[etoys-dev] Windows 8 effect on Etoys

Harness, Kathleen kharness at illinois.edu
Thu Sep 15 14:01:25 EDT 2011

Hi Bert, 
I thought you would already know about Windows 8, I just wanted to make sure. 

Two other topics:

This year at the elementary school where I teach part time my 4th and 5th grade students are using Etoys-to-Go to teach Etoys in K, 1st and 2nd grade classrooms where they will be able to just open the software from their flash drive and teach. It is a great convenience and time saver to have it since otherwise I would have to ask our district technology team to install Etoys on classroom computers. And, of course, to do that they expect the computer to be identified with the secret, secret code number for each machine. As you can imagine this is hugely time consuming and acts as a barrier for requests rather than facilitate new ideas and innovative programs.

 I have enjoyed experimenting with Etoys on the iPad. Projects look great on that screen.  I make projects on my Toshiba and move finished projects to the iPad.  It is harder to compose projects on the iPad since the arrows are so small and even with a stylus, I am not accurate enough. Adding text is also messy with the on-screen keyboard.  I found using the little box in the top left corner of the screen/click felt like a natural way to get halo. Seeing the cursor + is harder than I wish. Can it be offset from being directly under the fingertip so that is is higher and to the left of the real finger? On a click face I am picturing the cursor at 11 and my finger tip at the center of a small clock face.

From: etoys-dev-bounces at squeakland.org [etoys-dev-bounces at squeakland.org] on behalf of Bert Freudenberg [bert at freudenbergs.de]
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2011 11:55 AM
To: "etoys-dev ‎[etoys-dev at squeakland.org]‎"
Subject: Re: [etoys-dev] Windows 8 effect on Etoys

On 15.09.2011, at 04:03, Harness, Kathleen wrote:

> Hi,
> My guess is that you already know this but, I saw an article that says Windows 8 doesn't support plug-ins. What will this mean for Etoys?
> Kathleen
> http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/09/Metro-Plug-ins

Apparently Windows 8 will have two different user interfaces, the old windowed mouse-based UI and the new "Metro" touch-centric UI. The article you linked to says that in the touch UI there will be no plugins. If I understand correctly, you should still be able to switch to the "old" UI which hopefully would still support the plugin (Microsoft does have a history of trying hard to keep old software working).

But it is increasingly hard to support the Etoys plugin on all platforms. The OLPC XO does not have the plugin, and it is our largest user base. On recent Macs it does not work in Safari anymore. Some platforms (e.g. iPad) do not support plugins at all.

I think the best we can do in browsers that do not have the plugin is to offer the Etoys project for download. And that's what the current Squeakland launcher does. Better ideas welcome :)

- Bert -

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