Logo is a multi-paradigm dialect of the Lisp programming language. It is used mainly as an educational language. Logo has not been standardized, but the UCBLogo is a version with the best facilities, such as the handling of files, lists, I/O and recursion in scripts, which make it useful for teaching all concepts to do with computer science education.
It has not been of much use in teaching at the tertiary level, though – at that level, Scheme and other scripting languages are used.
History of Logo
The creation of Logo dates back to the year 1967. The process was initiated when Cynthia Solomon, Daniel G. Bobrow, Seymour Papert and Wally Feurzeig produced a design for the new language. Work on the language was done at a research firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts known as Bolt, Beranek and Newman or BBN.
The language had its roots in areas such as artificial intelligence, developmental psychology and mathematical logic. Research, as well as work on Logo continued to be done at BBN for the initial four years. These efforts and work paid off as the first implementation of Logo, called Ghost was created. It was written using LISP on a PDP-1. The aim behind the production of this language was to develop a ‘math land’ which would allow for kids to play with words and sentences.
Logo was modelled on LISP and its design was targeted at providing the language with power that could be made use of effectively, as well as error messages which gave clear information. Virtual Turtles were employed by the language, allowing it to incorporate features such as the immediate provision of visual feedback and debugging (to do with graphic programming).
In 1969, the language reached a new milestone- the first ever ‘functional’ Logo turtle robot was created. The physical turtle was a successor to a display turtle, which was made use of previously. It was a tethered floor roamer instead of a wireless or a radio-controlled one. Later, Paul Wexelblat, while working at BBN, created Irving, another turtle. It possessed touch sensors and was able to move ahead and backwards, rotate and ring its bell.
The first year-long use of Logo occurred in the period 1968-1969 at the Muzzey Jr High in Lexington, MA. However, the turtles, both virtual and physical were used for the first time by students of the fifth grade at Bridge School, Lexington, MA during 1970-71.