[Squeakland] of animating, rotating, scaling, undo and the future

Kim Rose kim.rose at squeakland.org
Wed Feb 8 10:17:17 PST 2006

Dear Squeaklanders,

I send this note on behalf of myself and the "etoy developers" who 
created and continue to support the original etoy system, some of 
whom continue to evolve the system to its next level.

A few of you have pointed out less-than-ideal experience(s) when 
creating multiple frame animations where you or your child/student 
have wanted the object they initially paint to change its size as 
part of the animation.  You have noted that duplicating and changing 
the size of the original object can lead to unexpected results.  (We 
have observed this when we conduct workshops as well.)

Our team has engaged in much discussion (a group of us hold weekly 
computer-based "conference calls" where we discuss support and 
development issues) over this issue.   Due to the nature of Squeak's 
underlying architecture, especially in regard to the way the system 
handles the scaling of objects, it is our recommendation to you and 
your children that when creating multiple objects you wish to 
animate, IF you wish to see a size-change for that object, that each 
object be painted and saved individually, in whatever size desired. 
You should avoid using the duplicate feature in such cases.  If you 
follow this procedure you will be ensured to get the result you are 

We highly appreciate your feedback on this, and other features (or 
lack of them). Another recent example is the discussion of the "undo" 
button on the navigator bar.   While we may not have the people power 
to implement an "infinite" undo on each action (the ultimate desire) 
in this version of the system, please be aware that our knowing that 
you desire such action is a good thing.  (We'll soon be "pushing" an 
update to Squeakland which improves this "undo" buttons abilities and 
provides some feedback as well.) We will strive to work this and 
other such suggestions into future releases of the authoring 

I think the community realizes that the etoy system currently 
downloadable from the Squeakland website grew out of a demo and is 
the efforts of a small team of researchers (not product developers) 
doing most of this work as a labor of love.  Some features (undo in 
the nav-bar, for example) were put in as a 'placeholder' for 
something we want, ultimately, and are in a first-start position and 
for one reason or another have only gotten "so far" and then work on 
that particular feature paused, perhaps because another feature 
required the attention of that person at that time, etc.   Our 
limited 'people power' has caused starts and stops on features within 
the system (text and audio chat being another you are familiar with).

Please know we are hard at work to evolve the current "etoy" system 
into something more robust, with scripting and other features suited 
to middle and high school students as well.  As we are developing 
this system, we are listening to you!

Thank you for your continued trials, curriculum and project 
development,  and your continued feedback to us.  It is very 
important to our current and future work.

  -- Kim

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