Two cool simulation environments based on KidSim

Jake Hamby jehamby at
Tue Feb 9 22:06:02 UTC 1999

I was reading a JavaWorld column on the state of Java on Mac
( and
was intrigued by these two paragraphs:

Simulations in education using Java 
Many very cool ideas came out of Apple's Advanced Technology Group. Alan
Kay's MacPal group spawned the Constructo and KidSim programming
projects targeting kids as programmers. Jim Spohrer writes in his report
titled "Authoring Tools and an Educational Object Economy", "KidSim was
[an] authoring tool for kids to create simulated worlds and interactive
games ... Once game pieces are defined, rules of interaction are
defined, and an initial configuration of pieces is placed on the
gameboard, a clock is started and the pieces begin moving and

Alex Repenning's Agentsheets programming environment derives from this
and then uses his "Ristretto" program to create Java applets. Users can
go to the Agentsheets Web site and share the "gamepieces" they and
others have created. Although the development environment for users is a
Mac-only product, once it becomes a Java applet it can be used on other
platforms. The other descendent of KidSim was Stagecast Creator. KidSim
was ported from Sk8 to Prograph where it was renamed (and freely
distributed as) Cocoa. When Cocoa was cancelled, the Stagecast company
was formed and Cocoa was reengineered in Java and called Creator. I
encourage you to play with each of these programs. In a way, they are to
object-oriented programming what Logo was to procedural programming.

I downloaded both products (they are available at
and, respectively), and my initial impressions are
very positive.  Forgive me if these have been mentioned already on the
Squeak mailing list, but this was my first time reading about them. 
Somebody has to be working on doing these sorts of things in Squeak,
right?  It just seems so cool, and with Alan Kay's involvement on the
original, Squeak would seem to be a natural focus for future
developments.  I'll take a look at ThingLab when I get a chance, though
it's probably not the same.  Are there any other Squeak/Smalltalk
projects based on these ideas?


More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list