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A lot of focus on block language is how to transition to python or some language that the teacher themselves learned.

Thus we get a lot of people trying to make snap to *language converters.

The punchline is, you've got blocks, you've got the key already, relying on text is the exact wrong answer to the wrong question. If kids start at Scratch Jr and then migrate to Scratch and then Snap, based on the estimated age ranges, by the time they've graduated high school they've been coding for nearly ten years...

That's an expertise that can dwarf the experience of paid professionals.

So why then do we insist on "real" and stop where we are and decide that we're at the right place, keep running but make no progress. University Level concepts are now at high-school level, so what do we teach at University level now?

In my opinion, building a compiler is now CS 101, because now we've exposed the building blocks at a higher level than we've ever seen and we no longer have to cut corners like we have been doing for the entirety of computing history. We don't have to assume the "computer knows what it's doing" because we can hypothetically*, in real time, using a visual language and a visual compiler, with visual assembly, see that computation doesn't do ANY of that. It just follows impulses and converts them into instructions that it then looks up to see what those instructions do, and not even that. Computers don't decide anything they just DO.

*Strictly speaking, nobody has done that yet, not even me... but think of it this way. Unicode has been extended to emoji so :-) becomes an image that is indexed on the service that recieves it, so instead of sending a multi kilobyte image, it sends three bytes and then a handful more for lookup. So why not code? Snap! is Scheme disguised as scratch, so what's the difference between :-) and (For $var) thanks to the concept of blocks?

Blocks changed the game. The problem is, with the game changed, the rules that govern the game have also changed.

5 min
Auditorium (Online)
Snap!Con 2023
Lightning Talk
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