LARP

Description of LARP

LARP is in fact an acronym. It is a compression of the phrase «Logics of Algorithms and Resolution of Problems». LARP is a programming language for the purpose of rapid prototyping of algorithms.

LARP's main advantage over traditional programming languages is its flexible and semi natural syntax, allowing one to formulate algorithms without the impediments of cryptic languages such as C++, Pascal or Java.

Here is a sample LARP pseudo code indicating whether a value entered through the keyboard is positive or negative:

\\ Simple pseudo code
START
   WRITE "Enter a number"
   READ N

   IF N < 0 THEN
       WRITE "Negative number"
   ELSE
       WRITE "Positive number"
   ENDIF
END

As you can see in the above algorithm, LARP's syntax is straightforward and easy to understand, even for a non-programmer.

LARP also allows algorithms to be expressed as flowcharts. The above pseudo code can be represented equivalently in LARP as a flowchart:

LARP flowchart

LARP provides a simple and convivial development environment, allowing any user to rapidly learn the functionalities of the software. The user therefore focuses on conceiving algorithms rather than learning to use a complex interface or to program with an arid syntax.

Here is a snapshot of the above pseudo code in LARP's development environment which allows to execute the algorithm:

Editing pseudo code

Here is a snapshot of the same algorithm expressed as a flowchart, which LARP's development environment may also execute:

Editing flowcharts

The flexibility of LARP’s programming language as well as the user friendliness of its development environment make the software particularly practical for teaching programming. The instructor can use pseudo codes and/or flowcharts in LARP to introduce in a straightforward and concise manner programming notions such as conditions, loops and modularity. In practice, students can use LARP to implement and study algorithms introduced in class. In fact, a computer science instructor for teaching structured programming originally developed LARP.

To facilitate to use of LARP in a teaching environment, its development environment offers online help, presenting LARP’s programming syntax in pedagogic form. The online documentation allows one not only to learn to program algorithms, but also to exploit programming notions such as variables and containers, conditional and iterative structures, modularity and data storage. These programming concepts are thoroughly explained and put into context through concrete examples, making them easier to learn.

Furthermore, LARP's development environment provides a step by step debugger which allows to execute an algorithm one instruction at a time, inspect variable values and even visually animate the execution of instructions. The debugger provides pedagogic insights into the evaluation process of algorithms.

LARP is educational software essential to teaching algorithms and structured programming. Whether it is used in class or simply by its own, LARP makes programming a breeze to learn.

To learn more bout LARP, see:

  • LARP in images: a series of screen snapshots picturing LARP's development environment.
  • LARP pseudo code: a description of LARP's pseudo code language for formulating algorithms.
  • LARP flowcharts: a description of LARP's flowchart instructions for formulating algorithms.
  • LARP's documentation: the software's online help contents in Web format. You can browse through the help documentation without installing the software.