Fwd: Flash + AIR on OLPC

Stanley Sokolow overbyte at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 12 15:02:54 EDT 2010

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stanley Sokolow <overbyte at earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM
Subject: Re: Flash + AIR on OLPC
To: Paul Fox <pgf at laptop.org>

Sorry, Paul,  I just can't accept the idea that the target audience of the
OLPC projects must necessarily include kids who are capable and interested
in re-programming the software activities they're using.    Moreover, would
you want to modify and re-compile your application software (for example,
Firefox) just to change the way it behaves with respect to which home page,
web site filters, cookies, etc. etc.?   That's what configuration options
are for.   Even if you want more versatility, the application can implement
rules in xml or an application-specific mini-language or whatever.
Rebuilding an application in Python should be a last resort and not even for
the 99.9999% of target users of the system.

How do you define "constructionism" in this context?


On Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 11:31 AM, Paul Fox <pgf at laptop.org> wrote:

> stanley wrote:
>  > I guess I don't understand "constructionism".
> i think that's right.
>  >
>  > Is it reasonable to require that the development system run on the
> target
>  > machine?
> yes.  it's one of the reasons most activities, and many of the
> system, is coded in python.
>  > If Apple had this requirement, all of the iPhone/iPod/iPad
>  > applications would be gone.   We wouldn't have any of the millions of
>  > devices (mp3 players, routers, modems, fax machines, cell phones, etc.)
> that
> of course.  but i don't think any of those would be considered
> educational tools, let alone embodiments of constructionism.  (and
> nor would you, i'd guess.)
>  > have embedded processors not capable of running their development tools.
>  > The XO is the target machine.   It's unreasonable to restrict
> development to
>  > tools that run on the XO.
> it's not that unreasonable.  kids learn by doing, and exploring.
> that's kind of the whole point of constructionism.  if you give
> someone a game written using python and pygame, they can (in
> principle) modify that game to change the playing rules.  if you
> give them that same game written in flash, they can't.  it's
> really as simple as that.
> whether one agrees with the notion that this is important will vary,
> of course.
> paul
> =---------------------
>  paul fox, pgf at laptop.org
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