[Squeakland] Logo vs. Squeak

Ken Kahn kenkahn at toontalk.com
Sat Aug 9 20:28:37 PDT 2003

Hi Anindita and Alan -

You both responded to my message using the word "icon". I think that word
refers to a different set of ideas than those I'm trying to promote. Would
you say that in Super Mario Brothers that Mario is an icon? That the
mushrooms he eats are icons? I don't think that is how the players think
about things. They are in a virtual world and a mushroom is an object in
that world, not an icon that stands for something in the world. In games and
in ToonTalk there is a suspension of disbelief that doesn't happen in iconic

Alan brings up a very important topic - is the ideal system multi-modal so
that users/programmers/players can switch between different ways of seeing
and thinking about pieces of their program? Would it be best if they could
easily switch between using pictures, English, demonstrations, and some
precise notation (like math or Logo) on a fine-grained basis? I'd love to
see more research on this but I'm not sure the result would be optimal. I'm
afraid one might lose the simplicity of mono-modal systems. And in the case
of ToonTalk I wouldn't want to introduce anything that interferes with the
fantasy of being in a virtual world.



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