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Hedy is a web-based textual programming language intended specifically for preteens and teens, ten to fifteen years of age.

Contrasting with some other programming languages for kids, like Scratch, Hedy uses textual code rather than code blocks, allowing children to type code like real programmers do, albeit in small steps with playful exercises. The goal is for Hedy to serve as a stepping stone to real program languages like Python.

Developed for middle school and junior high school students, it is recommended that students have at least a third-grade reading level, although neither students nor teachers need to have any prior programming experience before starting with Hedy.

Hedy is divided into levels, in which new commands are taught at each level. Each level features a variety of adventures used to practice newly learned commands. When used in a classroom situation, teachers can choose which adventures are available to their students. For example, they might make a restaurant, a calculator, or a haunted house. Within each level, the adventures are arranged from the simplest to the more difficult. In this way, students continue to be challenged with each level. Adventures can be done by the students individually, or they can be used in classical instruction. Each adventure includes a code example, allowing teachers without programming experience to use Hedy, as well, although teachers who have become more experienced in the language can create their own lesson plans and adventures for their classes. After programming all of the adventures at a certain level, students can test their knowledge in a quiz, and teachers can track the students' work and progress on the class page.

Because Hedy is web-based, the language will work on any device with a web browser, without the need to download anything.

Designed to be a teaching tool, Hedy addresses the issue of syntax complexity by building multiple levels of complexity into the language. Rather than providing the full features of the language at the start, Hedy takes a gradual approach, becoming slowly more complex as students work through the levels. At each level, the language gains new features and becomes more like Python.

At level one, Hedy can't do anything except print a statement, which doesn't require any quotes or parentheses. Ask a question, and echo back an answer. At this level, there are no variables, no loops, and minimal structure. Echo works somewhat like a variable but only for the last user input. This allows students to become comfortable with the basic concepts without having to learn everything at once.

Level two introduces variables, while level three requires quotation marks around strings, which makes variables function as they do in Python. Level four adds basic if/else functionality, and level five has a repeat function, adding a basic loop to the features available, although not as powerful as loops in Python. At level six, Hedy can do basic math calculations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, although complex math features are not supported. Level seven introduces Python-style indenting, allowing repeat to work with multiple lines of code. In the earlier levels, students worked with code line by line, but now they can work with blocks of code.

Further levels are expected to be added to the programming language in the future. However, Hedy is not intended to compete with Python, C++, or other languages as a language of choice for coding real-world projects. Its function is to teach coding, allowing students to more easily learn these other languages.

In most programming languages, keywords are in English, although Hedy can be used in several languages. Currently, forty-seven languages are supported.

Hedy is an open-source, licensed under the European Union Public License (EUPL).



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