[Etoys] What now ?

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Sat Jan 10 09:41:12 EST 2009

Yes and no.

I agree with most of what you are saying, especially in regard to the
merits of Etoys, but not about Sugar. While Sugar (and Python) is not
as mature as Etoys (and Smalltalk), in fact we have given much
consideration to user-level and activity-level collaboration, but we
deliberately used a model of intermediation with the Sugar Journal
mechanism. This was in large part driven by security needs, but also
to help simplify development. Our goal with Sugar is to have many of
the affordances of Etoys spread across the entire system, while
accommodating to the extent we can more mainstream, legacy approaches.

We have a ways to go.

In regard to your specific examples, you can easily import the output
of Record into Abiword and you can run the two Activities in parallel
and share media objects between multiple users. What is the use case
for a more tight coupling.

In regard to Measure, I think you have a stronger case to make. While
Measure does export its data to the Journal or the clipboard, it is
not apparent how to stream Measure data directly into another Activity
in real time. I could image wanting to pipe Measure into SocialCalc
for example. To date, these sorts of things have been done on an
activity by activity basis, for example, Arjun Sarwal, the author of
Measure, integrated data capture directly into Turtle Art. But that
was a developer, not an end user. As I said, we have a ways to go.


On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 9:04 AM, Hilaire Fernandes <hilaire at ofset.org> wrote:
> <straightThoughMode>
> I always feel sad how OLPC missed the Smalltalk/Morph/Etoys
> opportunity, both from the technical point of view but also and more
> importantly from the educative point of view.
> If you look at the sugarized applications, the educative application
> are fragmented, unrelated and they can't be connected.
> For examples, why can't I open the camera recorder in my abiword activity?
> Then also why can't I get data from the measure activity into an
> another unrelated activity to manipulate the data?
> Or why can't I control the measure activity from another activity?
> Why can't a teachers/developers create educative activities out of
> third party activities?
> These drawback stop you to be creative when you use a computer.
> They stop teacher or developers to build easily educative activities.
> And given the intended goal of XO -- you all know it -- it is a
> serious design problem.
> At this level Sugar is not better to the other UI framework around and
> it is disappointing.
> But where it is even more disappointing it is when you are realizing
> all these features you want to have to be creative with computer are
> just siting there in Smalltalk/Morph/Etoys. It need polishing, some
> reengineering, but the design is there from the beginning with years
> of experience.
> But sill we are forced to go the uncreative way.
> Disappointing
> </straightThoughMode>
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Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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