[IAEP] [Design] Multiple instances of same activity (Was: First steps with Sugar)

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Wed Jun 16 05:40:37 EDT 2010

Keep in mind that this precise functionality is provided by what Gary
is describing - a single instance, but multiple documents open, what
used to be called "MDI" (Multiple Document Interface) back in the 90s.

Today, this is usually presented as tabs (no pun intended ;-) with
focus showing the active tab, possibility of closing a tab wiithout
returning to it, rearranging tabs, etc.

Perhaps the larger question is how to present multiple windows of the
same type of data (text, images) simply to children.  Stacked windows
versus navigating between windows and so on. Apple faced with a
similar problem for the iPhone shows a row of grey dots for each
"page" of app icons, the white dot indicating the active "page". A
similar representation may be preferable to tabs.

This could become complicated in collaboration. Are all open documents
in the instance shared?


On 6/16/10, Tabitha Roder <tabitha at tabitha.net.nz> wrote:
> > Has anyone seen good real world cases where allowing multiple instances of
> the same activity to be run was useful or a vaguely common practice?
> >
> >
> I use multiple instances all the time. Particularly for comparing things,
> but also for copying bits out of one and into another.
> Example
> 1. write about how you describe yourself
>  2. write about how your family describe you
> 3. write about why they might be different
> You need to see the first two texts to carry out the third part of the
> exercise.
> You can have the same requirement for multiple instances in many activities
> - using a calculator, browsing the internet, drawing pictures, all sorts.
>  What if I create something in phsyics or etoys or scratch, and want to
> create something else to go with it but want to do it in another place so I
> don't wreck the first bit, then want to join them both together. I want to
> build on my first concept in one way and another way, then compare the
> different paths I took and see which was better.
> These are valuable to the learning process. I think multiple instances are
> very important.
> I have experienced the frustration of low memory issues and would rather
> have the option to wait for the laptop to recover or even restart the
> laptop, than not have multiple instances as an option. IMHO.
> Tabitha
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