[Squeakland] new etoys comments, questions
karlramberg at gmail.com
Sun Sep 21 04:06:23 PDT 2008
On 9/21/08, Bill Kerr <billkerr at gmail.com> wrote:
> Some of the new features on etoys are great and / or look really
> Here are some comments and questions about the new etoys (running on
> Windows) based on a preliminary look:
> 1) Default saving goes to a non existent folder C:\My Pictures\My Squeak and
> so saving fails. Solve this problem by holding down the mouse button on the
> Keep icon and then an option to navigate to a desired folder becomes
> available. This is not explained on the balloon help of the Keep icon,
> although it is explained on the balloon help of the Find icon.
> 2) Help: When you load the paint tools the Help fades out. You can click the
> arrow to the next page but can't Jump to a different Help sequence for the
> Paint tools. You have to close the Paint tools then Jump to a different Help
> page and then reopen the Paint tools
Sounds like a bugish usability issue. It should be looked into.
> 3) Can't find a timer? The clock on a script has a tick rate, the default is
> 8 ticks per second, but how can I program that to display a timer?
Holding down the mousebutton on the ticker brings up a menu.
Also the Digital clock in Objects tool is scriptable.
> 4) Show code textually is a nice feature - would be even better if you could
> open the code window to reveal all the code at once - good for learning by
> copying and pasting to other media
There used to be options to this in the Viewer flap menu, up in right corner.
> 5) How do you set the "preserve trash" preference mentioned in the trash can
> help balloon?
I noticed this one too yesterday. We should either have a simplified
Preference tool or remove the reference to it.
> 6) There doesn't appear to be a version number?
Projects are given a new version number on each save, and you usually
only see the latest in the default etoy tools. Branching a project is
therefor easiest to maintain by being explicit and giving it a new
> On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 4:30 AM, Kim Rose <kim.rose at vpri.org> wrote:
>> Release Notes - Etoys -September 2008
>> These notes accompany the download of Etoys available via
>> www.squeakland.org as of September 11, 2008. In the past, the system has
>> often been referred to as "Squeak", but to help distinguish it from other
>> versions of Squeak, we will refer to the version now available on the
>> website simply as "Etoys."
>> The team at Viewpoints Research Institute (VPRI) has been working on the
>> "Etoys" activity for the OLPC (One Laptop per Child) "XO" platform. We
>> started from the previous version of "Squeakland Squeak", then added new
>> features and made many bug fixes, performance improvements, and visual
>> VPRI has decided to release the Etoys activity for the XO as the
>> "universal" Etoys version for all platforms. Advantages include:
>> 1) Two years of work have gone into improving Etoys overall;
>> 2) Etoys will be identical on the XO, Windows, Macintosh and Linux
>> operating systems;
>> 3) The new features, enhancements, and fixes will be beneficial to
>> In this way, all users of the XO and other platforms will be "compatible"
>> and be able to share their projects and documentation.
>> Below is a list of "New Features", "New UI Changes", and "Notes on
>> "New Features"
>> -- Functions.
>> There are now over a dozen mathematical functions available for
>> use in arithmetic expressions in scripts, in addition to the arithmetic
>> operators. (Click on the golden treasure box of a script editor, drag
>> out an "abs" tile, drop it on any numeric-valued tile or phrase in a
>> script, and then (unless you actually want "abs") choose the actual
>> function name you desire from the menu that shows up when you click on
>> it. There is also a choice called "parenthesis", which serves to put a
>> subexpression within parentheses, in order to influence order of
>> (There is also a way to "wrap" an existing numeric tile expression in a
>> function, by holding down the "shift" key as you click on an "extension
>> arrow" -- this will make the expression governed by the extension arrow
>> become the argument of a function call.)
>> -- Arithmetic Operator Precedence.
>> The arithmetic operators (+ - * / // \\ and min and max) now have
>> more conventional precedence; i.e., multiplication and
>> division are now "stronger" than addition and
>> subtraction. (See below under "Notes on Compatibility" for more
>> -- "RepeatTimes" tile.
>> A tile to write a simple loop is provided.
>> -- Display Scaling.
>> We think it useful to offer a "standard", normalized screen size for
>> on non-XO platforms, so that a project made on one computer can have a
>> consistent appearance across a broad range of computers with varying
>> sizes and screen resolutions. Because the XO has a screen with 1200 x
>> pixels, this was chosen as the "standard" size. On a computer with a
>> different display resolution, 1200 x 900 pixels are scaled to fit in
>> display. If the actual display size is vastly different from 1200 x
>> 900, the
>> scaling may not look very nice; in such cases, scaling can be
>> turned off from the menu bar.
>> -- The Online Help System ("Quick Guides")
>> There are now over 60 help guides included in the system. Click on
>> question mark button in the menu bar to see them. They can also be
>> printed as a single PDF file found on the Squeakland and Etoys/olpc
>> -- Polygon Vertices.
>> In a Polygon, the vertices are accessible from tile scripting.
>> Visit the polygon category in the viewer of a Polygon.
>> -- World Stethoscope.
>> World Stethoscope, a tool to use the input from external sensor devices
>> is included.
>> -- Event Theatre.
>> A tool that provides a better way to record and play back a
>> user's actions. This can be used to create small snippets of
>> voice-over can be added later, and there is also an "Event-Roll" tool
>> for modest
>> after-the-fact editing of such recordings.
>> -- A New Generation of the Particle System (aka "Kedama").
>> Kedama has been entirely rewritten for this release. The new version
>> in most cases, and there are semantic changes as well -- see more
>> details in the
>> compatibility section below.)
>> -- All Players Tool.
>> The tools labeled "Players" in the Supplies provides a list of all
>> in the current project.
>> -- Book Page Reverting.
>> Book pages can be made revertable. Book pages can be marked as
>> revertable, and such pages can be reverted to the state when the
>> book was last saved into a project.
>> -- More Sound Compression Options.
>> In the Sound Recorder, there are choices for Sound Compression.
>> "New UI Changes"
>> -- Bigger and More Consistent Fonts and Buttons.
>> In general, the tools have been redesigned for screens with a higher
>> resolution. Larger fonts are used, and buttons in viewers, scriptors,
>> and other
>> tools have now been made more uniform.
>> -- Stationary Navigator Menu Bar at the Top.
>> Instead of having an orange pop-in/pop-out navigator bar at the bottom
>> of the
>> screen, the navigator bar is now located at the top of screen, and is
>> Type alt-RETURN at any time to show or hide it. The new Navigator
>> follows the
>> design of the OLPC's UI specification, but we took the liberty to make
>> it narrow,
>> and change its color.
>> -- New Supplies.
>> Click on the "treasure box" in the navigator menu bar at the top of the
>> screen to
>> open or close the new "Supplies" flap. You can resize the flap by
>> dragging its
>> bottom gray edge.
>> -- Script Editor ("scriptor") Redesign.
>> Layout, colors, proportions, menus, and fonts have all been changed.
>> A "Gold Box" has been added -- click on it to get a palette of useful
>> tiles; click
>> on any item in the palette to get a copy of it for use in your script.
>> -- Better Drop Zone Feedback in Scriptors.
>> The green drop zone that shows when dragging over a script is
>> greatly improved.
>> -- Right Click for Halo.
>> On Windows, the default is changed so that right mouse button
>> brings up the halo.
>> -- Opening Screen.
>> The start-up screen now provides links to tutorials and example
>> "Notes on Compatibility"
>> Most projects created in an older "Squeakland" version should load and
>> fine in the new system. (However, projects created in the new etoys
>> will *not* be
>> usable in any older Squeakland version.)
>> A few old projects may exhibit different behavior when loaded into the new
>> system. Here are some things to watch out for:
>> - Because of the arithmetic operator precedence change, a script
>> that contains a long chain of arithmetic may produce different
>> results; e.g., "3 * 4 + 5" used to be interpreted as "3 * (4 + 5)"
>> and the result was 27, but now it is "(3 * 4) + 5" and the result is
>> 17. Such a script should be editted (perhaps adding the
>> "parenthesis" described above) to be properly interpreted.
>> - The size and look of scriptors and viewers will change upon
>> loading. The new shapes may hide other carefully located
>> objects, and if the project depends on the specific sizes of these
>> tools, it may not work in the same way.
>> - The changes to Kedama are great enough that, although an old project
>> with Kedama
>> may load and may even run acceptably, it is guaranteed that editing an
>> project in the new release does not work. For proper migration of any
>> project, the project should be built afresh in the new system;
>> the semantics change may require some changes to the project's scripts.
>> only applies to projects that have the small window where one script
>> hundreds of tiny turtles and patches.
>> All in all, we hope this version will be seen as a great opportunity to
>> redo existing interesting projects, if needed. Such projects can be
>> among the millions of of Etoys users including XO users.
>> We hope that by using Etoys, you, or your children will learn more about
>> how our world works and have fun in the process!
>> Squeakland mailing list
>> Squeakland at squeakland.org
More information about the Squeakland