[Etoys] Fwd: PataPata postmortem link

Alan Kay alan.kay at squeakland.org
Mon Nov 27 09:48:47 EST 2006

I'd call this a real tribute to Dan Ingalls!




At 04:10 AM 11/27/2006, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
>Hi folks,
>Paul Fernhout, former Squeaker, posted an interesting post-mortem
>analysis of his experiment to create an educational environment in
>         http://patapata.sourceforge.net/critique.html
>- Bert -
>Begin forwarded message:
>>From: "Paul D. Fernhout" <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com>
>>Date: November 26, 2006 22:50:02  GMT+01:00
>>To: "edu-sig at python.org" <edu-sig at python.org>
>>Subject: [Edu-sig] FYI: PataPata postmortem link
>>Just as an FYI, as a way to wind up the PataPata project (or at
>>least one
>>phase of it), I wrote a lengthy postmortem critique of the PataPata
>>project to date, plus ideas for where to go from here. You can read
>>critique by following this link:
>>"PataPata critique: the good, the bad, the ugly"
>>Comments welcome.
>>For reference, the PataPata project is/was """an experiment to support
>>educational constructivism on the Python platform, inspired by
>>and "Self", but going beyond those in a Pythonic way."""
>>  From the introduction: """It's been about three months from my
>>last post
>>to the PataPata list as well as my last major change to the system.
>>I have
>>been thinking about the system in the intervening time, and feel
>>ready to
>>produce a critique of it as an experiment (sort of as a, sadly,
>>"postmortem" report). Others are welcome to chime in. This critique
>>various good, bad, and ugly results from this experiment, and then
>>outlines some thoughts on where to go next. This note
>>marks the end of this phase of the PataPata experiment. I am
>>uncertain if
>>this project on SourceForge will see more development, but I am
>>certain if
>>there is more development on this particular SourceForge project,
>>it will
>>likely be in a radically different direction than the work
>>published here
>>to date. """
>>By the way, my decision to write a critique of PataPata was
>>inspired in
>>part by this paper by Drew McDermott, "Artificial Intelligence meets
>>Natural Stupidity".
>>    http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1045340 [fee based link]
>>The core of the paper is here:
>>    http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1406540
>>  From there:
>>"McDermott explains how all research should be based on actual
>>implementations, and be a thorough report on them. What is needed is a
>>very clear picture of what was tried, what worked, what didn't, why
>>that work. And there must be a working program that later
>>researchers can
>>play with. Later research can build on these partial solutions, and
>>the exact improvements made since the previous version, the
>>improvement in
>>performance, etc. As McDermott states:
>>      The standard for such research should be a partial success,
>>but AI as
>>a field is starving for a few carefully documented failures. Anyone
>>think of several theses that could be improved stylistically and
>>substantively by being rephrased as reports on failures. I can
>>learn more
>>by just being told why a technique won't work than by being made to
>>between the lines."
>>Thanks again to people here for your previous feedback on the project.
>>--Paul Fernhout
>>Edu-sig mailing list
>>Edu-sig at python.org
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