[Etoys] quitting from etoys

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Wed Apr 9 10:26:08 EDT 2008

On 09.04.2008, at 05:04, Ties Stuij wrote:
> Quitting Etoys on an XO takes 1min30 sec with our old Epaati setup,
> because etoys does some saving on shutdown. To me this is not a
> feature, but actually diminishes functionality, because there's no way
> to quit without saving. I know there's a magic incantation involving
> holding shift or something, but I'm talking from a user/kid
> perspective.
> The attached patch changes this behaviour to just quitting the image
> using the squeak quit primitive. Is there something to say for this
> approach?

For? No.

It goes against the Sugar platform conventions. Stopping an activity  
needs to put its current state into the Journal so it can later be  
resumed. That is the fundamental assumption of how kids interact with  
the laptops - if you feel it is inappropriate, please discuss this on  
the Sugar list. Really, please do.

This is not to say I am satisfied with the current state of affairs. I  
find myself using the quit-without-saving feature a lot (hold down a  
bit on the stop button for this). It is much faster, and it does not  
clutter the Journal with "useless" projects. But I am not a typical  
user, just like you.

The typical use for Etoys would be to create projects. And when I use  
Etoys to create a project, the autosave is fine. It is not so nice  
when just "playing" a project, the save when quitting is unnecessary  
in that case, or even bad because the project might not be in the  
state the author intended.

One way out would be to ask an quit wether saving was desired or not.  
That is how Etoys handles this on other platforms. But the Sugar  
design strongly discourage this. Also, when quitting Etoys from the  
home view, the dialog would not even be visible.

Or we could detect if anything in the project changed that is worth  
saving - but due to the modeless nature of Etoys where "authoring is  
always on" this is impossible. Playing with an etoy means modifying it.

A nice compromise (besides obviously speeding up the saving) may be to  
hide the saving - just close the window so it looks like Etoys was  
stopped, but continue to save in the background. We could even display  
the progress of this in the Journal, just like Browse does while  

Btw, so far we have not had feedback from the pilots or deployments  
that automatic saving is not what is desired. But then, we've had  
almost no feedback, so this does not necessarily mean anything.

- Bert -

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