Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Teaching software development? Using LiveCode to build your curriculum? This is the forum for you.

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by FourthWorld » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:31 am

Newbie4 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:46 am
I have a great idea that would be fun and get LiveCode a ton of free publicity worldwide. They should sponsor a "Million Programmer" webpage or a "Million Programs written in LiveCode" webpage.
They might if you suggest it to them. But we also don't need to wait for them to do anything like this. I have plenty of hosting available, and would gladly make that available for a project like this, or anything else along these lines.

We have the infrastructure and the tools. Heck, we use LiveCode, we're up to our armpits with tools.

The only question is: do we have someone in a position to steward such a project?
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by Newbie4 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:47 am

We could start such a project but it is doomed to fail without their participation. They are keeping much of the needed information quiet much to their detriment. We do not know how many teachers/schools are using LiveCode. We do not know the number of users or even the number of people that downloaded LiveCode. I am sure those numbers would help in their marketing efforts. By keeping those numbers quiet, they appear as a very small company with few users. What hurts them most is people always asking "Who uses LC? and What was written in LC? All of their answers are weak and 10 years old

A webpage like that would be best hosted on their site as part of a big marketing effort, not as a separate site. It needs their association and sponsorship to be effective.

I am not that person because I am not that good at webpages, especially regarding html5. I would not know where to start. I just do simple webpages, and usually with Google's help.

I think that this would make better news as coming from the company.
Cyril Pruszko
https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/livecode/
https://sites.google.com/a/setonhs.org/app-and-game-workshop/home
https://learntolivecode.com/

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by FourthWorld » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:37 pm

Newbie4 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:47 am
We could start such a project but it is doomed to fail without their participation. They are keeping much of the needed information quiet much to their detriment. We do not know how many teachers/schools are using LiveCode. We do not know the number of users or even the number of people that downloaded LiveCode. I am sure those numbers would help in their marketing efforts. By keeping those numbers quiet, they appear as a very small company with few users. What hurts them most is people always asking "Who uses LC? and What was written in LC? All of their answers are weak and 10 years old
I'm not sure I follow. You lead by suggesting their participation is necessary, but the rest of the paragraph is a list of reasons you have little confidence in their participation.

As for installed base numbers, is it really helpful to reinforce that LC isn't on the TIOBE list?

LC has many great things going for it, but market dominance isn't among them.
A webpage like that would be best hosted on their site as part of a big marketing effort, not as a separate site. It needs their association and sponsorship to be effective.
It would certainly be in everyone's interests for LC to be involved, but it is truly necessary that they both host and and sponsor it?

Most of the world's most commonly-used languages are free and open source, and for many of them most if not all evangelism of the language comes from the community rather than salaried core devs, including Python, JavaScript, R, Ruby, Perl, Scratch, C, C++ and more.
I think that this would make better news as coming from the company.
Might be nice. What did they say when you wrote to them suggesting this?
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by Newbie4 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:30 pm

You said
I'm not sure I follow. You lead by suggesting their participation is necessary, but the rest of the paragraph is a list of reasons you have little confidence in their participation.

As for installed base numbers, is it really helpful to reinforce that LC isn't on the TIOBE list?
I was pointing out that by not releasing numbers, they were hurting their own cause.

No one except programmers know what the TIOBE list is or really care. Besides, programmers are not our audience right now. Most programmers stick with the languages they know, have experience with and have huge libraries of function/routines and programming segments that they have built up over the years.

No, it its the rest of the world that we want to reach - the many who want to learn programming. The future customers. We need to get them interested in trying LiveCode

It is Alexa ranking that we care about, not Tiobe. Globally, the ranking of LiveCode.com is 154,285. The Million Pixel Webpage was once 127 and is now, after 11 years, is still 150,011 - better than LiveCode.

If we start it ourselves, with the people on this forum. We will have a very small number of people. Someone tried it before with a website of 1001 programs written in LiveCode and it never grew much. The LiveCode community is very small and tight. Most people will only join in if it was sponsored by LiveCode itself and not another single person endeavor.

Besides, how many people downloaded LiveCode so far? 100,000? more? If we included those names, it would be a good start. How about if anyone who taught LiveCode volunteers their students names over the last 13 years? that would be a good start. I would not give my names to any single person but if LiveCode asked and it was for the greater good, I would. So their participation is a must if we are to have a good start.

Otherwise, with small starting numbers, that site would be just one of the many fragmented sites on LiveCode that are out there. If it was a featured page on their website, it would appear more legitimate, official and taken more seriously.

You said:
LC has many great things going for it, but market dominance isn't among them.
We do not want to dominate the market, we just want to get everyone's attention, recognition and interest. The rest will follow.

We may not get to a million people but we can get close. People jump on bandwagons, they want to be part of a movement, they want their names out there on the Internet. It may surprise you the numbers we do get once the ball starts rolling.

As for the MillionDollarHomePage: It was launched in August and became an Internet phenomenon.
Following the September press release that first brought attention to the site, The Million Dollar Homepage was featured in articles on BBC Online,[8] The Register,[18] The Daily Telegraph,[29] and PC Pro.[30] Tew also appeared on the national breakfast television programmes Sky News Sunrise and BBC Breakfast to discuss the website.[31][32]

By November the website was becoming popular around the world, receiving attention from Financial Times Deutschland in Germany,[33] TVNZ in New Zealand,[34] Terra Networks in Latin America,[35] the China Daily,[36] and especially in the United States where it was covered in Adweek,[37] Florida Today,[38] and Wall Street Journal.[2] Tew hired a US-based publicist to help with the attention from the American media and made a week-long trip to the US, where he was interviewed on ABC News Radio,[39] the Fox News Channel,[40] Attack of the Show!,[41] and local news programmes.[42][43]

As the final pixels were being auctioned, Tew was interviewed on Richard & Judy,[46] and profiled in the online BBC News Magazine.[11] The Wall Street Journal wrote about The Million Dollar Homepage and its impact on the Internet community.
No one will try a language if they have not heard of it. Just think where LiveCode would be if it did receive that kind of popularity. It would be even more publicized now when there is so much attention on programming, learning computer science and what is being done to encourage it.

Finally, say we do fail miserably in getting to a million. We would have achieved our goal of getting LiveCode out there. LiveCode will have gotten much attention and visibility at very little cost. They will certainly benefit from many more customers. It will also increase RunRev's reputation as a company who is trying to do something about the problem and in a fun way.

Why not?
Cyril Pruszko
https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/livecode/
https://sites.google.com/a/setonhs.org/app-and-game-workshop/home
https://learntolivecode.com/

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by capellan » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:39 am

We started talking about LiveCode in schools, but the conversation turned to publishing the number of LiveCode users with the purpose of gathering attention towards this platform.

We already know how Livecode could turn whole world's attention toward this platform.
Doing something that nobody has done before: implementing Open Language.

After LiveCode finish implementing Open Language, they could invite different Universities, Institutes or Trade Schools from different countries, to translate LiveCode and test in a formal study, if students from different ages, sex or social backgrounds could learn programming better in their own native language or using other language: english.

My educated guess is this: Younger students will learn better and much faster, all computer programming topics in their own native tongue but this advantage could fade as the students grew older.

The best way to learn is trying. I already tried and learned that programming in your own native tongue is a guarantee of success for students and teachers. How many computer languages could offer such guarantee of success? How many?

Al
Last edited by capellan on Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by FourthWorld » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:41 am

Newbie4 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:30 pm
I was pointing out that by not releasing numbers, they were hurting their own cause.
Yes, and I was asking how.
No one except programmers know what the TIOBE list is or really care.
People who sell development tools care very much.

For anyone else, true, it doesn't matter at all whether they read the list. What's relevant is the list itself, among us, here in this discussion of selling development tools.

As someone who advises on software marketing, you read the TIOBE list, yes? What does that list suggest to you in terms of opportunities and risks for LiveCode?
It is Alexa ranking that we care about, not Tiobe. Globally, the ranking of LiveCode.com is 154,285. The Million Pixel Webpage was once 127 and is now, after 11 years, is still 150,011 - better than LiveCode.
Alexa rank is useful for many strategic comparisons. I included it in my UX talk for LC Global, in the early parts on defining product strategy. These days I tend to find Google Trends even more useful because it isn't limited to domain names and offers greater flexibility with direct comparisons of search terms and adjustable history length going all the way back to 2004.

All three, Alexa, Google Trends, and TIOBE, are metrics of things that have already happened, not a prescription of things to do going forward.

In that regard, there's one key difference: Alexa compares LiveCode to car manufacturers, pop stars, toaster ovens, and literally everything else on the web; TIOBE compares the LiveCode software development toolkit to other software development toolkits.

As means of measuring the past, both are useful. For determining what to do next, the more specific comparison offered by TIOBE may provide more specific guidance, inviting us to readily see what people have chosen, so we can then use different tools to try to understand why those choices were made.

I agree somewhat that the question is not now to get C++ developers to stop using C++ (though these days professional programming is inherently multilingual anyway, and a good scripting language is useful for any developer to add to the mix of languages they enjoy).

The key question here is: why have so many people who wanted to learn programming chosen something other than LiveCode?

There are a good many reasons for this, and between Malcolm Gladwell and Geoff Moore we can find what may be the most salient one: people choose what other people use, so once a certain tipping point has been reached it becomes increasingly difficult for competing interests to gain as much mindshare.

LC/MC has been around longer than most, but was locked behind a proprietary paywall for most of its life, while the rest of the world was moving infrastructure and tools to open source. Sure, LC became open in 2013, but that's pretty late in the game, so by the time it did Python, JavaScript, Ruby, Lua, Scratch, and others were already well entrenched.

This isn't to say there's no place for LC. Not at all. That's the other important takeaway from studying the TIOBE list: there isn't just one language there, and no single one of them has any really significant market share by itself. There are tons of languages, on a list with a very, very long tail. And new languages get invented every year, and older languages sometimes find new life (ah, Erlang's comeback with Cloud orchestration).

When HyperTalk premiered, all we had was Pascal, C, Assembler, Cobol, and a GUI-less BASIC.

We're in a different world now. Thanks to HyperCard, scripting languages won. In the old world there was only bash, and now most of the world's popular languages are dynamically compiled. They're all live code. Even Swift, which offers static compilation, also provide live coding options.

LiveCode has a place among them, offering an unmatched mix:
1) High-level scripting
2) Inherent language support for GUI elements
3) Broad platform coverage

In any single one of those categories, or even two, you can find many alternatives, some of them very good.

But if you're looking for all three of those AFAIK you have only one choice: LiveCode.

And as valuable as that combination is for so many things, it's not needed by everyone. No single language covers all needs. That's why we have so many, and so many new ones that continue to crop up.

If we're going to adopt a strategy for LiveCode to attain what I feel is its rightful place among the world's great languages, we'll want to understand those languages and the choices people made to make them so popular.
Someone tried it before with a website of 1001 programs written in LiveCode and it never grew much. The LiveCode community is very small and tight. Most people will only join in if it was sponsored by LiveCode itself and not another single person endeavor.
Just putting LiveCode Ltd's name on a project will not instantly make the project successful.

And conversely, no truly great project will be held back if sufficiently well executed regardless of who writes the check for the hosting.

Come up with a great project, and LC Ltd would probably support it. Write them. You're far more likely to get a response from them when you write to them than writing to other LiveCode users in a user-to-user support forum.

But think the project through. Make a compelling pitch. Learn what motivates today's learners to choose a language, and demonstrate how the project will address those concerns.

Studying and supporting the user experience is how great things happen.

And if we study earnestly, we can see that the growth of many of the world's most popular languages is a function of the community who uses them, far more than the core dev team who maintains them.
As for the MillionDollarHomePage: It was launched in August and became an Internet phenomenon.
August of 2005. 12 years ago.

It was a great moment in history, but isolated to that moment. And he wasn't selling anything other than the novelty of the page, which is why we don't see a MillonSodaCapsHomePage or a MillionBurgersHomePage. It was a fine invention, but a one-off.

The thing that made it so interesting to so many people was that it was original. It didn't merely emulate something that had come before it.

All good viral marketing has that quality. Freshness. New. Something we haven't seen before.

So I very much like the spirit of doing something no one else has done, and the vision of doing it to introduce more people to a software development toolkit.

Now the task at hand is to study what learners have been doing, look at the unique value of LC not yet recognized by them, and invent an entirely never-before-seen method of communicating that value.
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by capellan » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:21 am

Richard, as Community Manager, Could you comment to Kevin or Mark
about the topics discussed in this thread? :?:

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by FourthWorld » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:26 am

capellan wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:21 am
Richard, as Community Manager, Could you comment to Kevin or Mark
about the topics discussed in this thread? :?:
I dropped a note to Kevin inviting him to review this thread on the 27th.
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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by capellan » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:35 am

27th? December 27th? :idea:

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by bogs » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:08 am

capellan wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:35 am
27th? December 27th? :idea:
LOL Image
Image

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by Newbie4 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:35 am

Thank you.
You bring up some good points worth discussing. We need to have more dialog not only with runRev but also other teachers and professionals. There are many approaches to the problem of getting a wider adoption of LiveCode, especially in the classroom.

My original post referenced a recent blog on LiveCode from a well known and respected educator. He said the very same things in a blog in 2012. His points were valid 5 years ago and are still valid and we need to address them.

He said:
The LiveCode folks have just put together a web page (linked below) describing some of the reasons why teachers should consider LiveCode. But in general, we don’t. Why not? I have two guesses:

1. There is no community of practice. There isn’t a visible community of teachers using LiveCode. There isn’t an obvious industry call for more LiveCode programmers.

2. We in computing education are mostly driven by surface-level interpretations of industry needs. It isn’t obvious that it must be so, or even that it should be so. But the same forces that killed Pascal and promoted Python, Java, and C++ as our intro languages prevent LiveCode from getting adopted.
I read this as:
1. We need to create a community of teachers where we can share ideas, materials, lessons and support. There are many websites with lessons and tutorials but they are fragmented and disjoint. Few of them directly address teachers and formal lesson plans for the classroom.We need an identifiable source for teachers and the educational community.
2. We need to create more awareness of LiveCode and what has been written and produced with it. The perception is that no one uses it and nothing of substance has been written with it. We need to spotlight the sheer numbed of people who are using LiveCode and the number of programs, no matter how trivial, written using LiveCode. We need some way to get people to come forward and speak up with what they have done. The community of users is out there, they are just not visible.

Employers, students, parents and the general public is clamoring for more computer courses in the schools. School districts, schools, principals are in dire need of qualified teachers and curriculum for those classes. This is a rare opportunity for LiveCode.

We can not do anything about the shortage of C, C++, Java teachers or the lack of good lessons in those languages for younger students. LiveCode could become the solution because 1) it is easy to teach and 2) it is easy to learn. It is the best solution for the schools now. There is an effort to use Scratch or Minecraft to bring programming to younger students but LiveCode is better. We need to step up and step in.

We can help by providing materials and lessons so that any teacher can teach basic programming. That alleviates the pressure to find professional CS (C,C++,Java) teachers. It also makes it easy for them to offer a class in their school.

We need to make it easy and the logical choice to use LiveCode in their schools.

The Million Dollar Homepage was just one suggestion to get some momentum and visibility for LiveCode. We need some novel way to get LiveCode out in the open and noticed. Once we have people's attention, we have a chance to show them it's strengths and advantages.

Other suggestions, ideas? Any viral ideas? Am I wrong? Can we hear from other teachers in this forum. What do you think? Do you agree? What can we do to increase the adoption and use of LiveCode in the schools? Do you have materials to contribute?
Cyril Pruszko
https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/livecode/
https://sites.google.com/a/setonhs.org/app-and-game-workshop/home
https://learntolivecode.com/

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by bogs » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:05 pm

FourthWorld wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:41 am
LiveCode has a place among them, offering an unmatched mix:
1) High-level scripting
2) Inherent language support for GUI elements
3) Broad platform coverage

In any single one of those categories, or even two, you can find many alternatives, some of them very good.
But if you're looking for all three of those AFAIK you have only one choice: LiveCode.
Erm, well, there is also SmallTalk (Squeak, Pharoh, etc), Realbasic/Xojo, Free Pascal/Lazarus(and fp/others), Toolbook, etc. Unless you mean something else by either 1 (whether basic or pascal is considered scripting, they are certainly very 'high level'), or 3, i.e. Toolbook (probably the most Lc like) is only usable from Winders for dev, but deploy-able as html and a great many desktops/mobile/etc.

If I missed it, please disregard this post :)

* Edited to add the actual link to Toolbook, for those that have never heard of it, and the platforms it supports.
toolBook.gif
Last edited by bogs on Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Image

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by FourthWorld » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:32 pm

bogs wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:05 pm
FourthWorld wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:41 am
LiveCode has a place among them, offering an unmatched mix:
1) High-level scripting
2) Inherent language support for GUI elements
3) Broad platform coverage

In any single one of those categories, or even two, you can find many alternatives, some of them very good.
But if you're looking for all three of those AFAIK you have only one choice: LiveCode.
Erm, well, there is also SmallTalk (Squeak, Pharoh, etc), Realbasic/Xojo, Free Pascal/Lazarus(and fp/others), Toolbook, etc. Unless you mean something else by either 1 (whether basic or pascal is considered scripting, they are certainly very 'high level'), or 3, i.e. Toolbook (probably the most Lc like) is only usable from Winders for dev, but deploy-able as html and a great many desktops/mobile/etc.

If I missed it, please disregard this post :)
You're right, many come close, some even hit two out of those three. But when you look at the full scope of platforms, or even rarer having GUI elements not merely graftable from some other vendor's library but inherently a direct part of the core language so you can think in terms of UI, I haven't yet found anything that matches all three of those elements as well as LC supports them.

If I missed it, I've love to learn about it. Never hurts to add more tools to one's kit.
Richard Gaskin
Community volunteer LiveCode Community Liaison

LiveCode development, training, and consulting services: Fourth World Systems: http://FourthWorld.com
LiveCode User Group on Facebook : http://FaceBook.com/groups/LiveCodeUsers/

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by richmond62 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:41 pm

After all the "fancy discussion" there is a plain and simple, unvarnished fact:
teachers and exam boards are NOT going for LiveCode.

I believe a very large part of this is that LiveCode (the people in Edinburgh) have ALWAYS has
an ambivalent attitude towards education for a number of reasons:

1. It will bring no immediate revenue stream.

2. If LiveCode begins promoting itself as an educational tool all sorts of serious programmers
( i.e. those who make their living by programming ) will, supposedly get "all snobbish"
and turn their noses up at LiveCode.

To which I would reply:

If high school pupils, Primary school pupils and University students get "hooked" on LiveCode they
are likely to favour it for ever afterwards.

I, and many others, got hooked on HyperCard at University; so, isn't it "odd" that we are still working with
"grandson of HyperCard"? (Oh, and if the people in Edinburgh don't get that, it's called sarcasm).

What evidence is there that people who make their livings out of programming with LiveCode will
suddenly abandon it, like rats abandoning a sinking ship, just because LiveCode starts being pushed at the education market: none.

Why do I feel that the snobbishness may lie somewhere other than in the heads of programmers?
Last edited by richmond62 on Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do so few schools try LiveCode...?

Post by capellan » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:59 pm

bogs wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:08 am
capellan wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:35 am
27th? December 27th? :idea:
LOL Image
Then... What does means 27th? :shock:

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