Why Our Kids Must Learn to Code | Mark Heninger

i reblogged this over my post on writing a programming language: https://codeinfig.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/how-to-write-a-programming-language/

i think its really important for people to think about this– some of you already know how to code. its good to know why you should help other people get there, if you can. and do check out the original post, even if youve read most of it here. i want you to check out the blog its on, if youve got a minute to do so.

Free Campus

Why Our Kids Must Learn to Code | Mark Heninger

Find the beauty, prose and voice in Code. We all should know code as well as we know our own language. What do you think?

Video link: https://youtu.be/STRPsW6IY8k

Free Campus link: https://goo.gl/PwMrvE

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11 thoughts on “Why Our Kids Must Learn to Code | Mark Heninger

  1. The video you linked in your blog is actually one of my favorite videos.Every kid should know how to code.Coding is a type of power which a wizard has, to create new things and create something completely out of scratch.I and my sister love to code….:)We both even made a small picture game in java with netbeans compiler..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! Hope you are doing well! I got some free time (finally) and tried to get Fig going. I was working through your book (https://codeinfig.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/figbook10chdraft.pdf) and I’m having trouble getting started. It’s been awhile since I’ve worked in Python (too many days in Excel) so I’m a little rusty. You had mentioned in one of our last conversations that if I had any trouble getting started to let you know. I’m running Python 2.7.13 on Windows 10. I grabbed the script (https://ia601205.us.archive.org/34/items/fig29/fig29.py) and ran it in the python shell. Then I grabbed Colorama (https://pypi.python.org/pypi/colorama#downloads) and ran it. Then after that I tried to actually run Fig code in the Python shell and I keep getting invalid syntax errors. I know I must be making a pretty elementary mistake here, I was hoping you maybe had an idea how to run it best? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. if nothing else fixes it, a screencap is worth 1000 words.

      either way, your feedback is more valuable than you can guess– because its *extremely valuable* to know what things people have trouble getting to work. so first of all, thank you very much!

      what i would do is, windows-key+r and type cmd and hit enter (if theres another way to run the command prompt you prefer, try that as well.)

      try copying fig29.py to the desktop and dragging the icon right to the command prompt window (this is a fun way to get around typing long paths.) then hit spacebar and drag the following file to the same command line:


      now to get trythis.fig, open notepad (just type notepad after opening win+r again– yes, im sure you know how to run notepad but hey) and type the following code into notepad:

      now 5 plus 9 colortext 10 print

      hit ctrl+s and type (with quotes) “trythis.fig” (typing a filename in notepad save dialog with double quotes will prevent it being named trythis.fig.txt)

      im more surprised if fig works in the python shell than if it doesnt. (in other words i dont recommend the python shell for this, but let me know if you ever get it working that way– that would be interesting.) it should run in python 2.7.13…

      try doing a screencap if none of this gets you farther– thank you for trying this and please dont hesitate to keep replying until youre completely satisfied that this either works or doesnt.

      for what its worth, ive gotten fig working in every version of windows since xp, except vista. (ive never had access to a vista machine to try it on, but it works fine in xp and 7.) and ive run it on: debian, devuan, trisquel, gnewsense, antix, connochaetos, arch and primtux, reactos, puppy linux, os x — either leopard or snow leopard. im confident we should be able to get this running, and pretty sure it will be something trivial when its figured out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey thank you so much! I am going to try this out in the morn and I’ll let you know how it plays out. I REALLY appreciate it! I’m about to hit the hay so no late night coding for me…once the coffee hits the brain I’ll try it and let you know! Hope you have a good night!


  3. Morning (almost afternoon)! I did this and got the following after hitting enter from putting the “trythis.fig” path in…

    fig 2.9, dec 2015 mn

    1 now 5 plus 9 colortext 10 print

    ‘chmod’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.
    translation complete. here’s a python script you can run: C\Users\Desktop\trythis.fig.py

    So of course I put that file path in and hit enter and I got



    And it turned the text green.

    Does this mean I am in the zone here now to do some Fig?

    Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it works! the chmod error is 100% harmless, really i should make it so that it only tries to do that if its not in windows. if you like, comment these two lines of fig29.py out, theyre barely up a few lines from the very bottom of the python script:

          try: os.system("chmod +x \"" + outname + "\"")
          except: pass


          #try: os.system("chmod +x \"" + outname + "\"")
          #except: pass

      alternatively you could try making a batch file called “chmod.bat” and putting it in your windows path. it could just say “@echo off” (no quotes)

      now that fig is running, heres a more complex program to try:

      r 10 # license: creative commons cc0 1.0 (public domain)
      x 20 # http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
      y 12 ; cls
          start -3.14 ; sleep .25
          stop   3.14 # try CTRL-C or CTRL-BREAK to stop looping
          for p start stop 0.0314
              c randint 9 15 ; colortext c
              xcol p  ; cos  ; times r    ; plus x ; times 2 ; int
              yrow p  ; sin  ; times r    ; plus y ; int
              now "*" ; locate yrow, xcol ; prints

      happy coding! and keep me posted as much as you like, id love to hear about how its going (entirely up to you how much you share.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sweet!! Thank you so much!! I’m going to keep working through the book.

        Quick question, I saved down the ‘more complex program’ just as try1.fig and then put the path in my prompt and hit enter, it required me to hit enter twice, and a dialog box pulled up that said “How do you want to open this file?” and let me choose from a dropdown which app to use.

        What app would you recommend i use there?

        Look forward to more coding in Fig! I’ll definitely keep you posted on my progress. Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “””I saved down the ‘more complex program’ just as try1.fig and then put the path in my prompt and hit enter, it required me to hit enter twice, and a dialog box pulled up that said “How do you want to open this file?” and let me choose from a dropdown which app to use.”””

          a .fig.py file (to windows) is just a .py file, so that would open in python 2. and the file youre referring to– a .fig file, is meant to open with fig– in this case, fig29.py.

          i think its possible to associate the .fig extension with fig29.py, the only thing is if there are errors, the command window will close before you can read them. the drag onto the command window idea could be better.

          however, its worth trying out– even if you manage to associate .fig files with fig29.py, you still have the option of opening them the way i suggested, which we now know works (on the same command line: first fig29.py, then the name of the .fig file youre translating.) and you can always delete a file type association in windows, so dont be afraid to try it 🙂

          thanks again for your feedback. this isnt me just being polite, this is me very happy that its working for you (i have tried it in windows on more than one occasion, but its working for other people too, and thats even more exciting.) i designed fig to be as cross platform as possible, but i dont use windows often and never at home.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Rookie mistake on my end lol. I got it in the shell 🙂

    Well, I will say this, it’s working just great on my machine. And I really appreciate it! I’m excited to delve deeper into Fig. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I’m asking questions! Hey, I’ve got a heck of a resource though to ask questions of! Thanks again!

    I’m sorry, I’m awful at names. What was your name again?

    Have a great day!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. like a number of people on wordpress, i dont use my first name. however, fig is something i do both online and in person, so if i keep helping people learn to code, i will eventually be known by my first name. you notice its not on the cover of my book, either.

      “the developer behind fig, who goes by the handle Figosdev, write up an article explaining his creation. Robert then forwarded the article on fig to us in the hopes DistroWatch readers might find it useful or, at least, interesting.” http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20170102#fig

      i think the first handle i used for fig was figleafdev/figlfdev. when i put fig os together i started using figosdev. codeinfig was something i came up with along the way; the choices are partway between handle and account name. im generally known as codeinfig on wordpress, because “codeinfig” is better for a blog url than “figosdev.” just like someone might make a nickname out of a real name, people online sometimes make nicknames for these and i could be called all sorts of things. im not too picky about it. sort of related– this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._D._Frazer

      i started using the internet pre-facebook, when the digital equivalent of pen names was a standard practice. now people (in general) expect photos and pictures of me, as well as what i ate for breakfast. 🙂 its a different culture. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet_celebrity#Unusual_personalities

      who the heck am i, though? im the author of fig, divorced male 3rd-party-politics sort of fellow living in the northeast usa, a vocal lover-and-online-critic of the basic programming language for over 10 years, and happily at your service. 🙂 out of all the things ive done in the past 15 years, fig is the only one that might lead to being more of a “public” figure. thats what happens to internet names that gain enough notoriety. im not saying im there, or counting on fame in my lifetime. ive been on television– just the once– helping with fundraising.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is very nice to meet you. You seem like a very interesting person and I very much enjoyed reading your story and the similarities to your story (quite true about what people expect today…pictures including breakfast)

        I completely understand about the desire of anonymity. You’re not the first person I’ve met on here who likes it and you’re not the last. But even with the anonymity, I can say I have enjoyed the several interactions we have had and you seem like you have some great interests. Anonymity can be very nice. As ‘Job’ said of it in Mission Impossible, “it’s like a warm blanket.”

        And I like CodeInFig best…much better than figosdev! 😉 Hope you have a good night! Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

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