[Edu-sig] Leo - python killer app?

bill palmer palmer at execpc.com
Sun Nov 28 01:38:21 CET 2004

Just wondering if those on this list are familiar with the unique Leo
outliner. I am just an avid  user of it.... but I think it may be a
instructional "killer app" for Python. :)

 The best features are probably not what are discussed when introducing
it ... so you might have overlooked it. As a teaching tool I think it
would be terrific.

It is programmable with Python ...and is written in Python. You can use
Leo's Execute Script to run any Python code ...even the current
selection. It is unparalleled as an interactive experimental
environment. You do not have to keep doing file save for each
iteration...more like using a spreadsheet.

The application window has  three "panes":
1. One window with an outline of pages "headlines".
2. A log pane for system messages...and I set the default to capture
3. A body pane where the pages in the outline are edited.

The information is stored in an XML file. The outline is able to write
out the files within the XML outline to update or create the "real"
external files. Its primary focus is as a programming IDE(for any
language). I like to use the outline pages within Leo for program data
sources and scripts together... so then there really are no external
files...the data and the scripts are read and processed within the Leo
outline itself. (For certain learning exercises this may be ideal.)

It is Python and so completely cross-platform. Also it is  a "Literate
Programming" tool which may be of interest as a  computer science demo
on that basis as well.

Teachers might like this even for non-programming purposes since the
outline could contain everything for a particular lesson in any course.
Each .leo outline is sort of like an electronic file cabinet. It even
allows information to be replicated and appear in multiple places within
the outline...called cloning(changes made to a clone are automatically
done to other identical clones). The outline nodes can be just one
fragment of a  file(or script). If Leo ever became generally popular(as
an organizer), then this would provide an inroad to Python acceptance at
your school.

Just open the .leo files that come with it to see examples.

Forum link......

(select Files or Home  in sourceForge  to go to downloads)

Highly, highly recommended! :)


bill p

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