[sugar] Education?

Bert Freudenberg bert
Sat Mar 10 07:47:57 EST 2007

On Mar 10, 2007, at 12:35 , Don Hopkins wrote:

> Bert Freudenberg wrote:
>> Hi Guido,
>> I still think your choice of words was inappropriate.
> What's inappropriate about "Thanks Alan. I'm quite satisfied with  
> this response and I agree with the priorities!"?

Guido's original posting was not cited below. I won't repeat it, it's  
in the archives, but it involved the word "anathema", hence my response.

> I totally agree with Guido, and applaud Alan for his response and  
> priorities!

>> If anything is an anathema, then it's the huge body of  
>> impenetrable C code in linux, the libraries, X11, gecko, gtk,  
>> cairo, and, yes, underlying Python, too, and even Squeak, though  
>> to a much lesser extent.
> Just because something sucks isn't a reason not to use it if there  
> is currently no better alternative. Can you suggest or implement  
> better alternatives to any of those modules?

Sure. In fact, VPRI is working on it:


> If not, then let's keep using them until we have enough time and  
> experience to replace them, so we can learn from their strengths  
> and weaknesses.

Of course, that's what we are doing right now - take the best of what  
we've got already and get that to the kids.

> It would be unwise to attempt to reinvent the wheel without ever  
> using one.

Indeed. However, as Alan likes to point out, a lot of effort nowadays  
goes into attempting to reinvent flat tires.

>> This prevents opening the hood, seeing how things work, modifying  
>> it, constructing new things etc. *This* is against the OLPC  
>> philosophy, which explicitly encourages constructionist learning.
> We are actively engaged in the process of constructionist learning  
> ourselves, by building things with these these flawed but useful  
> tools. Constructionism is not just for kids! Software developers  
> learn that way too.

Hey, you tell me ;)

>> Sadly, there isn't anything comparable to Etoys in the whole open  
>> source world. Actually, strike that last five words. It's not like  
>> most of it couldn't be done in Python, but for whatever reason,  
>> nobody does it. I'd be happy to hear otherwise, but so far, the  
>> Python community (or anybody else for that matter) to me does not  
>> exactly appear enthusiastic about creating something that could  
>> replace Etoys.
>> - Bert -
> I am quite excited about creating something in Python that is based  
> on the ideas from great systems like Etoys, HyperCard, HyperLook,  
> Robot Odyssey, Body Electric / Bounce, and other visual programming  
> languages.

Of course, Etoys isn't just about visual programming. It's not even  
about programming per se. It's about an integrated system that allows  
seamless experimenting with all sorts of media:


> Now that the open source status of SimCity is out of the closet,  
> please take a look at my previous posting with the idea of re- 
> implementing SimCity on top of such a system:
> Ideas for Sugar development environment from HyperLook SimCity
> http://mailman.laptop.org/pipermail/sugar/2006-December/001022.html
> SJ Klein and I recently talked with Charles Normal of Electronic  
> Arts about making SimCity and other games open source for the OLPC,  
> and he asked us to make a list of games that we would like EA to  
> make open source so we can port to the OLPC.
> Which games and other software should we ask EA and other  
> publishers to make open source and contribute to the OLPC project?
> One at the top of my list is "Klik-and-Play", Maxis's visual game  
> programming language for kids.

One at the top of my list is Fritz, the leading chess engine by  
Chessbase. I read an interview with their chairman where he expressed  
his genuine interest at bringing chess to kids.

> Of course it might just be more powerful and efficient to re- 
> implement something like Klik-and-Play from scratch in Python, as a  
> plug-in visual scripting component, which can be used to script a  
> HyperCard-like gui environment, and games built on top of it like  
> SimCity and Robot Odyssey.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klik_&_Play
> I also would love to make a massively multi-player version of  
> SimAnt: One Ant Per Child!

Cool :) Not multi-player, but have you seen the massively parallel  
particle simulations (Kedama) in Etoys?

- Bert -

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