[etoys-dev] remove the free-standing .gif?

Michael McKelvey mmckelve at mste.illinois.edu
Fri Sep 11 14:53:25 EDT 2009

Squeak Developers,

I'm sorry I'm only just replying to this message... I've been out sick all 
week and am just catching up on email.

Currently, when Kathleen Harness uploads a project to the EtoysIllinois 
site, she also uploads the GIF image that is automatically generated upon 
saving an Etoys project.  If you are talking about a change wherein a PNG 
file will be created instead of a GIF file, that would be just fine for our 
purposes.  I am not sure that's what you are talking about, though, as I 
don't quite understand the following line from the message below:

"start using the .png thumbnail embedded in the outer .pr file"

Could someone please describe what the proposed changes would mean for us, 
particularly since we are running our server using Apache & PHP, not a 
Squeak-based webserver like a SuperSwiki?  Would we need to be able to 
somehow extract a PNG file from the PR file?  I'm not sure whether we would 
be able to do that using PHP.  Thank you very much for any help you can 
offer us!


============== Michael McKelvey ==============
Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
MSTE website: http://mste.illinois.edu
{Office #: 217-244-7148} {Cell #: 217-621-5783}
=========== mmckelve at mste.illinois.edu ===========
Current diversion: Dr Horrible (www.drhorrible.com)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <kharness at illinois.edu>
To: "Scott Wallace" <scott.wallace at squeakland.org>; "etoys dev" 
<etoys-dev at squeakland.org>
Cc: <mmckelve at mste.uiuc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: [etoys-dev] remove the free-standing .gif?

> Hello,
> EtoysIllinois is not a swiki but rather a site designed so I/we could tag 
> and add projects easily. Michael McKelvey, at MSTE/UIUC, designed the site 
> and he can tell you much more.
> If the only reason for this proposed change is that some children some 
> times select the .gif instead of the .pr, I would not spend any more time 
> on this and would not make any change. Children learn quickly that a .gif 
> is a picture and .pr is a lot more fun.
> Kathleen
> ---- Original message ----
>>Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 15:45:57 -0700
>>From: Scott Wallace <scott.wallace at squeakland.org>
>>Subject: Re: [etoys-dev] remove the free-standing .gif?
>>To: etoys dev <etoys-dev at squeakland.org>
>>On Aug 31, 2009, at 7:52 AM, Timothy Falconer wrote:
>>> On Aug 28, 2009, at 11:26 AM, K. K. Subramaniam wrote:
>>> On Friday 28 Aug 2009 4:18:17 am Scott Wallace wrote:
>>>>> So... do people think the time has now come (in advance of final
>>>>> shipment of this summer's release) to remove the .gif?
>>>> +1.
>>>> In file managers with preview, children often confuse the .gif file
>>>> for the
>>>> project.
>>> +1 ... when uploading projects to the website using a web browser
>>> (which will become much more common), this can happen as well.
>>A sticking point here continues to be the possibility that existing
>>superswiki, superswiki2, and perhaps other project servers, might rely
>>on the presence of the .gif, and might misbehave if they can't find it.
>>The JIRA ticket for this issue is http://jira.immuexa.com/browse/SQ-315.
>>A fileout recently uploaded to that ticket has the comment: "...
>>succeeds in stopping creation of the gif, and also no longer sends the
>>superSwikiServer (if any) the filename of that gif file that used to
>>be created. SuperSwikiServers and other project servers will now need
>>to start using the .png thumbnail embedded in the outer .pr file.
>>Unfortunately, I don't know how to test the consequences this change
>>would have for existing superSwikiServers, etc., so I look to others
>>to help here."
>>So, this is a call for help.  Who among our readership uses, or knows
>>about, superswikis?
>>(1)  It's important to check how existing superswikis contend with
>>projects saved to them using an image that has the ticket's fileout
>>loaded (thus *not* creating a .gif).  Is there anyone out there who
>>uses an active superswiki and who can test this?  (What about the
>>Etoys/Illinois mechanism for putting projects on their site -- do
>>*they* rely on the .gif?)
>>(2)  At some point, someone needs to undertake modifications to
>>superswiki code so that the thumbnail is extracted from the
>>embedded .png file.  I'm not certain how many different superswiki-
>>like systems are in current use, nor who is the current maintainer of
>>each.  So please speak up, anyone who can clarify, test, code, or
>>otherwise contribute.
>>Without at least some testing for consequences with existing
>>superswikis, I think we can't in good conscience stop creating
>>the .gif thumbnail just yet...
>>   -- Scott
>>etoys-dev mailing list
>>etoys-dev at squeakland.org

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