I gave Miles a set of Logo programming problems:
sv 3draws a square divided vertically into three columns
sh 4draws a square divided horizontally into four rows
svn 3 4draws a square with three columns and four rows
(These are going to build towards some work with fractions, but he won’t know that unless he reads my web site. Hi, Miles!)
The first thing he did was place a slider and a button on the screen. The slider ranges from 1 to 10, and the button calls
sv with the value of the slider. He used these to test the program while he wrote
sv, to quickly try it on different arguments without typing. When he added
sh he added another button, and so on for
This looked to me like some sort of hybrid between test-driven development (with a unit testing framework or FIT), and using the command line. It’s more parameterizable than unit tests, but easier to fit into a development cycle than the command line.
What was really interesting, though, was that Extract Method wasn’t a new concept. The initial implementation of
sh was copy-pasted from
svn was copy-pasted from both of them. I started on my DRY lecture — “see how this part of
sh is the same as this part of
sv” — and he jumped the gun. “Oh, cool, you can use aliases?!” he exclaimed, before I even modified any code.
The analogy is between files in a directory and callees in a method. If directory could transclude its contents — list one of its children’s contents as its own — then the analogy would be exact.