In an effort to put primers together, I bought the books, read them, read them again and gave up.
Then maybe you wouldn’t need to write scripts. Well, it seemed like a smart idea at the time.
I figured if I was going to do this correctly, I should have someone help me who knew what she was doing.
How You Will Learn
I’ve actually got a pretty good handle on it, in spite of the books. In fact, my method of learning the language is the method these primers — and hopefully you — will follow.
Every script that was sent to Java Goodies came via e-mail. Usually that did quite a number on the script. Scripts arrived bent, folded, and mutilated in all sorts of funny shapes.
It was my job to put them back together so they would work again. So, after doing that a couple hundred times, I found I was using my reference books less and less.
There’s more and more research showing that teaching by lecturing doesn’t work. When you read a textbook, you are essentially being lectured. These primers are going to try to come at it from a different angle.
The best way to learn this stuff is in a classroom with a teacher who can help you do projects and create while you learn.
These primers can’t do that, as this is still going to be a one-way conversation over the Internet, but hopefully we can do better than the books by working backward.
A wise man once said, “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” The purpose here is to involve you.
You see, you have to be taught why something works, not just shown that it works.
Case in point: David Copperfield doesn’t close the door on his assistant, open it, and exclaim “Son of a gun! She’s gone again!” He knows why she disappeared.
All you know is that he shut the door and she went away. You both know that the box works, only he knows why it works.
He will be in a better position to create another trick, whereas you’ll just keep closing the door, hoping it’ll work.
The Format Of The Primers
First off, there are 30 of them. Each uses the same method:
- First, you’ll get a brief CONCEPT statement regarding what the script is supposed to do and what the example is supposed to teach you.
- Second, you’ll see the script in text form.
- Third, you’ll see the script’s effect.
- Fourth, we will tear the script apart looking at the building blocks used to create the whole.
- Finally, each primer has an assignment. You will be asked to alter the script you’ve just worked on so that it will be a little different.
Maybe you’ll be given the same script, except it might be altered so that it throws errors. Either way, you will be asked to create 30 new scripts from the 30 we give you.
Let’s Get Started
Be careful going through these. Often students will want to roll through the primers as fast as possible.
Most of the time that leads to commands getting jumbled up in the mind. Your brain needs time to digest all of this. If I might make a suggestion, don’t do more than two primers a day.
Students tell me they read the entire chapter, yet cannot remember what they read. That’s because getting to the end was the goal, not getting the most out of the reading. Speed kills.
Give your brain time. Here’s an example. You read all of this, right? Well, without looking up the page… tell me the name of my co-author. I’ve written it three times now.
You rolled before you crawled, before you walked, before you ran. Give your brain time to roll around the easy scripts.