Chapter 1. Introduction

KTurtle is an educational programming environment that uses TurtleScript, a programming language loosely based on and inspired by Logo. The goal of KTurtle is to make programming as easy and accessible as possible. This makes KTurtle suitable for teaching kids the basics of math, geometry and... programming. One of the main features of TurtleScript is the ability to translate the commands into the speaking language of the programmer.

KTurtle is named after the turtle that plays a central role in the programming environment. The student will usually instruct the turtle, using the TurtleScript commands, to make a drawing on the canvas.

What is TurtleScript?

TurtleScript, the programming language used in KTurtle, is inspired by the Logo family of programming languages. The first version of Logo was created by Seymour Papert of MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in 1967 as an offshoot of the LISP programming language. From then many versions of Logo have been released. By 1980 Logo was gaining momentum, with versions for MSX, Commodore, Atari, Apple II and IBM PC systems. These versions were mainly for educational purposes. The MIT is still maintains a website on Logo containing a list of several popular implementation of the language.

TurtleScript shares a feature found in many other implementations of Logo: the ability to translate the commands to suit the native language of the student. This feature makes it easier for students that have no or little understanding of English to get started. Besides this feature KTurtle has many other features aimed at easing the students initial experience with programming.