Waterbear is the brainchild of Dethe Elza who presented it at the JSConf held in Portland on 2-3 May 2011. Inspired by Alan Kay's Squeak language and Semour Papert's Mindstorms he hope it will introduce programming concepts to learners, including children. His choice of the name Waterbear is because he want it to be an extremely robust language - like the microscopic animals that are found in extreme environments over he entire world.
This news item is a lot easier to understand if you already know about the Scratch programming language. Scratch is a visual language aimed at beginners and children in particular. You don't write a program in Scratch you assemble it by dragging and dropping blocks representing programming constructs onto a design surface. You still have to set values via parameter slots within the blocks but the difficult task of creating the program's flow of control is reduced to clicking blocks together.
As well as a really interesting educational tool you can't help but speculate on its use as a real HTML5 based app. Maybe this is the tool we are looking for!?
Scratch not to be sniffed at!
Getting started with Android App Inventor
App Inventor open to everyone including robots
Easy Android Apps
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