[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Logo

> This sounds like the best bet for short-term returns.  The work
> involved is fairly clear and the hardest work is already done in the
> way of the language implementation.  Not having looked through
> the code or having thought it out much, it seems like the hardest
> part would be programming the over-all interface -- editor, turtle
> windows, etc.  Extending the language will probably not be that
> hard.

It's written using XLib from what I remember so maybe we could think about using a more recent set of libraries
such as GTK or QT. Maybe we could develop a Logo Widget that could lead to more varied applications of the
language in the future. After developing the language into a Logo Widget we could sit various interfaces on
top. Or programmers could just create stand alone logo apps. It could work a bit like Wish in TCL/TK.

> > Topologika has a good turtle graphics implementation called "Desktop screen turtle" as well - I've got
> > the source for that somewhere from an old version - It may be easy to port but I'm not sure.
> I haven't seen that Logo -- there's no demo on their website -- so I
> don't know what it's like.

Marshal designed Screenturtle I think so maybe he can organize a demo for you to look at. What do you think
Marshal? My version's RiscOS so it won't be any use to you.

> > As far as a programming language for edsoft goes, Squeak looks interesting so expect me to pick your
> > brains AN AWFUL LOT about this in the near future.
> >
> > Ian, can I ask you how you like to program for Linux? GTK, QT etc. Maybe we could get together on a
> > project. We need to develop a way for programmers out there to quickly and easily develop software with a
> > minimum learning curve. Maybe Squeak is tha answer, maybe logo, maybe TCL/TK, maybe just specific
> > libraries in C ontop of GTK. I suspect there's a range of solutions - development proliferates when there
> > are good, simple libraries and a software base to begin with.
> That's a big area.  What were you thinking about?  Making
> programmers able to move to Linux easily?  Porting programs to
> Linux?  Making new or less experienced programmers more
> productive?  Making the applications people create more
> appropriate for educational use?  Allowing non-programmers to
> create applications?

Making new or less experienced programmers more productive and making programmers able to move to Linux easily.
The learning curve is high. Maybe logo is one answer here if done properly. If we gave it a widget set....

> There's so much involved in this, and so many ways to look at the
> question... Why else are there so many programming languages,
> libraries, programming paradigms, silly diagram-drawing
> methodologies?  Can we add to what's already done, and is being
> done, in any meaningful way?

Maybe some good documentation is needed. Documentation done from a teaching perspective instead of just
programmers writing notes about what they've done. The learning curve to program Linux is way too high for your
average Delphi Dabbler to get into for example.

> > People have been talking about the technical merits of various solutions such as hypercard, metacard etc.
> > But I don't see much about what would actually be done in terms of content here. Isn't it better to
> > discuss content and then decide how it could be implemented? When it comes to the hypercard stuff, pupils
> > tend to only need the most basic of tools anyway, little more than a glorified DTP package.
> True.  The more I think about this, the more I'm unsure about what
> sort of problem is trying to be answered with this.

This is my key point. You can't develop a solution without knowing the problem. I think everyone likes to talk
technically and that's good but before we develop anything we need to get into the classroom and decide what it
is we want to achieve. Then write something that enables pupils and teachers to achieve their goals.

> So I know what HyperStudio *isn't* -- but I can't figure out what it
> is.  There *is* a lot of fluff around it, but I can't tell which part is an
> incidental marketing ploy and what's important -- or even if the fluff
> serves an important purpose.
> The content created by HyperStudio isn't particularly exceptional,
> but because the content is created *inside* the educational
> environment, the process is equally important.

It's the act of researching and developing the content which is important and understanding that the
information a child collects can be communicated in a meaningful and structured way for others.

> What's that Logo saying... "no threshold and no ceiling"... just
> because most students make simple text/picture combinations in
> HyperStudio (or HyperCard or whatever) is it still important that
> they be able to do more?
> And now that I think about this problem again, I come back to
> HTML.  It's certainly less than ideal in terms of concreteness and
> ability to create dynamic behavior.  It's an adult tool.  Which is
> what makes it so appealing... a kid can make something that's a
> peer (technology-wise) to all the stuff adults do.  A link to a kid's
> page looks just like a link to anybody elses page.  The content will
> still be a kid's content, but it's the content they are supposed to be
> learning, not the technology (at least in the case of HyperStudio-
> like activities).
> Now I'm feeling kind of excited about it... there's a bunch of really
> neat things that could come together.  The web is one of the most
> democratic forms of communication that currently exist in our
> society.  Not just allowing kids to see it, but allowing them to be
> part of it is to make the web that much more democratic.
> And when you can place a child's creation side by side with so
> many other works -- other kid's sites, commercial sites, personal
> sites -- it places the expression in a context that seems to really
> be missing from schools.  Schools make creativity -- from its most
> noble to its most humble aspects -- into some sort of priviledge
> which children earn in pieces, with constant reminders that they
> aren't quite worthy.  "No threshold and no ceiling"... well, there's
> lots of technical issues with HTML and ceilings galore, but it
> doesn't have a social ceiling.  There's no stigma to making
> something that is merely a web page.  HyperStudio, for all its
> success in schools, is still just a program for schools.  It isn't --
> and will never be -- a tool for adults and professionals.  Some
> people do use it that way --it's technically possible -- but that sort
> of use will always be an exception.
> Hmm... so that's my renewed interest in HTML.

I think most schools have websites in England now that kids publish their work to. The tools they're using are
simple multimedia programs which export HTML and wordpro. which also export to this format.

Maybe if there was something a little more dynamic it could be embedded in a web page as a Java applet. Then
there'd be fewer restrictions to the content. That seems to be the way things are going now anyway with pdf,
flash etc. having readers in Java.

That said, let's get this logo thing sorted. There's no reason that a logo couldn't work as a Java applet as
well. Then kids could publish their programs to the web.

If Seul-edu could publish some kids work then the world could see that kids can use linux and kids could share
what they're doing with one another. Communicating knowledge and ideas is a very important skill and giving
them the chance to communicate their work beyond the boundaries of their class and parents adds another
dimension to it all. I expect kids would be more excited and eager about their work given such possibilities.