(Fwd) Re: StarLogo vs. Logo

[From Bruce Gregory (970905.1320 EDT)]

I think this might be of interest to some in view of the
exchange the other day.

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Date: Fri, 5 Sep 1997 12:52:20 -0400
To: starlogo-users@media.mit.edu
From: Mitchel Resnick <mres@media.mit.edu> (by way of vanessa@media.mit.edu (Vanessa
               Stevens Colella))
Subject: Re: StarLogo vs. Logo

When I think about the key differences between StarLogo and
traditional versions of Logo, here's what I think of. (Many of these
points were already mentioned, but I thought I'd put them all
together)...

* StarLogo is designed to encourage users to think in terms of whole
populations, not individuals (e.g., by default, turtle commands go to
ALL turtles)

* StarLogo has an "active environment" (programmable "patches")

* The implementation of StarLogo is optimized for large numbers of
turtles (and patches)

* StarLogo turtles have better "sensory capabilities" than traditional
Logo turtles (for interacting with patches and other turtles)

* StarLogo uses a different syntax for variables. Some of us think
that this new syntax is easier for novice users; others disagree.

* The "culture" around StarLogo focuses more on issues of
decentralized systems and emergent phenomena. It's not just that the
languages itself is better suited for investigating these ideas, but
the collection of ideas and the community of users is more focused on
these ideas.

Gyorgy mentioned that it is somewhat difficult to deal with individual
turtles in StarLogo. The turtle monitors in version 2.0 were intended
to help with that problem. Also, in an early version of StarLogo, we
have a command create-custom-turtles which took an instruction list as
input. The command create new turtles and told them (and only them) to
run the instruction list. Perhaps we should bring back that
command. (It's not in the current version, is it?)

-- Mitchel