
            face/offset - empty/offset [exit]
        temp: face/offset face/offset: empty/offset 
            empty/offset: temp
    ]
    p "A" p "B" p "C" p "D" return p "E" p "F" p "G" p "H" return
    p "I" p "J" p "K" p "L" return p "M" p "N" p "O"  
    empty: p 200.200.200 edge [size: 0]
]

I am not sure whether they are better at Algebra-type courses or English-type courses or even History-type courses.  In school at least, English is characterized by the use of descriptive terminology to define what is meant.  Algebra is characterized by the use of logical abstractions to separate the relevant information from the superfluous, followed by reasoning-based steps to turn that information into a solution to a problem.  History is characterized by rote memorization and regurgitation of "facts" and events that someone has decided are important for you to know.  Knowing each one's learning preferences would make it easier, but unfortunately, I do not know this.

So, I’d like opinions about which programming language(s) you would recommend, and why.  Whatever I recommend does have to be available in at least one zero-price implementation.  They are using Windows XP currently, but they may have a Linux-powered computer soon, so a cross-platform solution would be best.  Something with active community interest would be helpful, as that would mean that there would be forums and wikis and documentation and examples.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

Why Give Up Word? OpenDocument4All C# Tool For ODF

1 Comment

  • 1. lnxwalt  |  Thursday, 2007-February-01 at 00:24

    2007-02-01: I think we’ll go with Squeak, a variant of Smalltalk.


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