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Luke Gorrie

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Etoys [Sep. 21st, 2007|08:42 am]
Luke Gorrie
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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

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/
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2007-09-21 03:09 pm (UTC)

There are lots of other browsers

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.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2007-09-30 09:19 am (UTC)

Greetings

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
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2007-11-26 02:05 pm (UTC)

An Etoys Tutorial

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
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