Logo: an introduction. (book reviews) Steve Gray.
Logo: An Introduction, by J. Dale Burnett. Creative Computing Press, Morris Plains, NJ. 67 pages, paperback $7.95. 1982.
The front cover says this book is "For teachers, students and other computer users new to the philosophy and methodology of Logo." The back cover says it's a "first-of-its-kind primer...specifically designed as a practical guide for the teacher using Logo in the classroom or computer lab."
Logo is a highly interactive language that uses a triangle-shaped cursor called a "turtle," and graphics that "teach logical though processes and problem solving."
The book, meant for hands-on use, has large type like a child's book, but the language is more that of the elementary or junior high school teacher; for example, it says, of the turtle cursor, "its gender is in the eye of the beholder."
The book is divided into 16 sections, on Getting Started, Soft Saves (saving a procedure); Powerful Idea #1 (combining a simple pattern into a more complex pattern); Hard Saves (saving a Logo file on disk); Powerful Idea #2 (variable inputs); Rotating Polygons About a Vertex; Symmetry; Curves; Cartesian Coordinates and Polar Geometry; A 2-Person Game; Powerful Idea #3 (recursion); Arithmetic and Logic (plotting functions); Turtle Races; Literacy (creating large letters); Alphabets, Words, and Sentences (text manipulation); Question and Answer Procedures (creating a quiz).
The emphasis is on doing, right from the beginning; after four pages on the basics, the reader is asked to draw over a dozen figures, from a line to a circle to a picture. Each new concept is followed by ways of using it in Logo, with printouts, drawings, and callouts to help the reader understand exactly what he is doing. Hints are given for some exercises, but the majority ask only, for example, "How many ways can you make a checker-board?"
Even without a computer, the reader gets a fine understanding of what Logo is and how to use it. With a computer, the book provides an excellent primer of Logo basics, by making the reader to most of the work.
Review Grade: A-