I’ve been fooling around with why’s Hackety Hack, an easy-to-use coding playground aimed at getting kids (and adults) into programming again. It accomplishes this with an embedded Ruby interpreter, a colorful easy-to-use interface, and a brilliant plain-English tutorial that focuses on getting kids up and running without wasting time on unnecessary language details. For example, here’s Hackety Hack’s explanation of Ruby’s object methods:
Commands are owned by the thing on the left-side of the dot.
This is the kind of app I wish existed back when I was a geeky 13 year old struggling to understand some book on QBasic I’d borrowed from my uncle, the family’s IT guy. Hats off to why for putting it together, and here’s hoping school computer programs take notice.
See also: why’s (poignant) guide to ruby