No ceiling

What does, no ceiling, wide walls, low floor, mean? Just asking.

Long ago, 1960s or so, there were professional programming languages (this was before C, Java, Python, etc. but there were Pascal and Fortran) that were hard to learn (high floor), and there were simplified languages (mainly Basic) that were (allegedly) easy to learn, but limited in what you could do with them (low ceiling).

Then came Logo, which promised a low floor (Basic-like notation) and at the same time just as powerful as the grownup languages (because it was based on the capabilities of Lisp). In the beginning the slogan was "no floor, no ceiling," but it turned out that even with Logo it took a little bit of struggle to get started, so it changed to "low floor."

Mitch Resnick replaced "no ceiling" with "wide walls" for Scratch. He's less interested in very advanced programming, which benefits relatively few kids (especially in the Scratch target age range), and more interested in adding different kinds of project you can do, specifically with media computation. So, what can you do with the input from a laptop or tablet camera? You can collect frames, but that's pretty complicated to work with, so they came up with the push-the-balloon idea for a fun, easy way to interact with video. You can edit pictures and sounds, you can control robots, you can do turtle graphics, all those things. Wide walls.

And Snap! claims to do it all. Low floor, just like Scratch; wide walls, in some ways even wider than Scratch; and no ceiling, with first class functions and so on.

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