[Squeakland] Squeak fails to run after install: security problems?

Simon Guest simon.guest at tesujimath.org
Wed Feb 7 13:46:25 PST 2007


Alan,

Thanks for the detailed response.  Let me summarise what I am trying
to do.  

For background, I have served my time as a professional
programmer (C, C++, Java, Ada, Perl, Python, Haskell, but no
Smalltalk) for 15 years or so, but recently left all that to become a
maths teacher.  I am looking for ways of presenting mathematical ideas
in an interesting and dynamic way to my classes of 11 to 18 year olds,
and also for software that the students themselves can get their hands
on.

It seems to me that Smalltalk and Squeak in particular (via Morphic)
provide a very malleable medium for creating such dynamic interactive
stuff.  By contrast, Powerpoint, for instance, simply forces me to
follow a carefully prepared script, rather than allowing for
interaction and investigation in a classroom context.

I have done a tiny amount of Smalltalk programming to produce some
classroom demonstrators of simple concepts, but find sadly I have
little time to do anything substantial.  So, onto Morphic and/or Etoys
and direct manipulation, which I have used successfully to illustrate
some ideas in the classroom.

What I like about Squeak is:
- direct manipulation with Morphic is very productive
- Etoy scripting sometimes does just what I want, and when it does,
it's a quick way of building something (perhaps the balance will
change as I get better at Smalltalk)
- there's some good stuff on SqueakMap

Questions I have include these:

1. When I find something doesn't work, I'm not sure if it's because it
   broke recently, or never worked.  This is part of the "which
   version should I be using?" question.  For example, if what I'm building
   starts filling up the screen, I saw I could shift-drag to select a
   group of objects, and use Extras->Put In a Window, which would enable
   me to temporarily minimize a group of morphs.  But this gives
   MessageNotUnderstood.  Is there a version of Squeak in which this
   works?  Would it be easily fixable in the current developer version?
   
2. From what you say, and my experiments, it seems Etoys still works
   OK in the latest developer version (well, I have been using 3.9).
   But discussion on squeak-dev seems to suggest Etoys are not a
   priority in this development strand, so do I need to be using a
   different version to maintain a good experience of Etoys?

3. The Squeak plugin looks like a good way to deploy Squeak content to
   others in school.  But I'm not sure what to do if something I want
   to use is not in the Squeakland image.

I guess I'm halfway between dabbling in Smalltalk and dabbling in
Etoys, and am not sure which version is right for me.

I think I've rambled too much here.  Sorry about that.

cheers,
Simon



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