I have a 10yo granddaughter who is intrigued by what I do, having watched over my shoulder one day. She is smart and is likely to devour anything I start her off with, so I'm after a (preferably browser/web-based) beginners programming environment, with say, an edit text window, and some sort of output console or canvas.

I'm fluent in Delphi, but the language doesn't need to be Pascal; something like Java or Python maybe, with minimal "hello world" baggage.

Doesn't need to be free, but that's a bonus. Must have the ability to save and load existing projects. Running on a browser and/or iPad and/or Windows 7+.

I'm after something with a text-based input, rather than the "Code-Lego" interfaces of Hopscotch or Scratch, which I feel would quickly become cumbersome for larger projects.

  • 1
    You mentioned iPad: look at Apple's Swift Playground. It's not a web interface and is limited to use on the iPad, but is a wonderful tool for beginners and usable for not-beginners
    – CAD97
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 19:05

4 Answers 4


You should take a look at Coding Ground from TutorialsPoint. It’s an online collection of programming resources, tutorials, and tools. It’s free and supports lots of programming languages including script languages like Python, Powershell, PHP, etc. Projects can be saved to online services like Github, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.

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  • Impressive list of languages. A big minus for me was that the cursor keys on my Logitech keyboard don't work (discussed here). Makes it pretty much unusable on a touch-based interface. I'm not sure where the blame lies - one would think Chrome - but the arrow keys do work in other web pages (SE for example).
    – rossmcm
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 21:30

Personally I would go for python, possibly under Jupyter as a notebook, you can even try it in a browser, as in many schools it is now the first language taught, possible other python IDEs are too numerous to list in full but can be moved onto later. The Jupyter notebook is a nice simple starting environment.

  • Gratis (and Open Source)
  • Cross Platform
  • Lots of good examples online
  • You can load and save existing notebooks and it is possible to export the results in a number of formats.

The Try Demo for Python

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For programming Java online, there is IDEOne.com. Very limited in features; intended more for snippets and small demos.

As others suggest, local tools work much better than Web-based tools. For example, BlueJ is a local free-of-cost IDE designed for beginners learning Java.


If she is up to "a real programming language", then Delphi could be very nice. She will like the R in RAD and what is still the best drag & drop GUI builder.

I would not be too hung up on it being browser based. I think that it is more important to consider what will engross her without overwhelming her. It is all very well to watch granddad coding, quite another to try it your self.

So, read up on kid-friendly programming languages here and here and possible even consider a visual language ? She may actually be too old, but it would be a quick & easy way to introduce concepts such as looping and branching.

If you insist on web based, then Google for X fiddle where X is the language of your choice:

  • JavaScript
  • PHP/MySql
  • Just about everything!! with 38 languages supprted, plus "others" (although you might want to lead her away form the first on the list, which is Brain@#%! - on the ground that it might be too difficult ;-)

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