People would laugh if you put the above in a magazine now. What? A magazine with computer code on a real paper?
The biggest problem I experience with them is that both environments come with a social platform with tons of games written by more advanced users. And that would be great if my kids would dig into those games and fork and mod them, or if they would use them to learn things for their own games, but mainly they just play them. And the big jump in complexity might be discouraging, like how do I go from my little animations to these complete games.
Yeah, i wanted to get my kids into that, but with all the distractions, I was thinking of getting an old school thing like a Speccy that I had. There’s nothing else to do but hack at it :)
I’m not sure how much of a jump this might be for them, but the PICO8 ‘fantasy console’ is fantastic for being able to (A) play the games, but often also (B) crack open the games and see how they tick. The community is also pretty fantastic and very helpful, in my experience.
I have heard of it, but never looked into it. Perhaps it is time for me to do so.
ISTM that one of the best potential answers to this that is already out there is Oberon.
Oberon is an OS and a language. It’s FOSS. It’s a clean, readable language, a descendant of Pascal.
It’s tiny. The whole OS, with its tiling window UI, network stack, the IDE, the compiler, and tools, is well under 100K lines of code.
Its fancy pre-emptive multitasking, SMP-capable descendant A2, which supports TCP/IP, email, a web browser and so on, has media playback facilities and so on, is still only a few times larger. I suspect the entire OS is considerably smaller than a single contemporary Linux tool such as, say, Vim.
It’s portable. Today, basic Oberon should be able to run on a Raspberry Pi Pico, or some $20 ESP32 board such as a Lilygo TTGO-VGA32.
It’s something like 0.01% of the size of even a lightweight modern Linux distro such as Raspbian. Ideal to give to kids and let them play, safely, without any risk of viruses or malware.