Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Logo Freeware: MSWLogo

I went to a Logo workshop last week in which the presenter had intended to use MicroWorlds but hadn't gotten it installed yet, so I was treated to something better: MSWLogo (Microsoft Windows Logo), a freeware product by Softronics. In terms of features, MSWLogo is more limited than MicroWorlds but having the limitations actually helped me understand more about programming with Logo. Whereas in MicroWorlds you are freer to organize your procedures (functions) in one long column on the right or in a turtle's "backpack," MSWLogo requires you to save each procedure separately and it's stored out of sight. Then you call it from the command line or from a button. What this helped me to think about was the need to program a project in functions that are written separately and called upon when needed in one "super-procedure" rather than jumbling everything up in one procedure, which is encouraged in some MicroWorlds projects I've seen and taught. The idea that one should structure one's code in separate containers is a very important one, I think, and hasn't been readily apparent to me until now.