I have been having such a blast in my Intro Computer Science class. While I have taken an intro Java course before, I am finding significant added value taking it at a college level. A large reason for that added value is that I am in one of the few sections at CMU this semester which is helping alpha-test Alice 3. Alice is a fourth generation programming language, or a drag and drop IDE, or Java on training wheels, or a 3-D animation program. Mostly for me it is a great creative outlet (as you’ll see below).
Not only is being involved in the testing process fascinating but the program itself helps give concrete meanings to objects, classes and parameters *shameless plug*.
More than that, I am finding myself having to tear away from working on side projects in Alice–it is so much fun to work on the logic puzzles and explore the different characters I have trouble moving on to other assignments.
Below are screen-shots of a program I wrote after our first class on control statements.
The method I spent the most time on is named Hamsterblowup. In it I used nested If/Else statements to get the fairy (who comes in as a parameter) to say different things when the distance between the hamster and herself is less than a certain amount. It still has some bugs but I figured it is good enough to show off for now.
By the way, I have Dr Dann’s permission to show screen shots–as Alice 3 is in development (which is why it is so exiting) some things you see here may not be there when it comes out officially.
I hope to learn more about projects like Alice at next week’s Hopper Conference!
Christopher Morley – “There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”