[squeakland] [etoys-dev] (SQ-749) and Kathleen's question on "What do you mean by Artifacts?"
sthomas1 at gosargon.com
Thu Oct 28 00:47:40 EDT 2010
On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 7:57 AM, Alan Kay <alan.nemo at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Please do follow through with your plan of asking for 3 (or 20) things
Here are my list (blew past 3 and 20 ;)
1. Make it easier for kids to debug, "see" how scripts work and start
"playing computer" in their heads.
1. Visual debugger that allows single stepping scripts, similar to the
way Scratch works, also the ability to drag out a section of a script
similar to Scratch. I have seen kids use both methods to debug and figure
out what is going on and its very effective. One improvement over Scratch
would be a method where it doesn't execute the next tile until
you click a
particular key, so kids can control the pace.
2. Ability for kids to build their own set of tools to reuse and share.
1. The ability to create your own scripting tiles that can be placed
inside any script. They would have a slightly different look so
you can tell
they are user created scripting tiles. They would also have the option to
allow you to "look inside" and see how they work and modify them if you
2. Scripts are decoupled from ?Players? and can be copied to and/or
associated with multiple objects. WIth appropriate kid friendly error
messages, ex: if you have a polygon tile associated with a non polygon
3. Object Repository - a location where you can store/share/retrieve
objects you and others have created.
3. Improvements to "Playfield/Holder" so that it can be used as a
1. Auto-adjust width to width of item in the holder
2. fixed column/row height/width
3. Ability to reference other cells in the table
4. Ability to see/set padding sizes between objects
4. Ability to send emails from a project and/or store a file with results
that can be read
5. I/O functions for data collection, configuration, communications
6. The ability to easily reference a set of objects. I have at times
wanted to iterate through a list of objects to lock/unlock them, set
color/size or run some script on them.
7. All objects show collections category when you drop items into them.
8. Connector Labels that are placed near the middle of the line (vs where
the mouse is)
9. The ability make other objects siblings after they are created. I
often realize after the fact that I would like a set of objects (with
different costumes) to be siblings.
10. Tiles to set Playfield gridding size and tiles for other menu items
that you currently can't script. (although I noticed that you can get the
halo for a menu item and fire it which works providing you don't have to
enter values like in "set grid spacing".
11. More Explicit reference to Messaging (Scratch uses terms like
broadcast/receive) I guess this is also coming from the fact that it took
me a while to figure out the behavior of some of the scripting tiles.
More Fun Stuff:
1. Robotics Interfaces: Arduino and Lego
2. An "ask" tile to get user input
3. Abiltity to glide to a position in X secs
4. Ability to Say a Speech Bubble for X secs, ...
5. Ability to sequence sounds and speech bubbles (ex: play sound until
done [then execute next tile])
6. tile(s) similar to Scratch's (change
<color|fisheye|whirl|pixelate|mosaic|brightness|ghost> effect by [x])
7. Better sound and camera/video support.
8. Font Control in scripting tiles
9. Tile to "grab" a section of the screen (from x,y to x', y'). What I am
thinking of here is I like to encourage kids to a) make appropriate
comparisons, so seeing the results of multiple modeling runs side by side
would be useful. Also for combinations/permutations such as given
two/three/four/... color blocks how many different stacks can you make
two/three/four/... high. This could probably be done by simply having them
stack the blocks in a playfield and copy the playfield (scaled down) to a
holder. Not sure about this one.
User Interface Improvements:
1. Improved Visual Clues when placing items in scripts and Holders to see
where they are going to be placed. Too many kids struggle with this and get
frustrated (which I think is a big part of why folks say "Scratch is
1. scripting tiles don't go where they want
2. An item is placed int the wrong spot in a holder
3. They add an item to an expression instead of being able to change a
2. Access to "Visual Help" at the scripting tile/menu item as opposed to
in quick guides. I am thinking here of an animation of what the tiles/menu
items actually do, with more than one example so kids get the idea their are
multiple ways to use them not just one way. Similar to the ideas/work of a
fellow (whose name I can't remember :( but he did some smalltalk work
similar to PA Dreyfus' project Kids In
he wrote a paper on cartoon communication or something like that, I am
sure you folks will know who I am talking about when you look at Kids in
Clouds (Bert showed me his work at Squeakfest), if you can get me his name I
would appreciate it I want to re-read some of his papers and I can't find
Scratch does this with option click on a tile to get a menu which
includes help. But instead of a static help message, animated help with
multiple examples and try this or what would happen if you tried ... or how
could you use this to ... (ie: prompts to get the kids to think)
3. Scrollable Viewer if items extend beyond viewable screen space.
4. Simpler entry of expressions in scripting tiles (parentheses is the
5. Scrolling of Script Editors when the script is wider or taller than
its holder (ie: playfield or world)
6. In Holders, visualy move items out of the way to see where I am going
to insert an item.
7. Kid Friendly Error messages
8. Be able to toggle between full screen and partial screen painting and
allow the canvas to be moved
9. Improved Paint tools
10. Ability to flip horizontal/veritcal everything, not just graphics
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