Dot and Graphviz

At the time of writing, the British Government’s directions for teaching Computing state that children should be able to use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual,

I’m all for this. I think that it’s important that students should have some understanding of text based coding. However, experience suggests that some students will find constructs such as loops and select statements difficult to understand.

Here’s a proposal. Why not teach students Dot? Dot is a text based language used to describe graphs. The beauty of teaching Dot is that it allows students to experience the rigour required for entering text code, but the output is graphical. Graphical output means students can see at a glance if what they’ve done is correct. As you can produce quite complex graphs without the use of loops and selects, Dot is within the capabilities of a very wide range of students.

Want to know more about Dot? Here’s a link to a simple tutorial to get you started.

Dot and Graphviz Tutorial

 

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