P-Coder is a new tool to assist in the teaching of computational principles and the development of programming skills for novices.  

The development of basic programming skills is an open problem.  Many students fail to understand the core computational principles of sequence, iteration, selection and recursion before they are launched into designing and building software.  Without this essential understanding many of the bigger-picture concepts of procedural and object-oriented programming are poorly understood.

From many years of experience, a tool like P-Coder offers considerable potential to assist in this skill development.  P-Coder is a highly interactive and graphical tool that enables the basic computational concepts to be expressed for the novice.  The tool is particularly suitable for expressing algorithms, and bridging the gap between specifications and the final code.  It also encourages top-down design, and facilitates modularization and encapsulation principles.

Version 2 is now available.

Some of the key features of P-Coder are:

Target languages includes Java, C++, VB and Perl.
Supports the development of small scale programs using a graphical pseudocode notation.
Generation of executable code through progressive refinement
UML styled class diagrams (Java, C++ and VB).
Instance evaluation of classes, object interrogation, method evaluation and object capture in a fully interactive environment (Java only).
A wide range of customization options to match student capabilities and stage of learning.
Generation of Java code through progressive refinement

Note that P-Coder is not intended for the production software - it is a teaching tool only.

More details of P-Coder can be found here.

  2005, Cadplan, Last Updated 18/08/2005