Status of Develop.activity?
yoshiki at vpri.org
Thu Dec 6 01:08:46 EST 2007
> The old 8-bit computer BASIC editors often would simply refuse to
> let you enter bad syntax. The language was also quite easy. Sorry to
> all the LISP fans out there, but "220 GOTO 200" is really easy for kids
> to understand. The XO is sorely lacking in something so easy to use.
> The other stuff (Python, Smalltalk, Java, etc.) is really hard
> compared to BASIC. Well, if one were trying to discourage kids, then
> the modern stuff would be perfect for that.
> I have to admit that VB development is very easy to start with.
> Things would be really different if kids could "draw" an activity,
> click on objects to add bits of BASIC, and then click to spit out
> a *.xo that is fully functional.
The sweet spot of these versions of BASIC with line numbers is
around 20-100 lines of programs, and you wouldn't do too much of
object-oriented GUI programming, etc., etc in it. It is still ok for
writing and learning simple programs, but writing a useful .xo in it
would be something I wouldn't recommend. Nerds had written 10s of
thousands of lines of code, but you wouldn't recommend that in the
21st century, right? (Of course I don't agree that Smalltalk is
really hard compared to BASIC, but that is different story.)
(No, that Etoys thing again!?) And, you can readily do syntax- and
namespace-aware interactive editing of Smalltalk in Etoys/Squeak on
XO, and make an "executable" with full multimedia capability and
everything on XO for XO, basically. (There is a missing piece to make
the actual .xo file from Etoys project. Bert did the "proof of
concept" work and we would need to make it accessible to people). You
can even do the RAD style programming, BTW.
> Finally we have the problem of NO systems programming language
> being supplied. It's less than 9 MB for the whole C development
> environment, including a decent collection of *-devel packages.
> You even get a second language thrown in for free, x86 assembly.
> Pretty much everything that matters is written in C, including
> the Python interpreter.
That was your point in November as well:
but there are two responses to that post. (About the actual size and
also the runtime memory requirement.) Did you look at them?
> This I like to hear. Eating one's own dog food is very good.
Yes. I like it, too. I could do virtually all my development work
for Etoys on XO without compromizing too much (just the keyboard with
harder to use shift keys and a bit of sluggishness.).
> Note that non-activity developers need to put aside some RAM
> for the activities. (sugar developers, I'm looking at you!)
> Booting with "mem=128m" ought to do the job. In less than a
> year, the system memory usage has more than doubled. I hear
> that people are actually doing development on workstations
> with lots of RAM and fast CPUs, and it shows.
I share the same feeling here. 128MB is pretty big chunk of memory.
I went to Cambridge several times in last two years and observed
that the designers were making UI mockups on a faster computer in
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. The visual appearances were indeed
pretty good for the first glance, but also that seemed like a recipe
for making bloated UI for a slow computer. I wish the design work
would have been done on slower computers. In that way, you can get
better guess on the actual performance, the memory usage.
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