[Newbies] Smalltalk on OLPC (was Re: Morph Window -> Class?)

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Sun Apr 8 17:30:55 UTC 2007

On Apr 8, 2007, at 19:17 , Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas wrote:

> Hi,
> Milan Zimmermann escribió:
>> On 2007 April 3 12:27, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
>>> On Apr 3, 2007, at 13:53 , Edgar J. De Cleene wrote:
>> <<...>>
>>>> The final product could have a "programmer mode" (Morphic)?
>>> Actually we do think about this, yes. Our original thinking was to
>>> avoid support issues - if we only expose etoys and not the Smalltalk
>>> browser, we only need to worry about etoys, and not about generic
>>> smalltalk stuff. Besides, the OLPC folks want kids to switch from
>>> Etoys to Python once they are older and we do not want to interfere
>>> with that goal.
>> How very disappointing .... this is not the first time I  
>> understand politics, not results, are driving the OLPC software  
>> future. So instead of "kids first" we will have "python first".  
>> There is of course, absolutely nothing wrong with competition, but  
>> for some to advocate Python to the point that others feel they  
>> need to step back and not do the best their language and  
>> environment can do, and hide it, that is wrong. (Especially  
>> without proven results in python based child education such as  
>> eToys have.)
>> In the 90's I often heard in business "we are a VB shop, so we do  
>> not do (Java, C++, whatever) projects" and I hated it, but to find  
>> it in a project that should be above this, that is sad.
>> Milan
> Yep its very disappointing and sad. I think that Squeak needs to be  
> less "self contained" and play nicely and more transparently with  
> other languages/environments, but the idea it to make bridges  
> instead of "this or that but not both" decisions, at least in place  
> where inclusion makes sense. I have been using Squeak with my  
> students and going from eToys to Bots Inc to Smalltalk is a nice  
> path in the learning of informatics and the use of computers as a  
> media for learning and expressing powerful ideas (at this point  
> would be nice to thing in bridges between Smalltalk and other  
> languages, like python). ¿Who are this OLPC folks and why they  
> decide for us?, I mean, if this project it's for improving  
> education on "developing nations", we, the people who live in that  
> nations, wouldn't be the ones who are taking an active part on the  
> decisions instead of being passive receptors of others silent  
> decisions?
> XO machines need to mature with the children as the time goes on,  
> and continuity is a key factor on that. We need bridges instead of  
> abyss, inclusion instead of exclusion.

Agreed. But, as I wrote before:

> However, it would be a waste to completely hide the power of  
> Smalltalk. We want to hide it a little bit so as to not confuse  
> beginners, but it should be possible. There are problems however -  
> etoys projects are not ideal for dealing with source code for one.  
> So ideas and contributions are appreciated.

So everybody interested in making the "Smalltalk experience" on the  
OLPC machine an enjoyable one, please help. The VPRI group focuses on  
etoys and system integration, but you are invited to contribute. And,  
in case this has not been clear, you do *not* need an OLPC prototype  
to run this. It's Squeak, after all.

- Bert -

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