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Re: hyperstudio: Linux and its HyperStudiolessness

Ian Bicking wrote:

> I'm part of a group that's trying to make Linux more suitable for
> education <http://www.seul.org/edu>.  It's a matter of pulling it up
> by its bootstraps in a way, because companies won't write or port
> much educational software without many schools using Linux, but
> Linux won't be used in many schools without some software.  If
> you've tried it, you'll know that pulling yourself up by your
> bootstraps is quite hard, impossible really, which is why it's such
> an inappropriate metaphor when used optimistically.  But we hope
> to do better than the metaphor implies.
> Of course, one of the big applications in schools is HyperStudio.
> Getting a port could prove difficult, all the more so now that
> Knowledge Adventure owns it, so short of having HyperStudio we'd
> like to have something that provides the same benefits.
> What we'd like to know is what are the most important and loved
> aspects of HyperStudio.  Do you like that there's only the three
> types of objects, and the simplicity that implies?  Do you like that
> there's lots of teachers that use HyperStudio that you can trade
> ideas with?  (hmm... that would be hard to copy)  What are the
> best parts?

Well, one was definitely the support from the old RWP gang; you got
replies within 24 hours if not within hours or minutes and the
friendliness of the "inner gang" rubbed off on everyone. It's not just
the simplicity if you mean it's a real simple program with few features.

It's the fact that teachers are some of the hardest working least
appreciated and time pressed people around and they just don't always
have time to sit down and write miles of code. You can build some very
complicated and eye catching material with H.S. without ever using Logo.

Back when I started with version 1 I can remember cards having 75
buttons, chains of buttons with Button Runner NBA and it worked and it
didn't crash. H.S. also has just the right mix of features that teachers

need. Contrary to some magazine reviews it handles text pretty well
allowing multiple styles, etc. though it burps with certain scripts. And

recent versions have given button attributes to fields and graphics.
There are also neat little touches like the color changer which more
expensive and complicated programs cannot match. And I suppose for me
that sums it up, H.S. has the best credentials and is tops in ease of
use at mixing and matching the various elements of hyper-media. If only
I could have persuaded RWP to have published a Japanese version; it
would have really caught on here; due to some linguistic shenanigans
hyper studio can be read in Japanese as hyper studio or high power
studio. I've often taken advantage of this in some of my stack names
here such as my "HyperFoods stack." Ah, what might have been. Of course
I will be living in a Japanese community in the states and maintaining
contacts here so if the new H.S. gang.......
FR (Skip) Miller
Ehime, Japan

> Right now we're looking at Squeak <http://www.squeak.org> with
> quite a bit of interest -- it's a multiplatform programming
> environment which is moving towards making itself simpler and
> more accessible.  We'd like to help them towards this goal, and
> your input could help us figure out how to do that.
> Thanks for you time.
> --
> Ian Bicking
> bickiia@earlham.edu -- http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~bickiia