Sep 242014

So, I came across this site last night when scouting around for tools/sites that Eldest child might like to use as he gets to grips with programming, that is to do so without my necessarily having to hold his hand. The decisions I might make may or may not be reasonable or even appropriate. Better that he get a variety of experienced feedback from others (I will always be there), and in whatever language he chooses. is, essentially a community. Programming exercise sets, in numerous languages, are submitted and vetted by the community. One downloads these exercises, writes code, and submits waiting for feedback. It is not a learning environment per se, well not in the “instruct me” sense at least.

I find it fascinating because it is NOT based on a spiffy AJAXed-up website with its own editing environment and submit process. One installs a simple CLI tool, and uses that to download and submit to git. Submitted ruby code for calculating hamming distances in genetic sequences this AM to see how it all worked together, and it did. Flawlessly. I guess the downside is that one needs an environment set up on a machine, and a workflow, and #1 Son doesn’t have that yet. That, and I don’t think the problem sets would exactly tickle his curiosity.

There are several options for the CLI program install, one of which uses homebrew. I chose that, and in the process cleaned-up a three-plus-year-old-install of that.