[ASLO] [REQUEST] ChimePlay-1
abhunkin at uncg.edu
Sat Mar 3 15:36:40 EST 2012
Thanks so much for your on-going help and encouragement for and with my
Sugar activities. Without it, and similar counsel from other seasoned Sugar
activity developers, I'd still be stuck in the "Sugar starting gate."
Your observations here can apply just as well to my previous 7 activities.
Indeed, perhaps it is ironic that in ChimePlay there is the *least* amount
of displayed verbiage of any of my activities; I've done my best to keep it
down. (For my last three activities, which urge children to create their own
audio samples, most of my commentary is included in a ReadMe.txt file. Only
"immediately relevent" material is presented on-screen.)
Some context: I am a professional art music composer, whose main
"electronic" language is Csound. All my Sugar activities are spinoffs of
live-performance Csound works composed for adults (please see my website,
www.arthunkins.com, where these relationships are clear enough). At the
urging of Richard Boulanger, I was led into OLPC, Sugar and the XO, to offer
some of my work to at least the older children of the world. As an
exclusively Windows person, Linux has been a strange new world - also
inhabited by Sugar, Python, PyGTK, git, Inkscape - all equally new and
ChimePlay almost didn't get written; I thought that SamplePlay was my last
activity. However, inspired by a couple of chime sets at the St. Francis
Springs Prayer Center (Stoneville, NC, USA) and my life-long fascination
with chimes and bells, ChimePlay manifested and here we are. In the future,
I intend no more activities; I'll simply maintain and continue to test the 8
activities I have so that hopefully they remain useful. Hopefully you can
humor me this one last time. I also hope my work points the way for other
Csound artists to become involved with Sugar with an equally limited
investment of time and technology. (Though I admit the requirements of my
doing *anything* in Linux/Sugar was infinitely beyond any investment I'd
anticipated. It's been an incredibly difficult and arduous learning curve.
For example, I just spent three intense and frustrating days relearning
Inkscape in order to create a passable icon for ChimePlay.)
Early in my activity work, I found some Python/GTK code structures that I
could reasonably understand and continue to use in all my activites. I've
intentionally limited the depth of tech work I've exposed myself to, and
only bugged other developers, like yourself, with issues I considered
crucial. I've dealt with others (such as on-screen text, the limit to
English, the treatment of MIDI device insertion/detection) in
"non-Sugar-like" ways, which were understandable by "low/non-tech" me. I did
this to protect myself and my sanity - as well as to complete anything.
I'm well aware that most children will not have access to MIDI devices. For
live Csound work in the adult world, however, MIDI devices are universally
required. (In my recent activity ReadMe's, I've indeed recommended certain
inexpensive devices to children and their teachers, especially the Korg
nanoKontrol.) It seems to me that for any performance activity with Csound
(such as for the XO or Sugar), classrooms might well opt to invest in a few
MIDI devices, such as keyboard controllers. My activities allow for a very
wide range of devices.
In previous activities, I've made alternate versions which used only the
ASCII keyboard. However, I've found these versions awkward and
counterintuitive, as well as requiring considerable additional written
explanation. I never use them for my own demonstrations. (They also are a
pain to program.) Instead, in ChimePlay, I've paired one live-performance
MIDI version with an auto-play incarnation, which requires no controller at
all. Just (optionally) adjust the presets, press START and instant chimes
(your choice of two chime sets).
Once again, thanks for your most valuable help and advice - and the spirit
and tone in which it has been given - over several years.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sugar Labs Activities" <activities at sugarlabs.org>
To: <abhunkin at uncg.edu>
Cc: <aslo at lists.sugarlabs.org>
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2012 11:03 PM
Subject: [REQUEST] ChimePlay-1
>A Sugar Labs Activities Editor requested further information from you
>regarding version 1 of your activity ChimePlay.
> Walter Bender wrote:
> "I wonder if the bulk of the explanatory text could be under an about
> button? Also, could you look for the midi device on launch and display an
> error message if it is not detected? Alas, I doubt too many Sugar users
> have a midi device :("
> Please reply to this e-mail or join #sugar on chat.freenode.net.
> Sugar Labs Activities
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