bsmall2 Learning Racket


The Racket language lets me enjoy scripting, so that the adding machine does work that would be repetitive drudgery the human being. Automating “the boring stuff” is what computers are for.

This little script makes it easy for me to share pictures that have been batch-converted with Racket. (fn:1) I have a script that takes a text file of image basenames (such as “010”) with sentences and generates an html page to print out as a worksheet. The worksheets have been working well for our GDM (Graded Direct Method) class, but uploading the pictures with Markdown to WriteFreely is going to get more cumbersome as the sentences get longer and more numerous.

An hour or two of focus this evening let me WriteFreely blog the fourth lesson in a smooth manner. (fn:2)

Dr Racket Screenshot of text to markdown script


Since Racket grew out of Scheme, and Scheme is a honed Lisp, maybe Learning Racket Through Examples should start with list . It might be fun to introduce some of this on a white-board while learners guess how DrRacket will respond. With four or five procedures (functions?) to play with, how much time would learners like to spend trying out various combinations?

Would these examples be suggestive enough for English-language learners to think about the meaning of list , map , build , string , character , integer ....


A student having trouble in English class came for some help. We ended up talking about computers, programming, and free software. The next time, he came with his computer. It seemed to be the computer recommended and sold by the university co-op. The computer booted into the MS Windows OS, so the easiest way to get started seemed to be with DrRacket. There wasn't much time to play with Inkscape, Gimp, or Emacs. The student seemed to enjoy DrRacket. He wanted to play with big numbers, so I had to figure out the term for exponent and how to do exponents ( (expt 6 36) )with the Racket Language.

DrRacket catches errors before RUNning

The episode has been in my mind for the last nine months or so. After learning Scheme's iota and Racket's plot over the past month or so I'm wondering if this sort of sequence might be fun for learners with a desire to play with numbers.

Possible Graded Sequence for Plotting Functions