[etoys-dev] Etoys in Javascript (was: CS4K8 Etoys Workshop)

Jecel Assumpcao Jr. jecel at merlintec.com
Thu May 23 21:52:30 EDT 2013

David T. Lewis wrote:
> On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 04:13:32PM +0200, Rita Freudenberg wrote:
> > I think that it would be great if there were developers who could
> > build Etoys in JavaScript, maybe using Dan Ingalls' Lively. 
> > What do the developers think?
> That is a really interesting question. I expect that it is quite feasible,
> though probably not a small project to accomplish.

It depends on the scope. There are many Scratch clones and Scratch-like
systems around and they were all reasonably small projects. So why was
the Scratch 2.0 reimplementation in Flash such a big deal? Because
(unless I misunderstood) they want the new system to be able to read in
all the old projects. This task was easier than it might have been
thanks to the limits they have been imposing all this time to allow
things like the Java based "player" to exist.

So something very close to Etoys in Javascript built on top of the
Lively Kernel should be simple enough. None of the current Etoys
projects would work, however. While Scratch is completely isolated from
the underlying Squeak Smalltalk, Etoys lets the base language poke
through in some (very few) places.

It might be interesting to discuss what makes Etoys a better option than
Snap!, for example. If compatibility with current projects isn't a
requirement, a more reasonable approach might be to add to Snap!
whatever is needed. I'll list what are the most obvious differences to
me and hope other can tell me what I missed:

- multi-level nested colored blocks vs easy to expand rows of uniform
- explicit loops vs stepped scripts
- very structured build mode vs mostly freeform
- tabs vs halos and inspectors (I don't remember what these are called)

-- Jecel

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