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This article introduces the reader to the world of symbolic computing using a language that is usually thought of as a child’s educational programming language — Logo. I’ll start by describing what symbolic computing is and then dive right into a whirlwind tour of the Logo programming language. In future articles I’ll spend more time demonstrating how to use Logo to write some powerful programs. I hope that this article series encourages you to explore symbolic programming using Logo or another symbolic language, such as Lisp or Scheme.

A Brief History of the Logo Programming Language in Education

Logo was initially developed in the 1960s by the late educational computer…


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This is the third article in a series of three articles on the data types provided by the TypeScript programming language. Parts 1 and 2 are here and here. In this article, I will cover enumerations as well as the values undefined, null, never, and void, which can behave as data types.

Enumerations

In most programming languages, enumerations are a means of assigning identifiers to integer values, making an integer constant. Here is an example in C++, which should be understandable to a JavaScript programmer:

enum Day {MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY};

Here is the equivalent in TypeScript:

enum Day {MONDAY…


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This article is the second part of a three part series discussing the various data types available in TypeScript programs. The first article is here. This article focuses on more traditional data types such as number, string, boolean, and types that come up with objects, such as plain objects, arrays, and tuples, a newer data type in JavaScript and TypeScript.

The boolean Type

The boolean type is for storing true and false values. TypeScript can infer boolean types from assignment and you can specifically declare a variable to be of boolean type. …


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One of the major differences between JavaScript and TypeScript is that TypeScript has a much more robust type system. In this article, I’m going to cover several of the TypeScript data types that don’t actually describe data and provide examples of each type. In my next article, I’ll finish covering the various TypeScript types, including the standard types such as number, string, object, etc.

A Brief Definition of Data Types

Before I launch into a discussion of data types and data typing in TypeScript, let me take a moment to define what a data type is. Many people assume that a data type just describes the…


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In this series of articles, Learning TypeScript, I am going to document my experience learning the TypeScript programming language. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that provides a stricter type system than JavaScript, providing less opportunities for data typing errors, such as when you accidentally try to multiple a number by a string or some other mismatching of data types.

In this article I am going to show you how to get TypeScript installed on your computer and how to write some simple programs using TypeScript. …


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In this article I’m going to demonstrate another way to implement the Input and Process Until Done template using the do-while statement. The major difference between the while statement and the do-while statement is that with the do-while statement the condition is tested at the bottom of the loop instead of at the top as it is with the while statement.

The Input and Process Until Done Template Review

Here is the pseudocode for this template:

Repeat the following until finished:
Read a value
Process the value

An example, which I’ll demonstrate using a do-while statement below, is to determine the average grade on a test by inputting…


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In this article, I discuss the next major construct in C — the loop. I’ll start by introducing a new program template related to loops, the Input and Process Until Done template, and then I’ll demonstrate how to implement this template using one C looping construct — the while statement.

The Input and Process Until Done Template

One of the most common things you do in a computer program is repeatedly as the user for data and process that data until there is no more data to input. The Input and Process Until Done template provides an outline for how to write the code for this task.


Get to know the classic programming paradigm that’s still relevant today

A photographic still life of common household items.
A photographic still life of common household items.
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This is the fourth of a series of articles on programming styles in JavaScript. I’ve previously covered the monolithic, cookbook, and pipeline styles. This article introduces the most prevalent programming paradigm today — the object-oriented (OO) style. For this article, I’ll demonstrate one common substyle of OO — programming with objects.

As with my previous articles, I’ll be counting the frequency of words used in the classic essay “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift.

What Are Objects?

If you’ve taken a programming course in high school or college, or keep up with the programming literature, you’ve already been introduced to the concept of…


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This is the second part of a two-part series on implementing the Select from Alternatives template in C. In this part I’ll discuss nested if statements, the Boolean operators, and the switch statement.

Nested if Statements

Sometimes, you need to nest if statements inside other if statements to best express the logic of a program solution. This can be a tricky technique and you need to approach nested if statements carefully and debug them thoroughly.

When I talk about nested if statements I’ll refer to an outer if and inner if statements. …


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There is much controversy about the proper footfall when running. Some experts say it’s best to land on your forefoot. Other experts say you should land on your midfoot. And while not many experts say it’s OK to land on your heel, some experts say that heel striking really isn’t so bad.

I am currently reading a book titled, The Lost Art of Running by Shane Benzie and Tim Major. Benzie is a running coach whose expertise is running form. In his book, he writes about every aspect of running form but I am…

Michael McMillan

Mike McMillan writes about computer programming and running. He is setting up his new web site at https://michaelmmcmillan.com.

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