[Squeakland] "Powerful Ideas Book" now available!

Daniel Vareika dvareika at redfacil.com.uy
Wed Aug 27 19:42:22 PDT 2003

Dear Kim,

Thank you for your precise and concise reply, but most of all for your
dedication and heart. You did quite answer every question I had in my head,
even those I did not fulfill to transmit clearly enough.

I never thought that the Squeak from squeak.org was any different from that
of squeakland.org. I will have a look at that, since every time I have
downloaded, it was from the first.

Regarding the Spanish version, I will have a look at it the moment I find
some time. Unluckily, I don´t have much spare time, and the little I have
left, I feel it is more important to BE with my child than to "work" for
Still I believe I should find the time, at least to "play" with Squeak and
be able to transmit something to him.

Regarding a multilingual Squeak I am not sure what to say. On one side I
believe that translating menus and dialog boxes are a good thing. Still I
have seen many translations that to be keen: are lousy. Happened with some
versions of Photoshop (one that I recall) and also did have the same
experience with Archicad.

I don´t think this is due to both companies which make wonderful products,
but to the fact that sometimes the person that is translating should know
about the software and the technology that he or she is dealing with, so as
not to do a "linguistic" translation.

On the other hand, in Spanish, depending from where someone is, there are
many expressions that are more local than international, and to make matters
worse, I have found that, to say the same thing in English and in Spanish,
in English it takes most of the time (95% roughly) less (much less) letters
than in Spanish.
This ends up meaning, smaller menus, easier to read and understand, and
finally to convey the message. I would say it ends up having a better user
interface, which I cater the most.

Although I love my mother tongue, I see specially in English this inner
beauty regarding software. I am not completely sure, but the English
language has fewer words than Spanish (only a fact).

On the other hand, a written verbose computer language by itself, I am not
so sure if it is a good thing to translate and have many incarnations or
flavors for that matter.
A good case has been applescript that if I am not wrong could have had
different incarnations (flavours) of the computer language but never did (at
least in Spanish).

Besides all technical material ends up appearing first in English (even
though the author might have another mother tongue)  and only then in other
languages only to show that the info probably would be outdated.

This was the reason I put in my previous e-mail the part of music as opposed
to a verbose language.



Kim Rose wrote:

> Dear Daniel -
> Thanks for your good wishes, support and interest!  Let me attempt to
> answer [some of] your questions.
> 1) It is quite possible that you can play with Squeak -- the Etoy
> component of the system --  *with* your 6 year old. (Alan has a term
> called "lapware" for software that is most suited for use by a young
> child and adult.)  Our book may give you some ideas, but the projects
> there are mostly geared to 8 - 14 year olds. We are sure many parents
> and teachers might look at our examples and think of their own,
> adapted to a variety of content/learning areas and for different age
> learners.
> 2) I urge you to download Squeak from SQUEAKLAND.org as opposed to
> the squeak.org site.  We keep the "Squeakland" version as stable as
> possible where the image updated/maintained on the other site is more
> experimental and changing.  Our project book assumes people will be
> playing with the Squeak downloaded from "Squeakland".
> You may have seen that our colleaguel, Diego Gomez-Deck is working
> hard on a Spanish version -- I encourage you to visit his "small
> land" site if you have not.
> I will ask others in the community to comment on a "multi-lingual"
> Squeak and what might be "best" or suitable for learners...
> It is great you are enjoying the discussions on this list and
> contributing -- thank you!!
> There is no need to apologize for your emotion or passion in your
> beliefs -- I think this is common among us.
> Let's keep the discussion going,
> thanks,
> Kim
> At 1:28 PM -0300 8/26/03, Daniel Vareika wrote:
>> Dear Kim and all Squeakers,
>> First and foremost, congratulations on your new book!
>> As a father of a 6 year old child, I am looking for new ways to stimulate my
>> child. I have been an active "reader" member of this list, though this is
>> the first time I participate.
>> I would like to know whether a 6 year old is too young to Squeak, if your
>> book is intended for that age also or if there is another platform aside
>> Squeak more appropriate for that age range.
>> I have downloaded Squeak (3.5 I believe) both in an old Mac and a PC. To
>> tell you the truth, I did opened it but I have not found the time to
>> dedicate time to learn it (my country sucks for that matter, at least
>> nowadays).
>> What I only did was browse it. Though browsing it I found it a little bit
>> daunting for my child and maybe for myself.
>> I was particularly interested in the whole discussion regarding levels ala
>> HyperCard and the different point of views. Regarding metaphors as a whole
>> new way of programming I do not have yet a point made up in my mind. What I
>> can say is that Icons and English may work well to the native speakers of
>> the language, but to kids like my child it would mean that he has another
>> hindrance in this case the Language.
>> I am from Uruguay (we speak Spanish) and although I am literate and fluent
>> in English and my child is going to a School where he learns English not as
>> a second language but as a first language, still we are not getting to the
>> mass and to be truthful I find this (in my heart) not democratic enough.
>> On the other hand I am not so sure that porting a language (computer
>> language) from one language to another (for example English to Spanish) is
>> the right choice. As an example when I see formulas of Excel in Spanish
>> where my mind is accustomed to see them in English, I simply hate them.
>> I cannot imagine an if clause (if, then, else) in another language nor a
>> loop sentence.
>> But I can imagine tying up in a more graphical way bits of code instead of
>> doing so abstractly. I remember a recent answer that produce Alan Kay
>> recently regarding something similar, it was to learning music and he
>> considered that the key is not simplifying everything but learning the
>> nature of music itself (instead of painting it). I agree with that, but I
>> would like to point out two things in this respect.
>> One, is that music has a language (notation) completely different of any
>> language (spoken or written for that matter), specific, fast and
>> appropriate.
>> But on the other hand, from what I recall when I was young, in the US I saw
>> another method that used (a, b, c, d) instead of the regular one that
>> simplified the reading and learning of music specially for youngsters. So
>> this brings me back to the concept of Hypercard.
>> Please mind if I went a little too far, and mind for my English and not
>> having the words nor the concepts to make myself clear enough.
>> I do enjoy the discussions that take place in this list.
>> And for one thing, I believe that the true nature of democracy will only
>> arrive, not when we all have a roof and food, but when all have the chance
>> to have the same education and knowledge, but not in a some abstract form
>> but in a true, active way.
>> For this, I believe Squeak, being free, aside of how It may evolve or
>> revolutionize in this bright present and promising future, has the true
>> nature of democracy.
>> Thanks,
>> Daniel
>> PS: Sorry if I got too emotional on the whole matter, I am specially worried
>> about my country, about the differences that really exist that keep us apart
>> (inside my country and outside), and about the future of our children as a
>> hole. I truly believe that children have the right to learn joyfully and
>> that they entitled to have a future in its broadest meaning, and that we are
>> responsible for that.
>> Maybe I just may go to a Shrink :-)
>>> --
>>> Hello, Squeakers!
>>> If word has not made it your way, I am delighted to inform you that
>>> the Etoy project book I created with BJ Conn is now published and
>>> available!
>>> It can be ordered directly from Squeakland.org and specifically at
>>> http://squeakland.org/sqmedia/sqmediahome.html
>>> Thanks to those of you who provided feedback on early drafts and
>>> tested projects along the way.
>>> We hope you find the book of value and will share this news with
>>> other teachers, parents and students.
>>> Have fun Squeaking!!!
>>> -- Kim
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Squeakland mailing list
>>> Squeakland at squeakland.org
>>> http://squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland
>> Daniel Vareika
>> Diseñador Industrial
>> : Productos : Imagen : Hábitat :
>> Ramon Massini 3415 - 705   CP II.300   Montevideo - Uruguay
>> TeleFax (598-2) 707 9005
>> [    dvareika at redfacil.com.uy     ]
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