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Google cooks web dev teaching tool for Raspberry Pi

Chocolate factory bakes Node.js for kiddy coders

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Google has jumped aboard the Raspberry Pi badwagon, releasing an operating system called “Coder” designed to get kids into web development.

Operating system might be flattering Coder a bit, as it offers a constrained environment dedicated to web development and based on Node.JS, which itself is an implementation of Google's V8 JavaScript Engine. Google says a “simple, tiny, personal web server” beats inside Coder's chest and that when it boots one can run Chrome, point it at http://coder.local and then play in a “web-based development environment”. As with other operating environments for the Pi, Coder needs to be installed on an SD card and that card must be poked into a Pi.

The chocolate factory has baked some basic coding exercises into Coder, but suggests sources like the Khan Academy as a source of further instruction.

Coder clearly advances the Pi Guys' mission to get more folks fiddling with computers. It may also show that in formulating that mission the Pi Foundation over-estimated the skills of its intended audience, a theory we advance given installing Apache or any other web server in in Raspbian is only a “sudo apt-get install [package name]” away.

That Coder offers a simpler way to start messing with a web server comes on top of the Pi Foundation's release of the NOOBS OS that is even easier to install than Raspbian.

Coder is a second signal that the Pi may be a little more confronting than its makers intended. ®

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