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Re: Logo

Malonowa <malonowa@wanadoo.fr> wrote:
[with various snippage]
>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.

GTK would be my personal preference.  In particular, the Canvas sounds
like it will make turtle graphics easy to mix with widgets, as well as
leaving the potential for some of the more multimedia aspects as in a
program like MicroWorlds.

OTOH, Tcl/Tk has a canvas too (which was the inspiration for GTK's
canvas, I believe), as well as being more portable.

However, Tcl/Tk doesn't appeal to me because of the Tcl layer.  I think
we want to do much the same thing, except with Logo as the control
layer, and Tcl would get in the way.  One too many interpreted

I don't know a whole lot about Qt, but it is C++, and UCBLogo is C.  We
can't really wrap the Logo, because the Logo should also be able to wrap
the widgets.  MSWLogo is made with C++, though, but I don't know how
much of a choice you have on Windows.

>> 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


I think it might work for teachers who already know Logo, but I don't
know if it will appeal to many other people.  I just see too many
languages that attempt to be this, and few of them succede.

OTOH, many a language is infected by a desire to look like C, which is
of no good to anyone but people who know C.

I see helping new programmers and programmers who are experienced on
other systems as very different things.  For people who know other
systems, moving to Linux is a matter of explaining the system in
relation to what they already know.  But someone without much experience
doesn't need comparisons.

>> 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.

True.  There is a lot of room for tutorials.  The other aspect is just
getting everything to work together -- the raw details of compiling,
starting interpreters, using editors, and all that.  Even Hello World
can be fairly difficult at times.  GTK/Gnome have some cute little
programs that set up the command line for you... maybe more stuff in
that direction would be good.

I'd hate to introduce programming-by-wizards into Linux, though :-/

>> 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.

The technical details are important too.  Mostly insofar as they don't
intrude on the other aspects.

But the interface leads people in certain directions.  I don't think
there's really any neutral interface, except in the hands of someone who
has a very good idea of what they are trying to accomplish.  This is
very much not the case for most children.

I also like the bottom-up approach a lot more, especially in situations
where there is an active learning process involved.  Structure and
organization is fine when you have an emphasis on the presentation, if
you make an outline ahead of time, or that sort of thing.  But on a
computer you *don't* have to be so structured.  You can add structure
later once you have all the content down -- cutting and pasting and all
the magic of editting.

In this situation the process -- from the technical side as well -- has
a lot more influence.  The student can't, through purity of vision,
remain uninfluenced.

If a authoring environment is going to be used for more than uninspired
research reports, I think these things need to be taken pretty

>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.

It seems like most of the tools are there, they could just use a little
coordination so that the details of uploading, keeping track of links,
and all that don't overwhelm things.  This is one place where Linux,
with its scripts, multiuserness, and all that could do really well.

>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.

Even Javascript can do quite a bit.  Being able to put canned Javascript
into a page would extend things quite a bit.  Something in the way of
CGI is another possibility, though more complicated.  Perhaps Zope (or
something like it) could be used for some canned CGI abilities...?

>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.

There is a version of Logo written in Java:


I think it's a pretty standard implementation (though there isn't
anything that quite qualifies as standard for Logo).  It seems to be
under active developement.  Though slow, it could be compiled to machine
code with the new Cygnus tools...?

>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.

I think that is a great possibility, especially if it avoids the
overhead of special plugins.  This either means a client-server thing
(where it's fine if there's a special environment on the server), Java,
or a homogeneous environment (possibly when Linux finally achieves world
domination :-).

  -- Ian