[squeakland] [etoys-dev] (SQ-749) and Kathleen's question on "What do you mean by Artifacts?"
alan.nemo at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 28 08:14:11 EDT 2010
These are very helpful (and many are on our list already). Please don't hesitate
to suggest more as we go forward.
From: Steve Thomas <sthomas1 at gosargon.com>
To: Alan Kay <alan.nemo at yahoo.com>
Cc: Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de>; Kathleen Harness
<kharness at illinois.edu>; etoys-dev <etoys-dev at squeakland.org>; squeakland
<squeakland at squeakland.org>
Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:47:40 PM
Subject: Re: [etoys-dev] (SQ-749) and Kathleen's question on "What do you mean
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 like.
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 object.
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
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 easier") ex:
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 value
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 Clouds 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 biggest
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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