[Etoys] EToys as textbook/exercise replacement ?

Hilaire Fernandes hilaire at ofset.org
Fri Jul 6 17:00:29 EDT 2007

2007/7/6, Orestis Markou <orestis at orestis.gr>:
> It seems interesting, but still I can't find how to develop for
> Squeak. Is there a tutorial that explains the differences between
> Squeak and Java/Python ? I'm feeling really dumb looking at Squeak. Is

This is a normal felling. Smalltalk is not complicated, it is in fact
easier, but first you have to accept a few paradigm shifts: 'image
based'  vs 'file based', 'pure OO' vs 'mix of functionnal and OO'.
What make Smalltlak easier are these paradigm shifts. So for example
if you are an Emacs user like me you should forget about it for
Smalltalk programming, it is just not applying.

Another important stuff is that most of Squeak is written with itself,
you may first think as an anecdote, but the impact is huge: for
explorer like you and me it helps to discover how classes and methods
are used in other part of the image. Again this paradigm shift help to
increase hugely the developer productivity.

A first place you may want to look for Squeak programming is

Regarding the Smalltalk development environment, there are few video
tutorials there, take a look it may help you to get an idea about
Smalltalk IDE


> it all drag & drop ?

No. What is mainly drag&drop is the end user interface for kid like
EToys. Behind the scene it is Smalltalk programming.

> I found out that I can drag & drop images (took me ages :), but I
> really want to make an automated procedure since I have to port around
> 900 exercises, I don't want to do it by hand...

Squeak looks like a good choice for that, but well, you will have to
learn programming with it and it may take some time. Why do you want
to do that with Squeak if you don't know it?

> What should I do to run DrGeoII ? I downloaded an .mcz file, but I
> can't do anything with it.

Hum , under linux I drop the .mcz file in the Squeak running image,
then accept "load it" (or something like that, sorry I don't remember
the exact name)

Then do a [Allt]+o on the Squeak image, an object distributor will
show up, go on the graphic category and drag'n drop the DrGeo icon any
where you want to get your geometric canvas.

Of course it is possible to use programmatically, but this is another story.

> I really think there should be a tutorial for content developers on
> the OLPC platform...

The Squeak one apply. For example I am writting DrGeoII with Squeak-dev3.9
Oh by the way, if you want to do programming I strongly suggest you to
start with the Squeak-dev image the community are maintaining, these
version of Squeak come with all the developer extension you want

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