[plt-scheme] 2htdp/image questions

From: Marco Morazan (morazanm at gmail.com)
Date: Fri Apr 23 09:05:34 EDT 2010

On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 9:11 PM, Mark Engelberg
<mark.engelberg at gmail.com> wrote:
> Since then, I have had the luxury of tutoring several talented kids
> ranging from 4th through 8th grade, and working with them continually
> for a number of years, starting from nothing and watching them grow
> into very sophisticated programmers.  One thing I have learned from
> this is that there are profound advantages to staying with PLT Scheme
> as long as is feasible, and that in fact, you can stick with it far
> longer than most people would realize.  And in many ways, PLT Scheme
> has more to offer, not less, than mainstream languages, loaded with
> goodies that many other programming languages can only dream of
> having, and it can take years to fully appreciate those things
> (macros, continuations, contracts, etc.)  Arguably, PLT Scheme
> epitomizes the "low bar, high ceiling" maxim better than most.

Eloquently stated and, yes, I agree that we can and should use PLT
Scheme for other courses. In fact, I do (e.g. a Programming Languages
course). I also believe it is great to encourage students to grow and
explore new ideas using PLT Scheme. My original point had to do with
moving beyond universe et. al as you suggest by listing macros,
continuations, contracts and I might add program correctness.  PLT
Scheme is a great tool for moving students forward by exploring some
more advanced topics.

> So to summarize:
> 1.  First-year undergrads who spend only a brief time with Scheme are
> not the only target audience for Htdp / PLT Scheme.  There are other
> types of students who spend much longer with Scheme, to great benefit.
> 2.  A high-performance "backdoor" for highly advanced students should
> always be a welcome thing, provided it does not incur additional
> complexity for the beginners.
> --Mark

There is a distinction between HtDP and PLT Scheme. The later is much
more than the former. :-)




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