Clojurians
#clojurebridge
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2016-11-09
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marketa08:11:00

The content will be very much for beginners (more like normal clojureBridge). We just found gorilla REPL as good value (we were able to prepare easy installation and it has simple interface with some options for graphs etc.)

kauko12:11:15

Gorilla REPL seems like a good idea. Ease of installation and getting started is important, and the faster you get to visual stuff, the better.

kauko12:11:48

I've been wondering whether the editor that runs directly in the browser would be good for workshops. I don't remember the name though. It wasn't nightcode

kauko12:11:31

Then again, if you use Quil (which is great for workshops), I don't know why you wouldnt just use the normal Nightcode. I guess Nightlight doesn't need to be installed..? I dunno

kauko12:11:40

I've organised one workshop, and thinking back I think we made the mistake of getting to the Quil stuff wayyy to late. We started with just learning about values and functions in the REPL, and only got to the turtles towards the end of the workshop. Next time I'll try to have material where I can get to visual stuff immediately - shouldn't be too hard.

kauko12:11:57

Just have a (def number-of-turtles 5) and have them change it :slightly_smiling_face:

kauko12:11:04

Oh, I should probably say my group had 0 programming experience, so I had to start all the way from the beginning.

jr0cket13:11:03

To remove the reliance on any tooling, I've started writing a ClojureBridge curriculum using Klipse. https://clojurebridgelondon.github.io/community-docs/docs/curriculum/ Using Klipse you get a Clojure REPL in your web page content, so you can provide editable Clojure snippets that evaluate character by character. As Klipse is Clojurescript, it's just added as an included library to what can be just a static content website and hosted on GitHub pages like the rest of ClojureBridge. I have used a fork of the ClojureBridge community-docs site to build this curriculum. Feedback welcome. Thanks.

jr0cket13:11:12

We have found that tool choice is quite personal and can be a barrier to further Clojure adoption. LightTable and Nightcode have rarely lasted beyond the initial workshop for those students that joined in with further community events.

jr0cket14:11:12

Nightlight looks promising as it should have much better Clojure support than Nightcode. For the moment most of our students tend to use Atom & Protorepl as their preferred Clojure tool, although there is a surprising amount of interest in Emacs / Spacemacs too.

kauko14:11:12

Can you do anything more.. visual with KLIPSE? It's nice that it works out of the box and is part of the website, but mapping a vector of numbers to see a vector of bigger numbers is boring if you don't tie that into anything

kauko14:11:27

I feel like that is exactly the mistake we made at our first workshop

kauko14:11:12

The content looks really good @jr0cket :slightly_smiling_face:

kauko14:11:14

Though I feel like it highlights the thing you have to balance with at any workshop, which is how much and what exactly do you want to teach, and how much you should just focus on the fun and cool stuff. The presentation at Euroclojure had a great point about the three challenges participants have and the workshop should try to answer: "I think, I am not interested", "I think, I can not do it", and "I want to learn, but I don't know how". The best way to answer the the first two challenges is to just get to something fun as quickly as possible.

kauko14:11:55

The curriculum you're working on seems like something that's better for after the workshop, or maybe if the participants are already pretty familiar with another programming language.

kauko14:11:12

The level of the participants really affects what kind of a workshop you should have.

jr0cket15:11:35

@kauko This is my first go with klipse, so I havent tried anything visual. Quil has a clojurescript version, so it could be a good thing to try.

jr0cket15:11:27

We havent attracted anyone from outside of technology to our events, so my curriculum is being designed around the attendees we typically get. I think fun and cool stuff is great to add, but its also subjective. Previous students havent commented about how fun or cool moving a turtle is, but some visual aspects to a curriculum do help engage people.

jr0cket15:11:05

We have started showcasing some fun and cool stuff (in our opinion) at the install party on the evening before, to help give attendees the big picture. Using generative graphics libraries like http://thi.ng have proved to be very inspiring, however trying to use thi,ng as an alternative to quil has proved difficult. Also teaching people about Quil (apart from forward, backwards, etc) tends to get very complex very quickly.. so as you say, its a balance.

kauko15:11:07

If your attendees are experienced programmers, then a curriculum like that is definitely a good way to do the workshop

kauko15:11:29

You don't have to sell the "idea of programming".. you're just teaching them clojure

jr0cket15:11:05

Half our attendees are already developers, the other half already want to be developers. So the aim is to encourage all to appreciate Clojure and our community

kauko15:11:06

I feel like my first workshop was more about showing them that actually programming is not about smelly nerds hacking away at the matrix, it can actually be a lot of fun :smile: