[etoys-dev] Animation support

karl ramberg karlramberg at gmail.com
Sat Mar 27 14:58:03 EDT 2010

On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 2:08 PM, Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de> wrote:
> On 26.03.2010, at 17:36, Steve Thomas wrote:
> So I have a  limited understanding of Etoys design philosphy and the
> execution semantics of operating in a timeless fashion and while I can
> appreciate the differences between execution models, from a child's
> perspective the question is: "can I make it do what I want, without getting
> so frustrated I give up?"
> From a child and teacher's perspective the things that the Scratch execution
> model allow me to do that have value, in particular:
> Ability to Visually Debug scripts (Edit -> Start Single Stepping) I have
> used this on a number of occasions when kids were stuck and got them to
> "look at" how there scripts were executing and this was a great tool to help
> them to think about how the scripts work and resolve their problems
> Ability to create what i will call "Sequenced Animations and Sounds" (as
> mentioned earlier)
> Ability to "pause" the action
> No, I am not suggesting changing the execution semantics or a re-design, but
> simply asking how we can solve these problems within the Etoys paradigm.
> The "visual debug" would be very hard to add after the fact - this feature
> would have to be included in the design from the start.
> You can "pause" an action by splitting it into two scripts, and triggering
> the second part later.
> Instead of "Sequenced Animations" maybe you can think of something that
> achieves the same learning goal but uses different mechanics? Some
> approaches to a problem work better in Etoys than others.
> For synchronizing with sound we could have a tile that indicates whether a
> sound is still playing. Then you could test this in a ticking script.
> Kids love animation and cartoons and are really motivated by creating them,
> providing them with a "lower floor" to do this I believe would encourage
> wider use of Etoys.
> That may be indeed be so. However, there are many things you can do with
> kids that Etoys is better suited for. It's not universal enough for
> everything - but if it was, VPRI would have gone out of business by now ;)
> I tried building my own animation tiles and found it non-trivial and wound
> up building upon Yoshiki's example. Even then I needed to use Holders within
> Holders. I doubt a kid or most teachers could figure it out (probably my
> fault in not thinking hard enough on how to solve the problem).
> If someone could provide an example that would provide a much simpler level
> of abstraction that kids can use that would be great.
> I doubt that it could get much simpler if you have to start from first
> principles. The only way to make this usable with kids is that someone
> experienced builds these animation helpers, and the kids start from that
> project. I plan to show my ideas about this at Squeakfest:
> http://youtube.com/watch?v=md5UBv3pVBE
> This is not the final version yet, in fact that was my first attempt to
> build this. I'll at least have to get rid of the "point" tiles which were
> convenient for me to use but are not necessary (and somewhat buggy, too).
> - Bert -

This looks nice.


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