Squeak: Learn Programming with Robots

Overview

Are you completely new to programming? Do you want to have fun learning to program?

Squeak: Learn Programming with Robots will teach you core programming concepts based on simple, visual problems that involve manipulation of robots, or "turtles." You will learn basic programming concepts like loops, abstractions, composition, and conditionals.

Each chapter is structured so that it can be turned into a one- or two-hour lab session. And while the...

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Overview

Are you completely new to programming? Do you want to have fun learning to program?

Squeak: Learn Programming with Robots will teach you core programming concepts based on simple, visual problems that involve manipulation of robots, or "turtles." You will learn basic programming concepts like loops, abstractions, composition, and conditionals.

Each chapter is structured so that it can be turned into a one- or two-hour lab session. And while the structured content explains solid principles of object-oriented programming, you’ll just have fun going through the sequence of easy examples with the turtle.

And be sure to check out BotsInc, the companion learning environment for this book.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Programming is still too hard to learn, and not enough fun. This book does something about that. You’ll learn by controlling an environment of virtual robots, so the abstractions of programming are grounded in something you can see. You learn using Squeak, a free variant of Smalltalk, one of the world’s best teaching languages (and one that lets you avoid unnecessary complexity as you master skills that’ll help you in virtually any contemporary language).

Along the way, you’ll master loops, variables, parameters, arguments, conditionals, Boolean values and expressions, debugging, and more. You’ll learn how to create code that can be reused by different programs. And you’ll prepare to learn object-oriented development, the approach that’s central to virtually all contemporary computer languages. Pretty good for just fooling around with robots, wouldn’t you say? Bill Camarda, from the August 2005 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590594919
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Series: Technology in Action Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephane Ducasse obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis and his habilitation at the University of Paris VI. He was recipient of the SNF 2002 Professeur Boursier Award. He is now a professor at the Universit de Savoie. Ducasse has written several books in French and English.

Ducasse's fields of interests include reflective systems design, object-oriented language design, software component composition, application implementation and design, and object-oriented application reengineering. He is the main developer of the Moose reengineering environment. Ducasse also loves programming in Smalltalk and serves as president of the European Smalltalk User Group. He is committed to the Squeak community.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Installation and creating a robot 3
Ch. 2 A first script and its implications 13
Ch. 3 Of robots and men 29
Ch. 4 Directions and angles 37
Ch. 5 Pica's environment 51
Ch. 6 Fun with robots 61
Ch. 7 Looping 77
Ch. 8 Variables 87
Ch. 9 Digging deeper into variables 101
Ch. 10 Loops and variables 109
Ch. 11 Composing messages 119
Ch. 12 Methods : named message sequences 135
Ch. 13 Combining methods 149
Ch. 14 Parameters and arguments 155
Ch. 15 Errors and debugging 167
Ch. 16 Decomposing to recompose 183
Ch. 17 Strings, and tools for understanding programs 197
Ch. 18 Conditions 209
Ch. 19 Conditional loops 221
Ch. 20 Boolean and Boolean expressions 233
Ch. 21 Coordinates, points, and absolute moves 243
Ch. 22 Advanced robot behavior 261
Ch. 23 Simulating animal behavior 269
Ch. 24 A tour of eToy 289
Ch. 25 A tour of Alice 315
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2005

    nifty development environment

    The use of an Integrated Development Environment [IDE] for a user to learn a language in, and to then program within, is well known. Microsoft has made powerful IDEs for its languages. And the open source Eclipse can be used for Java. Along these lines, Ducasse offers his book. It teaches Smalltalk using the Squeak IDE. The twist is that Squeak uses the visual metaphors of robots and robot factory, to convey the crucial concepts of objects/classes. As Ducasse explains, Squeak can be directed at an audience that is perhaps of high school age or even younger. So a clear visual feedback between example code and what the student sees then happen is vital, given her limited background and possibly limited attention span. Squeak uses Smalltalk in part because that is a very minimalist language. If you come from C++, Java or C#, you may be struck by its simplicity, compared to the oodles of classes and notational intricacies of those languages. Which of course also makes it easier for a young student to learn Smalltalk or Squeak itself. I wonder a little about the book itself, though. A motivated high school student could easily use it. But for some younger students? In that situation, it may well be that the book could be best directed at a teacher, who can then instruct from it.

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