Extending the design of a blocks-based Python environment to support complex types

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Abstract

We are currently developing PyBlocks, a blocks-based environment which allows novice programmers to construct and execute Python programs. In the initial design of PyBlocks, Python's basic data types and lists are represented using colors, every expression block is colored according to its type, and each unfilled slot contains color indicating all valid argument types. In this paper we extend the design to include Python's most common built-in composite types (lists, tuples, dictionaries and sets) and to allow nesting of these where appropriate. Using example types from a pedagogical media computation library, we also show how further types may be supported. Together, these extensions provide almost any type novice Python programmers are likely to use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Blocks and Beyond 2
Subtitle of host publication2nd Workshop on Lessons and Directions for First Programming Environments
PublisherIEEE
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-2480-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-2481-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
EventBlocks and Beyond 2: 2nd Workshop on Lessons and Directions for First Programming Environments - Raleigh, United States
Duration: 10 Oct 201710 Oct 2017
http://cs.wellesley.edu/~blocks-and-beyond/

Workshop

WorkshopBlocks and Beyond 2
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityRaleigh
Period10/10/1710/10/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • blocks-based programming
  • introductory programming
  • Python

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