[Etoys] Can Playing of Etoys Event Theatre be saved as screencast (e.g. OGG)?

Milan Zimmermann milan.zimmermann at sympatico.ca
Sun Dec 21 14:34:04 EST 2008

On Thursday 18 December 2008, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
> Maybe :) At least we are trying to make contributing much easier than
> before. If you have thoughts on what could be improved to invite more
> developers, or make it more approachable for the current ones, please
> let us know.


first, thanks for sharing status of Morphic, Tweak Etoys, and hopes/plans for  
a potential future (fonc?) version.

Well, I took up your above invitation to share thoughts about how to attract 
more developers (and users), and did put together a point-by-point list of 
things I have been thinking about in the past few years (list is longer than 
it's worth, but what's done is done :) )

None of this is innovative or new, but it summarizes what I have been thinking 
about. Much of the stuff below requires hard work and foot work of all who 
take interest in Etoys - and perhaps some application of "The Tipping Point" 
approach  - And I am feeling bad for not having done for Etoys as much as I 
wish to ...

So, some points:

# 1. Make best use of the delivery railway (browser) to have "Etoys 

  - Overall motivation: Clicking on .pr file anywhere should start Etoys. This 
is nicely on it's way thanks to the Etoys HTTP plugin. A few more related 
things :

    1.1 - The Etoys HTTP plugin is extremely important : 
http://www.squeakland.org/download/. How can we make it ship by default on as 
many browsers/OSes as possible? How to make as many browsers aware of etoys 
files (mime type? .pr extension?)

    1.2 - Why not to ship OLPC browser with Etoys HTTP plugin. Right now, 
browser on olpc saves .pr file to journal, but it does not open (this may be 
something wrong with my setup).

    1.3 - It would be cool to have Etoys plugin listed in the non-javascript 
plugins for Firefox - Firefox has 20% of word browsers share and thousands 
browse this daily: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:7 - 
somehow this relates to list on http://plugindoc.mozdev.org/  Maybe we need to 
ask the maintainer to point to the HTTP plugin directory? I will do that ...

    1.4 - What does it take to add Etoys .pr to the Internet Media Types 
Registry? ftp://ftp.iana.org/assignments/media-types/ Would it help?

    1.5 - Google Native Client could be of use as delivery railroad as well: 

# 2. Multiply Developers and Users (this should be #1)

  - In open source projects it seems the most useful are those  where 
developers are also users (development tools etc). This synchronicity is 
difficult to achieve with Etoys where target audience are Grade 1-8 teachers. 
Maybe one needs to start from the "top", by targeting audience who can help 
Etoys development and content creation - university and high school students 
and teachers.

    2.1 - Increase Etoys/Squeak usage at Universities and High Schools. Nice 
to have more sites like EtoysIllinois! http://www.squeakcmi.org/

    2.2 - Show Etoys to Teachers at Teacher Colleges.

    2.3 - Encourage School boards to accept Etoys as part of curriculum. It is 
difficult for teachers to go against the flow. I have heard the "teacher asked 
us to present our project in power point" many times from my kids. 

    2.4 - Maybe there are some government initiatives with less focus on 
testing and more focus on creativity? I read something about 3 months ago but 
lost the link... 

# 3. Motivation - Kids and Adults

  - Find creative ways to find new users (teachers, students)

    3.1 - Enable motivation of kids to explore Etoys on their own. Make etoys 
more suitable for writing simple games. (I still miss ability to move a Morph 
with arrows!) I really believe games-friendliness is very important - there is 
nothing wrong with allowing kids do what they like to do, to help them explore 
other things using tool that  allows better education as well. Sort of like 
using sports to attract to education :) - interesting note on games:  

    3.2 - Let us not separate Etoys and Squeak too much, to increase awarenes 
and maintain potential developers pool. Also, it is always good when people 
can make living by what they like doing, so more Squeak industry marketing. 
Unfortunately, mankind loves repetition too much. With wider Etoys usage, the 
(miss)motivation  "let us teach Powerpoint because that's what kids will use 
in they work" should go slowly away.

    3.3 - Squeak and Etoys is beautiful, innovative, going in the right 
direction etc etc - so let's not be afraid to say it, and market it a bit more 

# 4. Bigger Picture that cannot be solved by Etoys:

    4.1 - Better physical interface (rather than mouse/keyboard). Something 
like OLPC with a 3d glove :) or something like wii (etc)

    4.2 - Goal of education should not be 'to measure' but 'to create'

    4.3 - School system  should allow teachers who want to step out of the box 
to do so...


Well I hope this does not sound like some sort of manifesto .... i just wanted 
to list all i had on my mind for a while...

> > in relation to that, would it make sense to tackle it in the new
> > (Tweak-based) Etoys - I am not sure it is on the radar.
> > Milan
> Well, nobody is working on Tweak-Etoys currently. It is functional and
> it demonstrated quite a number of benefits over Squeak-Etoys, but it
> would need a lot of polish and engineering to make it useable day-to-
> day. Unless someone takes on that task it will remain a prototype.
> Squeak-Etoys will be maintained and further developed outside of VPRI
> in the future. VPRI itself now focuses on inventing more powerful
> approaches to end-user programming, which may (and hopefully will)
> result in an all-new Etoys a few years down the road.
> - Bert -

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/etoys/attachments/20081221/80e08637/attachment.htm 

More information about the Etoys mailing list