Two cool simulation environments based on KidSim

Mark Guzdial guzdial at
Wed Feb 10 16:59:10 UTC 1999

By the way, the simulation package in the Goldberg & Robson "Smalltalk-80:
The Language" book works almost as-is in Squeak.  My students are working
on a simulation using the package right now.  The Squeak-tweaked version is
available at


>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?

Mark Guzdial : Georgia Tech : College of Computing : Atlanta, GA 30332-0280
(404) 894-5618 : Fax (404) 894-0673 : guzdial at

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