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Luke Gorrie

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Etoys [Sep. 21st, 2007|08:42 am]
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I've been learning more Etoys lately and it's extremely cool. I didn't understand it at all the first few times I played with it but now I can teach it to somebody else in an hour. The demos involve a lot of smiling and laughing :-)

The downside is that I don't know a good way to "get" it all by yourself. There really needs to be a cool demo and ideally someone you can play along with to get started. This would seem to limit how well it can spread, but on the upside it means I can travel around the world giving cool and surprising demos to people. :-)

I've started digging a little bit into the implementation. I hate to say it but even after quite some exposure I still find Smalltalk/Squeak/Morphic code by far the hardest to understand. As a Lisp/Erlang/C/etc programmer I expect to be able to print out the listing for some major concept (viewer, player, etc), read it form start to finish, and basically understand it. But Squeak code is a complex graph (twisty maze). My friend Juho rightly pointed out over beer that since I know basically how I want the program linearised (depth-first into subroutines) I should probably stop whining and write a custom Smalltalk browser. I wonder if this has been done, or if a little more mastery of the cross-reference features will make the idea seem silly. We'll see.

We're recruiting an Etoys programming and design team here in Kathmandu to write Squeak-based educational software. Should be fun :-)

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Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2007-09-21 06:08 am (UTC)

Smalltalk/Squeak/Morphic code

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Well I'm jealous of your skills in Lisp/Erlang/C. I'm just learning Smalltalk/Squeak/Morphic myself. It was quite hard to find good resources at first but a new book has just come out. I've now read parts of the first 2 chapters and it's just the thing I needed.

Squeak by Example (free on line pdf)
http://squeakbyexample.org/

- Bill Kerr
http://billkerr2.blogspot.com/
From: (Anonymous)
2007-09-21 03:09 pm (UTC)

There are lots of other browsers

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David.Mitchell@gmail writes:

You aren't the first to complain about "highly factored" code. Not a Squeak tool, but look at the defactoring tool from VisualWorks for inspiration:

http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/userblogs/traymond/blogView?showComments=true&entry=3308226450

In Squeak, take a look at the Whisker browser.

But yes, after a few months of Smalltalking, I stopped wanting to print out. Lots of browse senders (alt+n) and implementors (alt+m). And then world, windows, close all.
From: (Anonymous)
2007-09-30 09:19 am (UTC)

Greetings

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Hi Luke, Greetings from this part of the world. Hope you are still enjoying Nepal and finding great satisfaction in what you are doing. Take care, Francesco
From: (Anonymous)
2007-11-26 02:05 pm (UTC)

An Etoys Tutorial

(Link)

If you run a vmware version of XO on a PC and use Wink from Debugmode.com, you could create a tutorial that could be viewed by the students, if there were some way to run a flash equivalent on the XO