[sugar] Develop Activity

Alan Kay alan.kay
Tue Dec 19 11:42:32 EST 2006

Hi Andrew --

I guess I agree with what you say about Python and its structure, but 
I was thinking much more about what the children see, not so much the 

Since this is a children's machine, important aspects of it should be 
deconstructable, and in terms that are as simple, understandable and 
useable as possible. So, if the child "pops the hood" on some 
interesting object they've been playing with, they should see (I 
claim) a "Model T" version of the properties and behavior rather than 
the "fuel injected Ferrari" that might be underneath. And they should 
be able to write useful scripts in those terms.

For example, the movie player can be abstracted as the very same kind 
of animations that the child can make and script, and the movie 
player UI can be constructed in those terms. Much can be done with 
such an approach, and the special stuff that is being done wrt movies 
(MPEG decoding, file reading, other optimizations) can be left until later.

And, e.g. any objects that have graphic properties can be presented 
in as similar ways as possible, regardless of how they were actually 
written underneath ...

And, I think that the wrappings and views shown older children can 
look more like Python than those suitable for the younger ones ...




At 09:01 PM 12/18/2006, Andrew Clunis wrote:
>Hash: SHA1
>Hi Alan!
>Many thanks for your reply!
>On Mon, Dec 18, 2006 at 07:44:15AM -0800, Alan Kay wrote:
> > You could try something like Etoys and have a global "parts bin" (the
> > one in Etoys is called "Supplies").
> >
> > The idea is that there are useful objects in Supplies, a drag-out
> > copies/clones an object for use on the desktop, and any new object
> > the child makes can be put into the Supplies to make more objects.
> > All objects should be willing and able to show their "Viewer" (which
> > contains the properties and behaviors suitable for end-users -- this
> > can be thought of as a safe useable end-user view of any useful
> > objects, a wrapping that is somewhat similar to how AppleScript does
> > it on the Mac, but more carefully designed).
>While this is certainly cool, I don't think it maps well to the Python
>environment.  Python's programming style and object model don't lend
>themselves to fully visual programming, afaik.
>Perhaps we could at least have a high-level viewer that represents
>various components in an iconic format (such as pictures, icons, sounds,
>and python modules), as a way of implementing Dan's idea.
> >
> > This could be part of the sugar "surround frame" UI.
>Hm, the frame doesn't show stuff in the activity context, aside from
>presence information.  So it probably isn't the best place to show that
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Alan
>- --
>Andrew Clunis
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