[Squeakland] Random

Alan Kay alan.kay at squeakland.org
Tue Apr 12 08:26:07 PDT 2005

Ah, now I understand what you were asking! Good question!

I'll ask Scott Wallace for his opinion here also.

I think the simplest answer is that this should be like the feature 
"forward" (which can be made from simpler stuff in etoys but is not worth 
putting the children through the process early on -- so it is provided as a 
feature). That we can't simply drop a variable name on Random (and extend 
it for arithmetic) is a bug and should be fixed in this version of etoys or 
the next.

It is possible (and illuminating) to make a random number generator by hand 
in etoys, but I don't think this should be an early burden on 11 year olds!

What do you think Scott?



At 08:11 AM 4/12/2005, Gustavo Correa H. wrote:
>I can understand that not all possible features should be included in eToys
>but, could you help me in obtaining a Random number when you do not know
>before hand the limits of the numbers range but it depends on the results of
>some script calculations?
>PolloGus (Quito-Ecuador)
>-----Mensaje original-----
>De: Alan Kay [mailto:alan.kay at squeakland.org]
>Enviado el: Lunes, 11 de Abril de 2005 22:04
>Para: gustavo.correa at coheco.com; squeakland at squeakland.org
>CC: Javier Diaz-Reinoso
>Asunto: Re: [Squeakland] Random
>This is why there is no parameter on the random tile. It is good for
>children to realize that they can get a random number in any interval by
>simple addition.
>The random number tile generates numbers between 1 and the number that is
>set on it. So if we want to generate random numbers between 15 and 21, then
>we can do this by the sum: 14 + random 7. Often it is a good idea to make a
>new variable to hold such calculations:
>                     newRandom <- 14 + random 7
>would be a typical line in a script.
>In general it is good to help children to do "automatic arithmetic"
>whenever they see numbers. There are other places in the etoys where one
>might also put "a feature", but where having the children do a simple
>relationship from scratch is better for them.
>At 11:20 AM 4/11/2005, Gustavo Correa H. wrote:
> >Dear Friends at Squeakland:
> >
> >I need to get a random number between two numbers to be determined as the
> >result of some actions. Could you tell me how to get such result with the
> >random tile function which does not accept a variable as its argument?
> >
> >I appreciate your help.
> >
> >PolloGus (Quito-Ecuador)
> >
> >
> >
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