Visual programming with Alice

Finding Nemo

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If you can use your desktop environment, then you can also write programs: All you need is your mouse, the Alice IDE, and some time to experiment.

In the Alice development environment, you don't need to type in a single command or learn a cryptic language. Instead, you can create applications and compile all the necessary actions and processes just by clicking your mouse. You start by dragging ready-made items into an empty 3D world. Each item offers several actions that change its appearance, its location, or its behavior. Then, you can just drag and drop the desired actions into a sequence plan, which Alice executes on demand.

Easy-as-pie controls certainly have their limits. For example, the applications created here are always rooted in the 3D world. Alice is therefore suitable mainly for 3D animations or games. The almost mandatory requirement for the 3D world is that Linux supports your video card's 3D acceleration; otherwise, the program you create will run at a snail's pace.

Number Girl

Alice [1] currently exists in two versions. According to the makers, children especially should use the older version 2. Above all, this version teaches logical thinking and the basics of programming. The new version 3, however, focuses on object-oriented programming. It increasingly uses the standard terminology found in this field, thus allowing an easier transition to Java later on.

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