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Re: Writing something.......

Micah Yoder wrote:

> Anyone want to start writing something just for the heck of it???????
> Perhaps an educational program, since there's a major consensus that we
> need some.

Well, I'm just starting to come up to speed on Tcl/Tk to start some of these
things.  What I'd like to do is modify Visual Tcl to work more like Apple's
HyperCard (which I'm not personally not familiar with, but which I
understand gets a lot of use in schools).  If that gets done, it could be a
useful tool in batting out just such programs as you mention below.  At this
point, I'm monitoring comp.lang.tcl for a few more days before I post a
request for help in this project.  I also could use people who are familiar
with HyperCard to install and look over Visual Tcl to see what things might
need modification to make them easier for HyperCard users to pick up
quickly.  I'm not looking for a clone of HyperCard; more a "works similar

> So........what fairly simple things is Linux still lacking?  I have some
> ideas....please throw out more, and maybe we can run with something!
> 1.  A simple Q&A/flash card/quiz program.  Administrators (parents,
> teachers, etc) could easily put in items to be quizzed on, as well as
> multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank answers.  Eventually, if this is
> written abstractly enough, it could be expanded to be a real networked
> testing environment that teachers could use to give entire classrooms
> tests.
> 2.  Similarly, a basic math tutor.  It gave
> problems (+, -, *, /), and you could work them out in your mind and type
> in digits in the same order as you would write them down if you were
> doing it on paper.  If you were doing something wrong, you would know
> about it immidiately.

Wouldn't 1 and 2 be essentially the same program, just with different
flashcards/problem sets?  Unless you want 2 to generate the problems
randomly, which might be a good idea now that I think about it.  Especially
if it could keep track of a users correct/incorrect ratio and adjust the
difficulty of the problems to continue to be challenging.

> 3.  Little board games.  Has anyone played the Commodore 64 game "Chain
> Reaction"?  It came from a Compute's Gazette magazine, but I was quite
> addicted to it for a while.  It's just a little two player strategy
> game, and I could explain the rules if anyone's interested.  The C64
> program had computer AI, which shouldn't be hard to implement.

These wouldn't hurt.  I'd concentrate on the other educational stuff first,
though, as I think that's what parents would rather see for their kids than
more games (even if the games encourage logical thinking rather than just
hand/eye coordination).

> 4.  A typing tutor.  Something that measures speed and accuracy.  Could
> be extended (with SEUL-help?) to actually give typing tips, diagrams,
> etc.

This would be very useful, I think.

> 5.  A free form note program.  A user could type in anything he/she
> wanted to remember - any quick note - and click Save.  It would then
> archive all the notes for quick searching based on keywords in the
> text.  Would be nice to imbed in the GNOME panel.

Although I don't know of any, I wouldn't be surprised if someone had already
written something like this.  It's reminiscent of the old DOS TSR program

> More ideas?????  Anyone want to run with one of these and create a team
> to do it???  SEUL would be just a bit more interesting if we were
> actually producing something, even if it was minor.  :-)

Well, not specific program categories, but I'll second the motion that we
need to actually start producing something tangible.  I encourage all of us
to try to gain some familiarity with Tcl/Tk, as it looks like a pretty easy
and quick way to generate small, appealing apps (so long as they aren't
compute-intensive).  If anyone wants to help me with the HyperCard/Visual
Tcl nascent project, just let me know.

Doug Loss                 My sources are unreliable, but
Data Network Coordinator  their information is fascinating.
Bloomsburg University          Ashleigh Brilliant