[etoys-dev] Re: [sq-education] repeat-tile

Steve Thomas sthomas1 at gosargon.com
Fri Mar 26 23:46:00 EDT 2010

Upon further reflection and reviewing my projects I am okay with removing
the repeat tile.

Turns out I removed the Repeat tile in all but one of my projects and for
the last one, I figured out a way to do it using ticking scripts.


On Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 11:36 AM, Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de>wrote:

> Steve,
> the issue at hand is that I propose to hide the repeat tile from the
> viewer. More than any other tile it confuses people.
> We just today got another question why it did not behave as expected on the
> German Etoys list. So I suggested she asked the education team what they
> thought of the idea to remove it.
> It's quite natural to expect that a repeat tile works similarly to a
> "ticking" script. However, it is a totally different beast. It is as if you
> inserted the repeating tiles in the script multiple times. All the tiles in
> a script are executed in the same time step. There is no way to wait in the
> middle of a script.
> Scratch has completely different execution semantics. There, a script can
> be stopped in the middle, and other scripts run "in parallel".
> Executing scripts in a timeless fashion was a conscious design decision I
> think - but I was not involved with that so I let others comment.
> Adding the ability to wait inside a script would be a hack at best. I'm not
> sure we should give in to the desire of people to add that. It was possible
> in the Tweak version of Etoys, which had been redesigned from ground up.
> The only thing I can think of that would fit with current Etoys is to add a
> tile that can schedule a future message. E.g. "car do: somescript after: 5
> seconds". Not exactly easy to implement (because it would take 2 arguments)
> but might be nice to have.
> The other solution is to just build your own "animation" tiles - Etoys is
> powerful enough for that. No need to even resort to Smalltalk, ticking
> scripts is all you need.
> In any case, "repeat" is too confusing with too little utility so I'd like
> to get rid of it in the default viewer.
> - Bert -
> On 26.03.2010, at 15:54, Steve Thomas wrote:
> Rita,
> If I put three sounds in a script without any repeat tile, you experience
> the same problem (ie: the three sounds played at the same time), so I do not
> believe the problem is with the Repeat tile.
> The more general problem is how do you play a sound (of arbitrary length,
> for example recording lines in a script) in sequence.
> I have experienced the same problem/frustration in Etoys myself. Scratch
> solves this problem by providing two tiles:
>    - "play <sound>" - starts the sound playing and immediately executes
>    the next tile (as Etoys "make sound <croak>" currently does
>    - "play <sound> until done" - plays the sound until done then executes
>    the next tile
> Another nice feature of is the "wait" tile which allows you to pause a
> script for a period of time which is useful in animated cartoons which
> really motivate kids and I believe is one of the reasons kids prefer
> Scratch.  Another nice feature I would like to see to help sequence events
> is the implementation of a "wait" tile which pauses the execution of a
> script for a period of time at the wait tile.
> FYI to solve your problem (how to play a sound or sequence of sounds one
> after the other) you can create a script that ticks for some unit of time
> (lets say 1/2 second) and have a counter that increments upon each iteration
> of the script. Then at the appropriate time/count you can play the next
> sound in the sequence.  I did something similar in the Cartoon example (The
> Holder Episosde 1v2<http://www.squeakland.org/showcase/project.jsp?id=9497> which
> due to the joys of the squeakland website, I have not been able to make
> public).
> Frankly sequencing was cumbersome in that I had to know how long each
> recorded sound was and would have preferred a simpler method.
> I have included the developer list to get their comments as well.
> Stephen
> On Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 9:17 AM, Rita Freudenberg <
> rita at isg.cs.uni-magdeburg.de> wrote:
>> On Mar 26, 2010, at 2:03 PM, Steve Thomas wrote:
>> Yes I have used the repeat tile in a number of projects.  Usually in
>> iterating through objects in a collections.
>> What was the specific problem?
>> Can you provide more details on how it does not fit within the Etoys
>> philosophy?
>> The problem is, that tiles in a script are timeless. Everything in a
>> script happens at the same time. for instance, when you put a "make sound"
>> tile in a repeat tile and then say "repeat 3 times", you will not hear 3
>> sounds one after the other, but at the same time. This happens with every
>> tile. It is confusing when you put tiles in, that do something you can watch
>> or hear.
>> So what happens is not the same as what you think would happen when
>> looking at the script. But in Etoys you should be able to explain the
>> behaviour from looking at the script, I think.
>> Rita
>> Stephen
>> On Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 8:46 AM, Rita Freudenberg <
>> rita at isg.cs.uni-magdeburg.de> wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> did you ever use the repeat tile? This is a new tile which you can get
>>> when you click on the supplies icon in a script.
>>> During my workshop this week we tried to use it and we had problems,
>>> because it worked not the way we expected.  It is something special, which
>>> is also not fitting very well with the Etoys philosophy. So how about
>>> removing it, since it is mostly confusing?
>>> It would not be removed completely, so that older projects would still
>>> work and you can find it if you explicitly search for it in the object
>>> catalog. But it would be removed from the supplies menu in the scripts.
>>> What do you think?
>>> Greetings,
>>> Rita
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